UCSF Chancellor Susan Desmond-Hellmann, MD, MPH, delivered the 2012 State of the University Address on Sept. 25 in Cole Hall Auditorium. Here is the full transcript of that event.
Barbara J. French: Good morning, everyone. I'm going to give you a few more minutes to get seated. But we promised to start at noon and complete at 1:00. So I'm mindful of your time. So the people in the back, why don't you come on down?
So I'm Barbara French. I'm Vice Chancellor for Strategic Communications and University Relations. And I want to thank you for attending the State of University address here today. This year, we're streaming live on the web. And for those of you listening on the web, there will be a Q and A, time for some questions afterwards.
2012 State of the University Address
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And you see, as you're looking at the website, you can click and submit a Tweet question. So we'll be taking questions from our remote audience as well as our live audience. So as I look around, I'm noticing what's great about this gathering today is I see a little bit of the great cross section that is UCSF.
I see some folks from the medical center. I see our deans. I see people from all four schools and the graduate division, students, staff. So it's a wonderful opportunity to her from the chancellor who really, if you stop and think about it, has a unique view of this great community we call UCSF and an opportunity for her to address all of us about really what's the state of UCSF.
How are we doing? And what's our vision? So thank you for joining us today.
I also want to acknowledge we have some guests in the audience today. And we run a program called EXCEL, which is a premier workforce development program where, each year, we team with the City and County of San Francisco and a non-profit called Jewish Vocational Services to bring people on campus who train in administrative and clerical and then do four-month paid internships with a variety of host apartments.
And we have 14 EXCEL participants with us today. They're just finishing up their training. And they'll start at UCSF departments in a couple of weeks. So welcome to you all. [applause]
So Susan Desmond-Hellmann is the ninth chancellor at the University of California, San Francisco. And she's an oncologist, also for many years a renowned leader in the biotech field. And for many of you, you may not know, she also holds the title of the Arthur and Toni Rembe Rock Distinguished Professor appointment within UCSF.
And as chancellor, as I said, she has a unique perspective. She oversees all of UCSF, the academic side, student side, the medical center, clinical enterprise. And she has access over all we do. And from that perspective, she's in a unique position to talk to us today about how we're doing, the vision, what the future looks like and what each of us could do to help participate in that future.
So it's a great honor to introduce our chancellor, Susan Desmond-Hellmann.
Susan Desmond-Hellmann: Thank you, Barb. And thank you to everybody here in Cole Hall for taking time out of your busy schedule to attend today. I also want to particularly welcome everyone who is watching online. And in addition, I want to welcome people for whom it's late at night. And they're clicking on this on a YouTube video watching it later because they're busily at work right now.
You just heard from Barbara French. I'm going to be telling you a little bit about the state of our university. And I have too short a time. And I want to leave time for questions. So this, by necessity, is a little bit of a whirlwind tour of some of the things that are going on at our university.
And so we will have plenty of time for Q and A. Let me just start with some great news that you may have seen on UCSF's website just last week. Many of our faculty, staff and trainees have a passion for global health or an aspiration in the future to be involved in global health.
So I know you were also pleased about the announcement that Chuck Feeney, through his foundation, the Atlantic Philanthropies, made a gift of $20 million to create a global health sciences hub at Mission Bay. The vision behind this is to have one physical location for some of the global health researchers, scientists and students and to jumpstart our vision to become one of the world's leading centers for global health sciences.
Now, shown on this slide is Chuck Feeney last year receiving UCSF's medal. And somebody who is just so inspiring to me and all of us and just reminds me of why I'm so happy and pleased to be part of UCSF, this gift for global health sciences really will be transformative for us.
So great news. And I could have picked one of many things. But that was one of the most recent examples of how much others think of the work that we're doing here at UCSF. So here's my agenda for today. I want to talk about where we are this past academic year. I want to give you a progress update on our three-year plan and then look ahead to 2012-13.
Okay. This was a hard slide. Looking back, there's so much great that happened at UCSF in our academic year, 2011-12. There are way too many accomplishments for me to talk about all of them. Although, I did consider that speed talking thing the guy used to do in the commercial.
But please forgive me if your favorite accomplishment is not on this slide or I don't talk about it because there are so, so many. What you see up in the left-hand corner is some of the U.S. News and World Report rankings. A new ranking for schools of medicine came out last year.
And our school of medicine remains the only school ranked in the top five in both primary care and research. Really something that tells us all a lot about who we are at UCSF in the school of medicine. In our school of dentistry, the DDS program and seven specialty programs were accredited this year by the Commission on Dental Accreditation.
And our own Dr. John Greenspan was awarded the American Dental Associations gold medal for an entire career of excellent contributions in research. The School of Pharmacy ranked number one for professional programs in the U.S. yet again and also number one for [National Institutes of Health] NIH funding for the 32nd consecutive year, unbelievable for the school of pharmacy.
And overall, UCSF ranked first in NIH funding in public institutions and second across all, a huge accomplishment speaking to the quality of our faculty and the research that we do here. I also want to tell you about the NIH innovator awards. Five of those went to UCSF investigators. These are awarded to the very best young investigators in the nation.
Only 51 total were given out. So almost 10 percent went to UCSF. And again, really testament to the quality of our faculty including the young faculty. We continue to recruit, hire and nurture the best.
Ron Vale received the Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research award. He is professor and vice chair in the Department of Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology. And his work on molecular motors is really inspiring. Thirty years of work with him and his colleagues went into receiving this prize.
Now, we'll hear about this in a moment. But I just want to mention the implementation of APEX here as well, an unbelievable accomplishment in our medical center. In addition, the UCSF medical center and Benioff Children's Hospital both recently received the prestigious Magnet status for excellence in nursing.
Only 7 percent of the nation's hospitals received this recognition last year. And Sheila Antrum and her entire team, the entire team in the medical center and the school of nursing collaborated to make this happen. The school of nursing also recently established collaborative relationships with five schools of nursing in Japan and one in Hong Kong, focusing on trans-Pacific disaster nursing so important in today's world and what's happening in Asia.
The multicultural center was launched by a team led by Renee Navarro. And Vice Chancellor Navarro is going to tell us a little more about that in a moment. In the middle and the bottom of this slide is a picture of John Ford. John joined UCSF as vice chancellor for university development and alumni relations.
He's one of the top fundraising professionals in the nation. And I'm so pleased and feel so fortunate that we now have him. So welcome, John. Welcome to the team. Earlier this year, the Sandler neuroscience building opened at Mission Bay. In this building, I'm very confident that some of the most important problems of humankind will be solved for patients. I could go on. What a magnificent year last year was for UCSF. Really terrific. But not easy. We're all in the midst — is my mic not working? Can you guys not hear me? Okay. We're all in the midst of a time of great challenge. And I want to just acknowledge that in the midst of California state budget cuts — particularly those that affect our educational mission, our research mission, our clinical and community service missions — there are people at UCSF whose experience in this past year was a struggle.
Really challenging time for all of us. And I want to acknowledge that those cuts, challenges, are noticed by me and my colleagues on the leadership team here at UCSF. And those last several years that we've been living in the midst of great change and financial constraints have put a lot of stress on the people of UCSF. But this slide allows me to tell you that even though I want to acknowledge the challenges, and thank the people who are persevering in their excellence in these challenges.
This slide just gives you a little periscope into why I remain an optimist. I'm optimistic because people at UCSF are the ones who make us great. If I put pictures of 23,000 people, you wouldn't be able to see anyone. But I wish I could. Some of the people on this slide though really particularly impressed me in this last year, in part because of their hard work and dedication, but also because some of the people on this slide are the ones who say to me, "Chancellor, you need to know about this. This isn't working like it should. Can't we fix this?"
And I want you all to know how much I appreciate that. I love good news. I love an "atta boy" as well as anyone. But I also really respect people who take the time and the energy, together with me and everyone at UCSF, to make this a better place. So I want to acknowledge all of our faculty, all of our staff, and all of our trainees for the work you all do every day to make UCSF a great place. Particularly, I want to point out, as a public institution, all of your collective service to our community.
Now you heard from Barbara French that we're so happy to have the EXCEL program participants with us here this afternoon. But I also want to mention that I had a great experience just recently watching the posters of 20 high potential students from disadvantaged backgrounds, who participated with mentors at UCSF in conducting scientific research for eight weeks over the summer. Now this program is a partnership through our science and health education partnership program with the city and county of San Francisco.
And I like data, and I know you like data too. So let me tell you, over 92 percent of these high school students who have participated in this program over the years have matriculated, while the data suggests that only 54 percent would in the absence of an intervention. 76 percent complete undergrad degrees in the sciences, and 87 percent of those students go on to graduate education. So this really is a ladder for these students towards their future.
In fact, this program was recognized by the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring. And I had the privilege of examining some of those posters and asking questions. And I can tell you, those students really did immerse in the science with their mentors and everyone here at UCSF. That's one example, but I could give you many, of how the important work that happens here touches so many lives in our community, in our state, in our nation, and the globe. This work, and our connection to the outside world, makes UCSF a great place.
So I wanted to update you on the strategic plan. A year ago, I presented for the first time our vision and goals for a three-year plan that would bring us towards 2014, where we'll be able to celebrate 150 years of something that became UCSF existing in San Francisco, with Toland Medical College opening. We put together this plan with a set of goals, and an aspiration to be the world's preeminent health sciences innovator. I'm glad to tell you that in April of 2012, we finalized these goals, and under each of these now are a series of strategies, owners, and metrics.
In other words, we'll be able to measure our progress on these goals. They're not just words on a piece of paper. They are not just aspirational. We're going to actually look at these and measure our success by these, and we can take action quickly if we're falling behind. I'm pleased to report that we're tracking well for nearly everything that we set out to do. We don't have time today to do an update on all of the goals. But I wanted to highlight a few.
And as part of that, that gives me a chance to call on a few members of my leadership team to help me to tell the story of how these goals are driving us towards a future that's even more exciting than the one we have today. I also want to tell you, like all of you, I have goals, and these goals get embedded in my personal goals that I discuss with my boss. So just in case you wonder, I have metrics and goals that are designed based on this plan.
So let's start with the first goal. The first goal is about patients —providing unparalleled care to our patients. One of the projects that's a part of this goal was the implementation of the medical center's electronic health record, APEX, a massive undertaking, and of enormous importance to our campus. So I want to invite our medical center CEO, Mark Laret, to give us a short update on APEX. Mark?
Mark Laret: Thank you, Sue, and thanks, everybody. The clock there showing 5:15, that was actually 5:15 in the morning when that was taken. Just this month, we completed the implementation of our final stages of the electronic medical record system, the epic system that we call APEX here at UCSF. That completed more than a year and a half of successive rollouts of APEX across the entire organization. It took us a fair amount of time to actually implement it.
In fact, I stood at this very podium 11 years ago, shortly after I arrived at UCSF and declared that having an electronic medical record was one of our highest priorities. But the delay was really a testament to how complicated a task that it is. But today it's up and running, and we're enjoying the benefits of it. So what are those benefits?
Number one, this is a great boon for patient safety and quality. This system detects complications, ordering errors, medication errors that might be ordered. It also ensures that we're practicing consistently and at the highest level of practice. The system has also made it possible for our patients to see their patient information online. So no more calling the doctor's office and wondering where your labs are, but you can go online and find them there. And third, these clinical data are now forming a spectacular new clinical data repository that our research community will be able to use, and where we have our greatest hopes for the value of this project.
Implementing this was not without bumps. And there are many practices that are still struggling today with the change in practice from a paper system to the electronic system. But we're very optimistic long-term that this is the future, and this will be the way that we provide the best level of care to our patients, now and in the future. So thank you for all of you who've done a tremendous job in bringing APEX live, and bringing UCSF Medical Center and Benioff Children's Hospital to the level it should be. Thank you.
Susan Desmond-Hellmann: Thank you, Mark. It is noticeable that everybody's smiling, even though it's 5:15 in the morning. You must have had a lot of coffee on that day. A tremendous accomplishment. And one of the best ways I've heard this described is everybody's job changed. That's remarkable and took a lot of work, so terrific to see APEX implemented. Our second goal is about research and innovation — improving health world through innovative science. And I want to invite our Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost, Jeff Bluestone, to give you an update on the second goal. Jeff?
Jeff Bluestone: Thanks, Sue. Welcome, everybody. So as all of you have heard Sue talk about many times, one of the great aspirations of UCSF is to continue to be one of the most innovative discovery entities in the world. And in that discovery goes across the whole spectrum, from the most basic and fundamental science, up through clinical research, and, in fact, even into our educational enterprise. And so this year, I just want to highlight a few areas that we have made a significant investment in that I hope will bear fruit in the future. The first is in the educational area where we have really made a major investment of 2 million dollars into our online learning. One example of that that Joe Castro and Karen Butter have led with the schools has been in the area of online courses, so called [MOOKS], where massive audiences we'll be taking.
And we have our first three courses rolling out in January and already have more than 48,000 people who have enrolled in taking those courses, so quite a tribute to their work and hard efforts.
On the research side, we continue to try to make efforts to improve our research infrastructure. On the clinical research side, the clinical hub, which is a one-stop shopping, it's up there where you can go in as an investigator, as a patient, as a staff member to try to learn about how to conduct clinical research here at UCSF or how to get involved in clinical research here at UCSF.
We have a major investment as well in our research office to try to help investigators who want to put together complex research grants and proposals that take a team to put together. One individual can't do it. And we recently opened up this research development office to do that and have invested there.
On the industry partnership side, we continue to try to build our relationships with industry. I talked about our relationship we built with Pfizer a couple of years ago. To date, that's brought in more than 4 million dollars in research investment, not just within the laboratories here, but supporting our indirects as well so that we can really invest in that. And there are many, many, many other industry partnerships that have been created for our investigators to be able to translate. They're great discoveries into things that will help people in the world.
And so I applaud people like Keith Yamamoto and Eric Lium who have really done a great job with our ITA office (Industry Technology and Alliances).
Another example is in our IT and technology area. We know that the future of research is going to be able to take and create all of this data and use it effectively to help to find cures for our patients and to help the wellness of our society. And so we have invested 5 million dollars based on a report from a taskforce. And how do we invest in bioinformatics and invest in our computer science?
We're investing money in our genomics capability to make sure that we can get access to the mutations of genes that cause disease and help us develop drugs to do that. And we're building a much more affective digital health platform so that we can actually provide efforts, not just to our physicians, but to patients out in the community to better understand and deal with their health issues.
Clay Johnston, who oversees the Clinical and Translational Science Institute, takes a lead in many of these things along with Michael Blum, Neil Risch, Michael Fishbach, who are really all working together to try to build our informatics computer science and digital health community so that we can really power into the next decade and beyond.
Finally, we want to mention that we're investing in our cores. We set aside 2 million dollars this year for a competition to try to find the best and available technologies that we could bring into our cores to be able to support the kind of research that is needed to be done. And so we've gotten 35 proposals. We're in the process of reviewing them. And we'll be selecting the winners to invest in individual cores.
So as you can see, there's been a very major effort here on campus to try to target very important, specific issues to put real funding and real effort to try to make sure that we can really influence these parts of the infrastructure and research so we can accomplish the goals that have been laid out by Sue. Thank you.
Susan: All right, thank you, Jeff.
Susan Desmond-Hellmann: Thank you very much. Our third goal is to attract and support the most talented and diverse trainees in the health sciences. And I have to say, if you ever have a bad day, do what I did yesterday and participate in the welcome reception for incoming first years. It's unbelievable, this combination of almost giddiness that here you are at UCSF and terror at realizing here you are at UCSF. It's just infectious to see their enthusiasm, their intelligence and their passion. It's really great.
So I'm really excited about the progress that we made this past year in our educational mission to attract the most talented and diverse trainees. And one of those accomplishments was opening of the Multicultural Resource Center. And I'd like to invite the Vice Chancellor, Renee Navarro, to come up and say a few words to tell you about that. Renee?
Renee Navarro: Thank you very much. Good afternoon. The Office of Diversity and Outreach was established in 2010, December, and it really serves as the campus leader of building diversity in all aspects of our mission. Ultimately, we seek to have a campus that is diverse and where all individuals can thrive. This is really best achieved by a culture of equity and inclusion where everyone feels supported.
The UCSF Multicultural Resource Center is a key component of our thriving culture. We were inspired by the students, students who created in 2007 a HUB, a Health Unity Board. It was an interprofessional group of students who came together, wanted to work together, plan together and have a space where that could be facilitated. They then outlined the need for this center.
I was successful in recruiting a dynamic director, Mijiza Sanchez. She brings years of experience working in areas of gender equity, in mentorship and leadership development. And she's currently completing her doctorate in International and Multicultural Education.
With the support of the chancellor, with the EVCP's office, the efforts of Mijiza as well as collaboration with Laurie Yamauchi, Joe Castro, Eric Koenig and the [Student Academic Affairs] staff, we were able to identify space in [Millberry] Union, and that space is Millberry Union West, Suite 123.
The center was opened in July. We have a grand opening that is planned as part of our campuswide celebration of building community, planned for October the 24th from 4:00 to 6:00 so I hope you can all come and attend that.
The center serves as a hub for our students, for our faculty and staff as well. They can gather there. They can plan and work together interprofessionally to identify also available resources for them on campus.
Over the course of the summer, the center was used by our faculty, students and staff. In regards to our students, for July and August we had over 30 students accessing the center over 150 times.
The students have represented all of our professional schools and the Graduate Division as well. In addition, we have 10 of our registered campus organization that will plan their meetings in our center.
We will also be conducting interprofessional mentorship programs there over the course of this year for our students and trainees, and it will also serve as a meeting site for our first-generation support group as well as for focus groups for our faculty and for our staff.
So I thank you for your support, and I thank you and encourage all of you to come to our grand opening.
Susan Desmond-Hellmann: Thank you Renee. The resource center does provide a great environment for our students, but others as well.
Now the other thing I wanted to update you under Goal number 3 is something that we first started last year, and that is a program very much focused on financial support for students and education. And I'd like to invite Vice Chancellor of Student Academic Affairs, Joe Castro, up to tell you about that program. Joe?
Joe Castro: Thank you, Sue. Good afternoon. We launched our first ever UCSF Education Fundraising Initiative on a Saturday morning in April. The chancellor did it here in San Francisco at the All-UCSF Alumni Event, very exciting. And she set at that time a fundraising target of approximately 100 million dollars by June of 2015.
Most of the funds that will be raised will go to scholarships and fellowships for our students. And these funds are going to enable us here at UCSF to continue recruiting and retaining the most talented and diverse students regardless of their financial circumstances.
The chancellor led the way by joining with her husband in making an initial 1 million dollar gift that she then challenged each school to match. So each school as of the end of the year had found alumni to match that particular gift. And we were able to create with that incredible first gift four, $500,000 chancellor-endowed scholarships, one in each of the professional schools. Yes.
I've said this once before. I think I've served in my career over five chancellors, and I've never seen this happen before. So it's incredible, incredible to see.
One of the matching gifts for the schools came from two of our alumni in the School of Pharmacy, and their picture is up there, Lisa and Kevin Rodondi. Kevin is actually also on our School of Pharmacy faculty. So he's both an alumnus and a faculty member, and he and his wife made a very generous gift to match the Chancellor and Nick's gift.
Overall, good news. Education fundraising increased by about 19 percent in 2011-12, and that was up from about $20 million to almost $24 million. And to date, we've raised about $28 million — just shy of $28 million towards our overall $100-million target. And with our new vice chancellor, I think we're well along our way.
The Chancellor, I wanted to mention, as well, she provided over $3 million in additional campus funds to support graduate fellowships. She did that toward the end of last year. And that has taken effect this fall and has been great for our new dean, Liz Watkins, to use to support our very talented graduate students.
I want to end by thanking all the deans, the vice deans, the faculty, and the staff across the schools, Jennifer Arnett and Mark Boone in the Development office, and all of our development colleagues across the campus. This has been an incredible team effort. As well as my colleagues in Student Academic Affairs. So thank you very much.
Susan Desmond-Hellmann: Thank you, Joe. Thank you very much, Joe. I think it's just terrific the progress that we've made. And I just want to add my thanks to all the deans and their teams in each of the schools who make this happen. It turns out you can raise money for student support even without a football team. [Laughter] And we will.
So our fourth goal is to be the workplace of choice for diverse, top-tier talent. And the words on this slide, succession planning, might seem foreign or strange in an academic environment. So I wanted to tell you a couple things about succession planning, as I talk about this workplace of choice, diverse top-tier talent goal that we have.
The reason I care about succession planning is it brings two things into play that I think make for great management, first and foremost, a sense that we plan for our own future and that development of talent is one of the most important things we do. That discussion that a manager has with someone who reports to them about their aspirations and what they might aspire to do in the future is a very important part of management.
The second thing that succession planning allows one to do is to talk about things that someone needs to do to strengthen how they show up at work. New talents, new skills, new areas for development, or things they should do less of, if they want to be effective at work.
And for all of us, those can be awkward discussions. But I can tell you, from a lot of experience, if you have that discussion in the context of having that individual be ready for better things, for things in the future, for their hopes and dreams or aspirations, that's a better discussion.
Now, we've just started with a pilot in John [Plotts' Financial Administrative Services] organization. The pilot looked at 12 positions and worked with the leadership team to identify potential successors for each of them to identify specific development opportunities for people and how we would get them ready over a period of time to be potential strong candidates for those positions.
Now, rest assure that I know succession planning at UCSF will be very different than succession planning at a private company or other institutions. We'll do this in our own way. But I'm excited about the possibilities of taking this pilot project and broadening it out across the campus.
One of the greatest things I ever hear from people on our campus is, "I want to be a leader here." I have aspirations to use my talents to advance the mission of UCSF, and I see this effort in succession planning part of how to address those aspirations and the great talent pool we have on this campus.
Our fifth goal is to create a financially sustainable enterprise-wide business model. So why does this matter? Well, none of the first four goals will be possible if we can't afford them. It also means that we have the resources available to grow, evolve, and improve.
So two of the big initiatives under this goal are to improve our planning processes, to know and understand our data, and find ways to increase revenues. We have a lot of great people working on those goals, and we're making significant progress.
But the part of this goal I want to highlight today is operational excellence. A couple things I want to tell you about operational excellence. First, we did our efficiency project at this campus without consultants. We didn't bring in Bain or McKinsey or one of the big consulting firms. We used our own UCSF talent to make this project happen.
So hundreds of people literally took time out of their busy schedules to make this program work. And I can tell you, with a lot of different feedback — everyone has an opinion — this was hard, hard work. So some of the people who worked on operational excellence are shown on this slide. Not all, because there's more than 400 across the campus. And I want to just give them a very big thank you from me for all the hard work. It matters a lot that we're doing this on our campus, and your work is so meaningful and so important in us achieving our hopes and our dreams.
The second thing I want to emphasize is that a very important outcome of this project, in addition to an on-track $50-million annually in savings by 2013, is how can we use innovation and change to do better? Operational excellence has allowed us to ask a question that's a very important question, which is: Other than history, why do we do it this way? And if the answer is only "because we always have," we have the opportunity to change for the better.
And I want to talk about two outcomes from some of the information technology work that's happened through operational excellence that hopefully will tell you how much innovation has been a part of OE. The first is Sharecase. This is a full-day event that's aimed at sharing innovative ideas about technology use at UCSF. It will take place on October 12th at Mission Bay, and it's open to everyone. More than 1,000 people have signed up already.
Secondly, the IT Innovation Contest was another idea that came out of operational excellence. It was an experiment in encouraging creativity, teamwork, and our competitive spirit. Over 50 proposals came in, and five winnings teams were selected. Each of these teams received $10,000 to actually implement their project, and they'll be highlighted at the Sharecase event. So if you have time, I'd encourage you to participate on October 12th in this celebration of innovation in IT that's part of how we'll be more effective and more efficient in the future.
The other aspect of goal number five I want to highlight for you today is the future of UCSF Project. At the Regents meeting in January of 2012, I told the Regents that UCSF demanded that we keep our excellence, that we were firmly committed, no matter what the circumstances were, that we would be great, and we would remain leaders.
We also told the Regents that, in fact, a focus on undergraduate tuition and undergraduate curriculum, while very appropriate for the Regents, wasn't what UCSF needed to focus on right now. More than 80 percent of all the revenues that come in at UCSF are from clinical care and research, both highly competitive areas that are under threat. And the Regents agreed with me in January 2012 to put together a working group that would look at the governance and the financial relationship of UCSF with the system.
Work done by this working group, co-led by Sam Hawgood and Nathan Brostrom, was so important in giving the Regents, President Yudof and myself input about who UCSF is and who we could aspire to be with this project. And I want to acknowledge not only the wonderful work by Dean Hawgood, but also Mark Laret, John Plotts, Mary Anne Koda-Kimble, Bob Newcomer, and Holly Smith, all members of our community who took time out to participate in this.
I presented my response to their findings to the Regents in July of this year. In that presentation, the Regents agreed to the formation of a council that would be advisory to me and through me to the Office of the President and the Regents.
I want to emphasize a few things about this governance project. One is shown on this slide. And this is a scholarly text by Richard Chait, a professor at Harvard, who's an expert on not-for-profit governance, and wrote this book, Governance is Leadership. His scholarly work pushed me and my team to think about how do you really use a board in not-for-profit governance to advance our mission at UCSF? Happily, we will continue to use his counsel as we think about forming this group, and our expectation is the group will meet by the beginning of 2013.
The most important thing I want to engage this group in is to make sure that we can be nimble and competitive in a world of healthcare reform and flat NIH budgets. But I also want this group to help us with our hopes and dreams, to make sure we're asking the right questions, holding ourselves accountable to have the kind of place that UCSF should be for the world.
Many people ask me, "Is this about privatizing?" I have to say that one of the most wonderful things about the future of UCSF project for me is it reemphasized my own and our campus community's passion and commitment to our public mission. In fact, a lot of what this is about is ensuring that we can do the high wire act we do every day, balancing our commitment and passion for our public mission with figuring out how to pay for it.
And so I think this governance project is so helpful for UCSF. And you'll hear more about this as we form the governance board. What does this mean for UCSF faculty, staff, and trainees? I would say it means an extra level of accountability, persistence, and commitment to our public mission, and our ability to operate no matter what the world throws at us. And I think that's a very good thing.
So finally, looking ahead. What am I going to focus on in the next academic year? Well, continuing to implement the three-year plan that you've just heard about is top of mind for me. People remain something I have a huge passion for, and I'm going to redouble my efforts on diversity and inclusion. As you've heard from Renee Navarro, and you could hear from any one of the leadership at UCSF, this is an essential part of how UCSF will remain great in the future.
Our financial planning processes continue to need to improve. And with John Plotts' help and guidance, we're going to continue to focus on that. The governance project, as I've mentioned. Philanthropy will continue to take a large amount of my personal time and energy. And I look forward to collaborations with John Ford and his team, but all of you are a big part of why people want to give and donate to UCSF. And I'm particularly eager to enhance the partnerships already set up with our faculty.
And I'm also going to focus, together with Barbara French and her team, on a strategy on how we can better brand and market UCSF. Now you might say, "Marketing UCSF? Everybody knows about UCSF. It's a great place. You've just told us about that." Well, it turns out in some areas we're a well-kept secret. And it doesn't enhance our mission or our aspirations to be a secret. So the branding and marketing campaign is a really important part of what I need from you.
Our focus in the branding and marketing campaign has been on One UCSF. What is a brand or a marketing strategy? How to think about this place that would speak to everyone in our campus community, as well as the outside world? That's not so easy. We each come to work, we put our head down, and we work on our little piece of UCSF and what that means. But in putting together the branding and marketing strategy for UCSF, this allows us to collectively think of who UCSF is for the world, what our aspirations are personally and professionally.
And what I need from each of you is to contribute to that enterprise wide One UCSF that can benefit everybody, everything you're trying to accomplish. It's my expectation and my belief that in doing so, UCSF will be even better than it is today. And I have to say, after three years as chancellor, I haven't left behind my innate optimism. And the final thing I want to tell you is, as I started with, the reason I'm optimistic is the great people of UCSF. So last year was a great year, despite some tough challenges. And I'm very, very confident that next year will be even better. So thank you for listening, and I'm happy to take any questions.
I think there's mics that'll be passed around for the questions, so please use the mic for people who are listening remotely.
Kate Volkman: Good afternoon. Thank you so much for your talk and sharing with us your vision. You mentioned a couple times tough times in Washington. And I was just wondering, how is UCSF making our case for federal funding in Washington?
Susan Desmond-Hellmann: So thanks for the question. The question is about tough times in Washington, and concerns specifically about the National Institutes of Health budget, which makes up the largest amount of funding that UCSF receives for research. So UCSF has, under Barbara French, a government affairs group. And that government affairs group works diligently not only locally, in San Francisco in the city and county, state wide in Sacramento, but very importantly through federal government affairs.
We've also made a decision to enhance our federal government affairs by adding a person in Washington, because this is a very important part of what UCSF needs to push, which is to make sure that, if anything, federal funding for research goes up. I also would acknowledge Keith Yamamoto, and many other faculty members, who are a big part of making our case in Washington. The case for how important research is that UCSF does in advancing the economy, advancing health worldwide, and serving as an economic engine for job creation is a good case. As we make that case, people listen.
It's easy to get lost in everything else that's going on in the world and in our nation now. So it's a very important part of what we intend to do. So not only making the case through direct visits and interacting with government leaders in Washington, but also through the great work that happens in research here, and making it visible.
Melissa: Hi. I'm Melissa, and I'm an EXCEL intern. And my question to you is what do you like most about being a chancellor?
Susan Desmond-Hellmann: Thank you for that question. What do I like most? I have to say what I like most is hearing about people's work. I am definitely somebody who really enjoys being around talented people. And the best part of any day that I spend at UCSF is when I hear about what somebody's doing. It may be a new program on how people learn to enhance the educational mission. It may be a great story about how someone's life was touched by one of our clinicians. Or it may be a research breakthrough, where I can see a cure or something that makes life better. Or it may be something that somebody's done in a free dental clinical that helps somebody have a health mouth, and go to school and be happy about that.
And, you know, hearing someone who's an expert, who knows a bunch of stuff I don't know, and seeing that passion, and realizing that, as chancellor, if I help the environment be a good one, they succeed, that makes me very happy. Thanks for your question.
Melissa: Thank you.
Lisa Cisneros: We have one from Twitter.
Susan Desmond-Hellmann: Oh, a Twitter question. We are so high tech.
Lisa Cisneros: From [Anna Deng] at Lancaster Ranch. Is there a platform to begin linking innovation into the health care sector?
Susan Desmond-Hellmann: Wow, that's a big question. Is there a platform to link innovation into the healthcare sector? Yes. Next question. No, it was a joke. The answer is yes, and actually one of my pet peeves on this question is there answer is there are multiple platforms to link innovation to the healthcare sector. You heard from Jeff Bluestone a little bit about what we're doing in terms of bioinformatics. But much more broadly across our campus, there is so much going on in health IT, and there is so much investment and so much buzz about health IT. There's also a lot of things that probably will go nowhere, and won't work and won't improve or change health.
For people interested in this, I would strongly encourage you, there will be posted on UCSF.edu a Dreamforce, which is Salesforce.com's customer event, lineup of UCSF talent with some talks about how we're bringing some of this information technology to bear to improve every aspect of our mission.
But I would say one of the things I'm most excited about right now is what you heard from Mark Laret about APEX. The ability for us to put day-to-day clinical care information into an electronic format is an enabler of a lot of other things. So even though I think we can declare that the big bang was a success, I think the medical center folks would agree it's a start and not a finish. What that enables us to think about is how any human being world wide could be linked to their healthcare provider and to have personal knowledge about how they can change their own health. I think that's tremendously exciting. Any other question -- yes.
Misty Loetterle: Hi, Sue. Thanks for this great update. I understand that there's a climate survey that's going to be launched systemwide. And I'm wondering if you can discuss what the survey is aiming to measure and why it's so important for this campus to be engaged.
Susan Desmond-Hellmann: So the climate survey that's about to be launched is all about something that, a couple of years ago, some incidences at campuses across the University of California system led [UC] President Yudof and the chancellors to start to have a dialogue about the environment on all our campuses.
And I think it was surprising to people like me who always expected — well, UC is a place for everybody. UC is a warm and welcoming environment no matter what your background is, no matter who you are and that we're good at diversity and outreach.
In fact, these incidences — these hateful incidences at campuses suggest that maybe we weren't. And so we put together at each of the campuses a group that's very much focused on the campus climate, what that would be like, what that experience of coming to our campuses for anyone, be they a student, a patient, faculty, staff.
As a result of those committees being formed across the 10 UCs and a lot of change on our own campus, having a vice chancellor for diversity and outreach, Renee Navarro, the Office of the President and the Chancellors want to reach out and say, how are we doing?
Are these changes making an impact? Are we making a difference? How does it feel to people who live, work, learn or seek their care on our campus? So this survey's importance is that we can not only measure that at UCSF, but we can look at how that compares across the 10 UC campuses.
Leland Kim: Hi, Chancellor. So in the past five years especially, technology has changed the way we communicate and continues to change the way we communicate. Today, you have five cameras capturing your address. And you're getting questions from Twitter. So my question for you is, what is the next frontier in social media? And how can we harness that power to better reach our audience and new audiences?
Susan Desmond-Hellmann: So it is a little daunting to have five cameras. [laughter] I guess one of the lessons of these last few weeks is, it's not the cameras you know about that are going to get you in trouble. [laughter] [applause]
I shouldn't laugh. There'll be something on YouTube, probably be falling on my bike or something. So I have to say that, for us being in a life sciences campus, there are opportunities, and there's challenges, each in their turn.
I think the most important opportunity that we have in social media as it applies to what we do is using the network effect. And I can tell you that the network effect for me in seeing what happens when you engage in the network via Twitter or Facebook or any other method of operating, it kind of democratizes how we communicate.
So anything from research to a patient who is worried to somebody who just wants to find out what's going on, globally, you're connected. Quickly and globally, you can connect to people. And that has such opportunities for us to change how we think about our sphere of influence.
I've talked to people about how we enroll clinical trials. I used to enroll people in clinical trials when I was in biotechnology. And I would feel like we would go to one university at a time, one medical center and enroll patients. Now, you can reach out to patients globally and tell them about trials where you wish to enroll.
So enormous opportunities. The most important opportunity for me is patients to engage in their own health. I really like seeing patients think about, how many steps did I take today? How might I improve my diet? What is my blood pressure?
And some of the things that have been possible in terms of my own behavior when I can access or talk to my doctor at UCSF changes how you think. You get instant feedback from knowing your labs or your measurements. So behavior change is an important part of the social network and what it can bring to bear.
So what's the threat? I think the threat is privacy. When you talk about social network and when you talk about being out there, privacy is so important to patients. I think patients like sharing and actually like to connect. But they want to know who can access their information. Who is going to know about me?
So we have to add a level of complexity to everything we do with social media because of privacy concerns. Very important and very reassuring to our patients to know that. The other risk is that we become so connected to technology that we forget the caring and the human touch part of what we do.
There's a picture that was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. And it was a crayon drawing from a child. And the drawing was the child, their parent and the caregiver with their back turned towards both of them typing on a computer.
And the point of the picture was really telling, which is like, hey, we're over here. What about us? So I love technology. I'm like always an early adopted. I got my smartphone and my tab and everything else. But when I think about great experiences I have had particularly in clinical care and actually in collaboration, they've often been when you're sitting, you know, having a drink with someone or when you actually learn about what somebody does at home that affects their health or their child or their family.
So I think, for us, making sure privacy and that human touch don't leave us are really important watch-outs.
Lisa Cisneros: Okay. Sue, we have another question from Twitter. This one is from Karen Gerhman. Would love to hear more about the move to expand marketing brand one UCSF campaign.
Susan Desmond-Hellmann: So the branding strategy of UCSF is being led by Barbara French. Maybe I can call on Barb to say a couple words about the strategy project and how it's going to work.
Barbara J. French: Thank you, Sue. The importance of the branding project to UCSF is, to accomplish our vision and to reach our goals, we need to more strongly engage our supporters and our partners and our advocates. So first and foremost, it's to really cement in the minds and the hearts of the people who love to work with us what we stand for, what we do and where we're going.
And so over the last six or seven months, I've been working with our leadership team and our UCSF foundation marketing committee and members of our faculty and staff to really come up with, how do we best describe what UCSF is and the impact we make in a way that no other institution can claim it?
What's our distinct and important positioning? So we've been working on that. We're wrapping that up. And we'll be presenting it to the leadership team and working with the communicators throughout the campus. In addition to my shop, there's about 200 people around campus who have various responsibilities for communicating to faculty, staff and students.
So we'll be working with them to tell them, how do you use this in the work you do? And then, later this year, I'll be presenting to the leadership team an idea of how do we broaden that message? Or we say in my shop, how do we amplify that? How do we increase the volume to make sure that people know about UCSF?
So we'll be rolling out some ideas and then bringing it forth to the campus. And the goal is -- looking ahead at 2014, as Sue said, is the 150th anniversary of Toland Medical College. And we want to celebrate that as the seeds for UCSF. 2015, we have the opening of the UCSF Medical Center at Mission Bay.
And so we're mindful of some of these great opportunities where we can roll out this effort and really amp up the volume. So people know of UCSF and step forward to help us achieve our goals.
Susan Desmond-Hellmann: Great. Thanks, Barb. [applause] So thank you all for coming. And I really appreciate the audience. And thank you, everybody who tuned in online. Thanks a lot.