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UCSF Chancellor to Deliver 2012 State of the University Address

Talk to be Presented Live in Cole Hall and Webcast on September 25

By Lisa Cisneros

The 2012 State of the University Address is set for Tuesday, Sept. 25


Chancellor Susan Desmond-Hellmann, MD, MPH, will report on progress being made to achieve the University’s 2014-2015 Strategic Plan and UCSF’s vision of becoming the preeminent health sciences innovator during her annual State of the University Address on Tuesday, Sept. 25.

She also will give an update on the next steps that UCSF is taking as part of the "Future of UCSF" project that she presented to the UC Regents in July. 

The UCSF community is invited to attend the address, which will be presented live in Cole Hall Auditorium on the Parnassus campus, from noon to 1 p.m., or watch via webcast on Mediasite. Audience members — both on site and online — will be able to ask questions.

Among the topics that Desmond-Hellmann will cover in her talk are:

  • Status of the appointment of advisors with operational and strategic expertise to guide UCSF through these challenging times;
  • Progress made toward achieving UCSF’s vision of being the world’s preeminent health science innovator as outlined in the 2014-2015 Strategic Plan and
  • Highlights of the past year, including accomplishments and major awards.

This is Desmond-Hellmann’s third campus assessment address since taking the helm as UCSF’s ninth chancellor in August 2009.

Transforming UCSF

For Desmond-Hellmann, one of the nation’s leading academic and business leaders, it’s been a transformative few years as UCSF implements its Operational Excellence initiative, which aims to improve administrative services while achieving significant cost savings; seeks to raise $100 million through its first-ever education initiative to support student scholarships and education; continues to expand its research and clinical enterprise at Mission Bay, where UCSF Medical Center at Mission Bay is scheduled to open in 2015; and looks forward to gaining the expertise of board members who are well versed and focused on the issues that most affect UCSF.

Chancellor Susan Desmond-Hellmann, MD, MPH

Susan Desmond-Hellmann, MD, MPH

The entire 10-campus UC system is grappling with unprecedented challenges and opportunities. In the last four years, UC's state appropriation has fallen by $900 million — the equivalent of 27 percent — even as mandatory costs and student enrollment have grown. Costs for health benefits and other required items are projected to continue to rise; absent an infusion in new revenue, UC's budget deficit could reach $2.9 billion in five years.

On top of diminishing state support, UCSF faces rising student debt, escalating employee benefit costs, flat federal research funding and health care reform. While UCSF receives $532.8 million, the most funding from the National Institutes of Health of all public institutions, its state funding continues to fall creating more urgency to finding other revenue sources through philanthropy, clinical services, partnerships with industry and foundations and voter initiatives on the November ballot.

At the same time, opportunities abound for UCSF, which is just two years shy from the 150-year anniversary of its founding by South Carolina surgeon Hugh Toland. Biomedical science is in the midst of a renaissance as breakthroughs in biology and technology hold great promise for improving health through precision medicine, which tailors diagnostics and treatments to individual patients, and through mobile health and online learning, which broadens the University’s global reach in education.

“This is an extremely challenging time for the University of California and for public institutions of higher learning all across the country,” Desmond-Hellmann told the Regents in July. “What is at stake is our ability to serve our public mission of providing access to world-class teaching and patient care and to carry out pioneering scientific research. At this time, it’s critical we have input from dedicated expertise that strengthens our focus and decision-making. The decisions we make today must result in a strong financial future that allows us to continue to be one of the best health sciences universities in the world.”