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Campus Messages

An archive of email messages sent to the entire UCSF community by the Chancellor and members of the Chancellor's Cabinet.

June 18, 2021
Administrative
Community
UC System

Dear Colleagues:

As you know, President Joe Biden yesterday established Juneteenth as a federal holiday. We are pleased to share the news that this morning UC President Michael Drake added this day to the University of California’s calendar of holidays. This year all UC campuses will observe Juneteenth on Monday, June 28. In 2022 and thereafter the University will celebrate the holiday according to the federal calendar.

Juneteenth commemorates the day in 1865 when enslaved people in Texas finally learned that they were free from enslavement, two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation became law. As we wrote yesterday, UCSF is heartened to see this historic event recognized nationally.

The speed with which this legislation was introduced, approved by Congress, and signed into law has been gratifying. We are working quickly to implement the new UC holiday, with a focus on ensuring that all those who rely on us, including our patients, are served without interruption.

We hope you take the time to celebrate – and also to reflect on how the inequities of the past extend into the present. We know that there is more work to be done to create a campus and health system free of bias and discrimination. However, we also know that we will achieve this if we commit ourselves fully and continue to work together.

Sincerely,

Sam Hawgood, MBBS
Chancellor
Arthur and Toni Rembe Rock Distinguished Professor

J. Renée Navarro, PharmD...

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June 17, 2021
Community

Dear UCSF Community,

On June 19, 1865, enslaved people of African descent in Galveston, Texas were finally told that they were free from slavery—nearly 2.5 years after the Emancipation Proclamation had formally freed them. Since that time, June 19 has come to be known and celebrated as Juneteenth, the date marking the end of slavery in the United States.

“Juneteenth has never been a celebration of victory, or an acceptance of the way things are. It's a celebration of progress. It's an affirmation that despite the most painful parts of our history, change is possible—and there is still so much work to do.” – Former President Barack Obama

Last year, Juneteenth coincided with the long-overdue national reckoning on anti-Black racism. This year, we are thrilled with the news that President Joe Biden has signed a bill establishing June 19 as a federal holiday, Juneteenth National Independence Day, a significant step toward acknowledging the grave historic injustices committed against Black people in this country. At UCSF, we applaud this decision. We also renew our commitment to Black lives and to dismantling systemic racism in our own organization through the UCSF Anti-racism Initiative.

In observance of Juneteenth, we encourage the UCSF community to reflect on the full and enduring significance of June 19: a day of...

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June 4, 2021
Community
People
UC System

Dear Colleagues,

The UC Office of the President has issued a draft Presidential Campus Safety Plan for transforming UC’s culture, policies, and practices so that all members of the UC community feel equally welcomed, respected, and protected from harm. UC President Michael V. Drake has asked each campus to collect and share feedback, which he will consider before issuing a UC-wide plan this summer.

We invite you to review the draft plan (see attached pdf) and provide comments via the following survey link, which will be available until June 30:  https://ucsf.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_d6YPSi3v1dDnlZk.

As background, the UC Office of the President developed the draft plan with extensive input from diverse groups of UC stakeholders, including Campus Safety Task Force members, participants in the campus safety symposia held earlier this spring, and numerous conversations with students, faculty, staff, and administrators.

You may recall that Chancellor Sam Hawgood appointed our own UCSF Safety Task Force last year to develop recommendations for refining UCSF’s practices around community safety. To read the Task Force’s initial report, click on the Chancellor’s message from November 13, 2020:  https://chancellor.ucsf.edu...

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May 27, 2021
Community

Dear UCSF Community,

A wave of antisemitic attacks has erupted on social media and against Jewish communities across the nation in the past two weeks, following several years of escalating antisemitic incidents. Like most of you, we find this surge in hatred and violence abhorrent and reflective of the vicious assaults against so many members of our community who are targeted based on their identity.

We are also deeply concerned by the increase in anti-Muslim content on social media, and reports of assaults, harassment, and destruction of both mosques and synagogues.

At UCSF, we condemn discrimination, prejudice, and hatred in all forms, and we pledge to stand in solidarity with all targeted communities as one. For our faculty, staff, and learners who belong to these communities, please know that we support and value you. As President Biden said earlier this week, “It’s up to all of us to give hate no safe harbor.”

This weekend, as we pause to honor the individuals who have given their lives in service to their country, we hope that everyone will find time to reflect and recharge. Thank you for your ongoing commitment to each other and to the communities we serve.

Sincerely,

Sam Hawgood, MBBS
Chancellor
Arthur and Toni Rembe Rock Distinguished Professor

J. Renée Navarro, PharmD, MD
Vice Chancellor, Office of Diversity and Outreach
Chief Diversity Officer
Professor of Clinical Anesthesiology and Perioperative Care

May 26, 2021
Advocacy
Community

Dear UCSF Community,

Just two months ago, I wrote to you after a week of mass shootings across America. Today, we are left grieving once again over a tragedy that, this time, is much closer to home. As the news continues to emerge, we have learned that this morning’s shooting at the Valley Transportation Authority in San Jose has taken the lives of eight innocent people, plus the gunman. Multiple others are injured.

This is the 15th mass shooting this year across the United States and the deadliest one in the Bay Area in nearly 30 years. I want to acknowledge that for many of you, this may feel different, or add further to the emotional exhaustion of the past year. I invite you to make use of the resources that are available here at UCSF to support you:

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May 24, 2021
Community

Dear UCSF Community,

Nearly one year ago in Minneapolis, on May 25, 2020, George Floyd was murdered by police officer Derek Chauvin. The way in which Mr. Floyd was killed revealed once again how systemic racism and anti-Blackness reinforce an unjust legacy of oppression that too often results in the death of Black people. 

Mr. Floyd’s passing, however, further ignited the growing need to address institutionalized bias and racially-motivated hate in all of its forms. The call for police reform has become louder, the work to address the inequity of health outcomes more urgent, and the intersections of racism and other forms of injustice more obvious than ever.

In commemoration of the one-year anniversary of George Floyd’s death tomorrow, I encourage all of us to make time in the busy day and observe 9 minutes and 29 seconds of silence—the length of time Mr. Floyd suffered under Derek Chauvin’s knee—to reflect on the changes that have followed his passing and the work that remains.

At 12:30 p.m. tomorrow, you also are invited by the UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals (BCH) DEI Council and Spiritual Care Services-SF to join an online space of solidarity and care, to honor all that we may be feeling on the one-year anniversary of George Floyd’s murder, as well as to uplift and honor positive signs of change for racial justice. Presenters will include: Corey Jackson, associate vice chancellor for Human Resources; Stephanie Brown from the UCSF BCH Black Caucus; and Special Guest Isoke Femi, Maven for Transformational Learning at GLIDE.

  • UCSF Solidarity & Healing – Tuesday, May 25, 2021 – 12:30-1:00 p.m.
    Zoom:...
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April 23, 2021
Administrative
Community

Dear Members of the UCSF Community:

On April 27, you will receive an invitation to participate in the 2021 UCSF Staff Engagement Survey, which will once again be conducted by Gallup. The 2020 survey was cancelled due to the disruption to our lives caused by the onset of COVID-19. More than a year later, the need to hear from our staff community is imperative.

Completing the survey should take less than ten minutes, and your response will help us understand the progress we have made toward our shared goal of making UCSF an inclusive and supportive place to work.

Managers and their teams use their results each year to create action plans that build on strengths and address challenges. At the UCSF-wide level, we look for trends and patterns in engagement and satisfaction that help us understand how staff feel about their work so we can identify opportunities for improvement across our institution.

Based on the results from 2019, UCSF has continued its efforts to sustain and increase staff engagement. These include:

  • Working on the organization-wide action plan to create paths toward addressing unconscious bias and to help managers advocate on behalf of their staff, including the introduction of manager and staff training on this topic.
  • Measuring progress on confronting and resolving issues of belonging and inclusion.
  • Participating in the 2020 Your Voice Counts survey, with a focus on the organizational priorities of addressing UCSF’s COVID-19 response, financial recovery, and racial injustice.

You can...

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April 20, 2021
Community

Dear UCSF Community,

Nearly a year ago, George Floyd was killed at the hands of police in Minnesota. Today, after a brief deliberation, a jury convicted former police officer Derek Chauvin on all three charges of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter.

Mr. Floyd’s death placed a glaring light, once again, on the use of excessive force by police on people of color. Our society must find the will to break the cycle of police violence and systemic racism that devalues the lives of Black Americans and other communities of color.

Today’s verdict will hopefully provide some comfort to Mr. Floyd’s loved ones that, at least in this case, justice may be served. But we must continue to push for meaningful reforms that strengthen policing overall. In so doing, we may yet build a lasting legacy from this tragedy that improves police accountability and ensures equity for all of the communities that police officers are meant to serve and protect.

The past year has proven to be challenging on many fronts. One of the things I am most grateful for is the humanity and compassion that our UCSF community brings to issues ranging from the pandemic to anti-racism.

We have learned so much from one another about what it means to build a truly inclusive, diverse, and equitable culture. Though we have more work to do, I hope you are taking the time to look after yourself and one another.

Sincerely,

Sam Hawgood, MBBS
Chancellor
Arthur and Toni Rembe Rock Distinguished Professor

April 14, 2021
Community

Dear Members of the UCSF Community:

The fatal shooting of Daunte Wright this past Sunday compounds our grief and frustration over a series of tragedies involving Black people in situations that are difficult to understand, much less accept. While the circumstances are always different, we need to recognize that implicit bias is woven into the common thread that connects these senseless deaths.

We mourn Mr. Wright, a young man whose passing echoes the death of too many before him. And we recognize that many of you are exhausted by the anguish caused by these tragedies, especially as the trial of Derek Chauvin over the killing of George Floyd unfolds.

But we cannot let exhaustion lead to resignation. The underlying factors that lead to this needless loss of life will not be undone overnight. The society from which these heartbreaking situations emerge will change only through the repetition and amplification of actions by individuals and systems examining and dismantling bias, unconscious and otherwise.

We hope you take the time to check in with your family, friends, and colleagues who may be impacted by this latest tragedy. If you or anyone you know would benefit from support, please seek the counseling and assistance of our UCSF resource teams:

Sincerely,

Sam Hawgood, MBBS
Chancellor
Arthur and Toni Rembe Rock...

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March 24, 2021
Advocacy
Community

Dear UCSF Community,

On Monday, a gunman took the lives of 10 people in a Boulder, Colorado, supermarket in yet another episode of gun violence. I write to you, once again, grieving over the senseless loss of life and with a growing frustration over the political gridlock that perpetuates this public health crisis.

The tragedy in Boulder marks the seventh mass casualty shooting in seven days in our country. In Colorado, Oregon, California, Texas, Pennsylvania, and Georgia, gun violence has taken and changed lives forever. In these and too many past incidents, people have used guns to injure and kill, often targeting others for their beliefs, identities, and race. It is difficult to accept this spate of violence when we are still mourning the deaths of those murdered just one week ago in Atlanta, including six women of Asian descent.

As an organization dedicated to advancing health, we must do more than grieve. I encourage you to educate yourself about the unchecked threat of gun violence. We must urge our elected officials to pass legislation that puts the health and lives of all those in our country ahead of political affiliation and partisanship. To learn more about gun reform efforts, I encourage you to explore the work of the following organizations, which are but a few of the groups working at the federal and state level:

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