UCSF 2025 Generates Ideas to Enhance Campus Life in Health, Wellness

By Lisa Cisneros

UCSF Medical Center at Mission Bay is a key part of UCSF's future success as the leading university focused on health.

During the 36-hour UCSF2025 game, more than 2,600 players shared ideas that ran the gamut from “blue sky” dreams to what could be “quick wins” that the University can do to enhance campus life.

While the goal of UCSF2025 game – the first step in a process to chart the long-term direction of the university – was to elicit big, bold ideas, it also identified some fairly simple steps that the University can take to enhance campus life.

A major category of ideas to emerge from more than 25,000 ideas played by faculty, staff and students are considered “operational” – measures that will be evaluated over the next few months and could be implemented in the near term. 

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University Explores Big Ideas Generated in UCSF2025

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The ideas that fall into the operational category have been summarized and shared with Angela Hawkins, associate vice chancellor of Campus Life Services, who is now digging into the details of the ideas generated in the game as part of her overall planning for 2014-2015.

“We are at the beginning of our own strategic planning process for the coming year,” Hawkins says.
“We started to review the ideas and to further define them to see how they fit in to our own planning process.”

The multiple ideas for short-term operational improvements include those that address:

  • Improving employee engagement
  • Fostering health and wellness
  • Increasing sustainability practices and
  • Addressing transportation and transit issues.

Hawkins notes that some of the ideas to improve health and wellness generated during the game are those that Campus Life Services team suggested as a way to gauge support and get feedback about the proposals.

Culture of Wellness Growing at UCSF

In fact, some of the ideas will be implemented through the Living Well program’s roll out of a new culture of wellness campaign in the winter. Also, Living Well is partnering with Fitness and Recreation on a WorkFit program for departments and a fun Stairwell Challenge will be launched in March.

Some ideas will require making a business case and taking it up to campus leadership for consideration, Hawkins says. For example, ideas to find and dedicate spaces at each campus site where people can do yoga and mediation may take longer to implement.

“The campus right now is really evaluating the use of space and we would need to build a business case to take to campus leadership to see if they consider these types of uses to be a priority,” she says.

UCSF students enjoy campus life activities supported in part by campus vendors.

Many ideas understandably involved improving mass transit and transportation to and from UCSF destinations across the city. One futuristic idea to build a monorail connecting UCSF’s Parnassus and Mission Bay campuses may be new to some recent recruits, but Hawkins recalls that her predecessor Stella Hsu envisioned that high-speed monorail system years ago.

UCSF Transportation Services continues to work with the Municipal Transportation Agency to identify ways to improve service connections to the University’s major campus locations.

Ideas to improve the nutritional offerings are in line with what UCSF already has been doing through the weekly Farmers Markets and through the medical center’s award-winning cafeteria where sustainable food is on the menu daily.

“We also saw strong opinions on eliminating sugarary beverages and meat on campus,” says Hawkins, noting that aspects of those ideas are being investigated now.

A lot of good suggestions to boost environmentally sustainable practices were shared with Gail Lee, UCSF’s sustainability manager who is also taking a closer look at the 2025 game ideas.  These will be distributed to the work groups of the UCSF Sustainability Steering Committee for future evaluation. This will continue to support efforts that already helped the UCSF Medical Center to be named one of the fifty Greenest Hospitals in America.

“Our goal is to digest these ideas and if we are not the right department to move them along, then we will share them with whoever we think would,” Hawkins says. “Campus Life Services will do whatever we can to help us improve the environment and do things that the campus community thinks will make UCSF a better place to work and learn.”

For Hawkins, the game provided a fun way to solicit feedback. Campus Life Services regularly convenes focus groups and relies on several of its standing advisory committees to weigh in on topics including community centers, campus housing, transportation and family life to help identify gaps and guide services.

Hawkins, who actively encouraged participation among the CLS team in the game, is pleased that collectively her team finished third or fourth when UCSF2025 ended.

“As competitive as I am I thought it was very energizing,” Hawkins says. “It stimulated a lot of thinking through ideas and I enjoyed the whole method. I am not on social media so it initially took time to figure it out. Of course the younger generation went gangbusters.”