The University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) is committed to achieving excellence through diversity in the classroom, the research lab and the workplace. It strives to establish a climate that welcomes, celebrates and promotes respect for the contributions of all faculty, staff, students and trainees.

Nurturing diversity is one of the major directions outlined in the UCSF Strategic Plan, which specifically states the University’s goal to educate, train and employ a diverse faculty, staff and student body.

UCSF’s vision is to build upon its commitment to diversity by educating, training and employing a diverse faculty, staff and student body.

Diversity – a defining feature of California’s past, present and future – refers to the variety of personal experiences, values and worldviews that arise from differences of culture and circumstance. Such differences include race, ethnicity, gender, age, religion, language, abilities/disabilities, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status and geographic region, and more.

UCSF has made great strides in its efforts to diversify the campus community. It is imperative that UCSF continue to improve the diversity of faculty, staff, students and trainees and to effectively establish a culture of diversity on the UCSF campus.

Since becoming chancellor in August 2009, Susan Desmond-Hellmann, MD, MPH, has wholeheartedly endorsed that goal.

“I have been impressed with the passion and commitment demonstrated in this area by many of our faculty, staff and students,” she said. “Creating a diverse and inclusive environment in which everyone has the opportunity to excel is critical to achieving our mission. The breadth of diversity initiatives here on campus is a testament to the importance that the UCSF community places on creating such an environment.”

Renee Navaro

Renee Navaro

In 2010, Desmond-Hellmann named Renee Navarro, MD, PharmD, UCSF's  first vice chancellor for diversity and outreach.

“I really have spent my whole life working on issues related to diversity,” said Navarro, a clinical professor of anesthesia and perioperative care at the UCSF-affiliated San Francisco General Hospital (SFGH). “I am pleased to be able to contribute to UCSF by expanding our diversity and outreach efforts which will lead to greater recognition of this esteemed institution. I view this as a wonderful opportunity to expand, coordinate and showcase our programs, opportunities and inclusiveness.”

Navarro has been working on several diversity-related fronts at UCSF and beyond throughout her 20-year career. She has held many clinical and administrative leadership positions within UCSF and at SFGH, including medical director, chief of medical staff and associate dean for academic affairs in the UCSF School of Medicine. Navarro plans to continue treating trauma patients as an anesthesiologist at SFGH one day a week.

In 2007, Navarro was promoted to director of Academic Diversity, a new position created as part of 10 key outcomes outlined in UCSF’s diversity initiative, which was unveiled in February of that year. Navarro served on the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on Academic Diversity and now on the Council of Campus Climate, Culture and Inclusion.

Photos by Elisabeth Fall/fallfoto.com