UCSF appoints Navarro first-ever Vice Chancellor of Diversity and Outreach

By Lauren Hammit

Jerolyn [Renee] Chapman Navarro, PharmD, MD

Jerolyn [Renee] Chapman Navarro, PharmD, MD

The University of California, San Francisco has appointed an exceptional physician and campus leader in the health sciences as its first vice chancellor of Diversity and Outreach, charged with creating and maintaining a diverse university environment where everyone has an opportunity to excel.  The appointment of Jerolyn [Renee] Chapman Navarro, PharmD, MD, as UCSF vice chancellor was officially announced today following approval by the UC Board of Regents.

In her new role, Navarro will collaborate with faculty, staff and students to develop and carry out a strategic plan for diversity and inclusion at the campus – and in recruitment and retention of faculty, students, trainees and staff.

The appointment is effective immediately, according to UCSF Chancellor Susan Desmond-Hellmann, MD, MPH, who noted that Navarro will serve on the Chancellor’s Executive Cabinet and report directly to her.  The cabinet seat underscores how important UCSF considers this diversity initiative.

“Dr. Navarro is already a campus leader in academic and diversity programs, and her insight and dedication have helped UCSF remain at the forefront of these issues,” Desmond-Hellmann said. “Creating a diverse and inclusive environment in which everyone has the opportunity to excel is important to this university and the reason why we felt it imperative to create this leadership position.  The breadth of diversity initiatives here on campus is a testament to the importance that the UCSF community places on creating such an environment.”

As vice chancellor of Diversity and Outreach, Navarro will work closely with other senior administrators to address issues of diversity that cut across faculty, student, staff and operational lines.  Navarro will serve as a campus expert on diversity goals, act as the campus spokeswoman for best practices, and establish and lead an advisory group. 

“UCSF has a long history of diversity initiatives and I am eager to continue the forward momentum by expanding outreach, eliminating barriers and supporting equity and inclusion for all members of our campus community. A key element is fostering a campus climate that facilitates success,” said Navarro, Health Sciences professor in the Department of Anesthesia and Perioperative Care, associate dean of Academic Affairs and director of Academic Diversity for the UCSF Chancellor’s Office.

UCSF long has been at the forefront of addressing health care disparities and community health needs while striving to deliver the highest standard of excellence in health care delivery, scholarly research, community service and training the next generation of health care professionals.  Navarro has been involved in each of these endeavors through her academic leadership positions and clinical work at San Francisco General Hospital, where she practices anesthesiology in the emergency department, operating room and obstetrics. 

In her new position in diversity and outreach, Navarro is especially looking forward to establishing a campus-wide multicultural center to provide space and resources that support inter-professional collaboration among UCSF faculty, staff, trainees and students for outreach, recruitment and diversity education programs.

Navarro has served the UCSF community in several capacities since joining the Anesthesia faculty in 1990.  Among her contributions was her directorship of UCSF’s first focused effort in Academic Diversity within the Office of the Chancellor in 2007, where she coordinated the university’s goal of increasing diversity among faculty, students and trainees. Navarro also has served as acting chief of Anesthesia for San Francisco General Hospital, Chief of the Medical Staff and medical director of the hospital’s Perioperative Services.

Navarro received her medical degree from UCSF and her doctorate in pharmacy from the University of the Pacific in Stockton, Calif.  She interned in medicine at Cedars Sinai in Los Angeles and completed her residency in Anesthesia at UCSF. 

During her 20-year medical career, Navarro has taught, mentored and served on dozens of committees and commissions for local, regional and national initiatives to advance the efforts of women, people with disabilities, African Americans and vulnerable populations as well as trauma and critical care providers.  She has received numerous accolades for her work, including a proclamation from the city and county of San Francisco making June 18, 2003, “Dr. J. Renee Navarro Day”.  Navarro is a steering committee member of the African American Health Initiative for San Francisco County and a member of the UC President’s Task Force on Faculty Diversity.

As UCSF vice chancellor, Navarro will receive a base salary of $270,000 and be eligible for the standard pension and health and welfare benefits offered to senior UCSF leadership. 

UCSF is a leading university dedicated to promoting health worldwide through advanced biomedical research, graduate-level education in the life sciences and health professions, and excellence in patient care.