Chancellor Forms National Leadership Council to Help Steer Future of UCSF

By Elizabeth Fernandez

UCSF Chancellor Susan Desmond-Hellmann, MD, MPH, has formed a distinguished advisory group of renowned leaders from health care, biomedical sciences and technology to partner with her and her leadership team to guide the future of UCSF.

The UCSF National Leadership Council will serve as strategic advisors to the chancellor and, through the chancellor, to UC President Mark Yudof and the Board of Regents.

“I am excited that these stellar individuals have agreed to serve on our council and believe that this group will be a valuable asset to UCSF, you and the Regents,” Desmond-Hellmann said in a March 6, 2013 letter to Yudof, which was forwarded to the Regents. Desmond-Hellmann wrote Yudof in response to the Regents’ request for an update on the Future of UCSF project.

The UCSF National Leadership Council

William Brody, MD, PhD,

William Brody, MD, PhD, president of the Salk Institute and former president of Johns Hopkins University

Harvey Fineberg, MD, PhD,

Harvey Fineberg, MD, PhD, president of the Institute of Medicine and former provost of Harvard University

Art Levinson

Art Levinson, PhD, chairman of Genentech Inc. and Apple Inc. and former chief executive officer of Genentech

Paul Otellini, MBA

Paul Otellini, MBA, chief executive officer of Intel Corp. and member of Google Inc.’s Board of Directors

Mark Smith, MD, MBA

Mark Smith, MD, MBA, president and chief executive officer of the California Healthcare Foundation and former executive vice president of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Shirley Tilghman, PhD

Shirley Tilghman, PhD, president of Princeton University and member of Google Inc.’s board of directors

Desmond-Hellmann said the advisory group is intentionally starting out small and will “expand as needed.” The group will meet in July -- the first of three such gatherings over the course of a year.

“This council will partner with me and my leadership team to identify, frame and prioritize large-scale, enterprise-wide, multifaceted issues that are of great importance to UCSF’s future,” Desmond-Hellmann said in her letter. “We will also be coordinating the work of this group with our two other outstanding advisory groups, the UCSF Foundation’s Board of Directors and the UCSF Medical Center’s Executive Council. The contributions of these groups will, I believe, bring substantial benefit to our campus and community.”

The leadership council members are serving in a voluntary capacity. They will be reimbursed for travel-related expenses.

In January 2012, Desmond-Hellmann proposed to the Regents that UCSF form a small, high-level working group, called the Future of UCSF Working Group, to identify how best to secure the University’s financial future as a health sciences innovator in research, education and patient care. Among the 10 UC campuses, UCSF is the only one solely focused on the health sciences and the only one without an undergraduate program.

In July 2012, the chancellor informed the Regents that, at the recommendation of the working group, she was proposing the creation of a dedicated advisory group to serve as strategic advisors. She said a group of accomplished, strategic advisors could provide UCSF’s leadership team with valuable expertise and insight and could ensure her management team was focusing its time and attention on those issues that would best ensure a strong future for UCSF.

In her presentations to the Regents, Desmond-Hellmann has said that the challenges facing UCSF include a steady drop in state funding, increases in employee pension and health care costs, and reductions in federal grant funding for biomedical research, as well as cost and competitive pressures in the health care arena. If unaddressed, UCSF had predicted that these and other impacts would leave its finances consistently in the red starting in 2015. The chancellor said that her leadership team is taking steps to ensure UCSF’s financial health, but that additional measures are needed to ensure continued excellence in future years.