Chancellor’s 2019 State of the University Address

Chancellor’s 2019 State of the University Address

October 21, 2019 0 By Stanley Isaacs


and welcome to all those watching the live
stream at Mission Bay, Mount Zion, Zuckerberg San Francisco General, Oakland, Fresno, and
elsewhere. Please join the conversation using #UCSFSOTU,
and please join us for lunch immediately following the address here in Cole Hall, and at other
campus locations. Lastly, please silent your cell phones, and
now it’s my great honor to introduce our chancellor, Sam Hawgood. – So thank you Lisa, and good afternoon everyone. Welcome to my sixth annual state of the university
address. Now the title of this year’s address as you’ve
seen, is Here and Now. Why did I select this title? Come with me into the world of fossils. Yes, I said fossils, and I will explain. So in the mid 19th century, Charles Darwin
introduced the idea that evolutionary change is marked by a smooth, gradual, continuous
change over the centuries. He came to this conclusion after carefully
studying the fossil record, but 100 years later in the 1970s the noted biologist, and
fossil hunter, Stephen Jay Gould challenged this idea of gradual incremental change. Gould introduced a theory he called punctuated
equilibrium. Instead of steady, gradual change, Gould’s
reading of the fossil record suggested that new species develop, and separated special
ecosystems, and then in a dramatic swift punctuation, there is an evolutionary jump. So we have Darwin with a philosophy of slow,
gradual evolution, and Gould with his hypothesis of intermittent periods of dramatic change. Now, I feel really badly not siding with Darwin
on this, but I actually find the analogy of punctuated equilibrium, especially useful
to my thinking about where we are at UCSF today, our Here and Now. Let me try to explain why. First, I really liked Gould’s idea that a
special geography, or ecosystem, the here, is important to nurture dramatic change. I think we all would agree that our here is
special. It is a region that has spawned some of the
most innovative technology, and biotechnology companies in the world. It’s also a region that is home to full great
research universities, and two national labs, with unrivaled intellectual and technical
assets. The amazing ecosystem that surrounds us at
UCSF allows us to amplify our own talents, and technical capabilities. Second, I like Gould’s concept that progress
is not slow and steady, but instead occurs in a series of dramatic accelerations. I believe that our generation’s now will be
seen by history as a dramatic punctuation in the scientific equilibrium. I personally have witnessed several examples
of accelerated discovery speeding up over the course of my life. Let me walk you through just one that I’ll
call the genomics acceleration. Now, the year I was born, the structure of
DNA was elucidated. The year I graduated from medical school,
some distance from here, the era of commercial gene engineering was launched. Gen and Tech was founded right here, and the
biotech technology industry was born. The year I was promoted to tenure professor,
the first human genome was published. Now that first genome took 13 years, and cost
about $2.7 billion. About the same estimate that I have is what
it took for me to achieve tenure, but at least now we could read the human genome, and that
ushered in the age of precision medicine, and clinical genomics. The year I was appointed chancellor precise
gene editing using CRISPR was shown to work in human cells. So now we could write the human genome, change
the code, and correct genetic typos. Today a human genome can be sequenced in about
24 to 48 hours at a cost of a little over $1,000, in our very own genomics core facility,
and this capability is already leading right here at UCSF to precise diagnoses in some
of our most challenging patients, and indeed to the discovery of new diseases. So I firmly believe that before I retire,
I will see our UCSF faculty cure at least one debilitating disease using genetically
engineered cells, or other forms of gene therapy. Now, it might be sickle cell anemia, a specific
form of cancer, a neurodegenerative disease, or an inherited immunodeficiency. I obviously can’t predict the particular breakthrough,
but I know it will happen here, and happen because of our faculty. So today, within this framework of Here and
Now, I’ll share with you some selected highlights, and some selected challenges from my first
five years as chancellor. And then I will share four goals that I believe
are critically important to UCSF’s success in the years to come. So let’s briefly review our journey together
over the last five years. Together we’ve enjoyed great success. Together we have also faced challenges, some
that we have overcome, and some that remain recalcitrant, but importantly, throughout
it all, I believe we have maintained that special character that defines, and distinguishes
our proudly public university, a university that is committed to serve the public that
supports us. It’s elite, but not elitist. A university committed to diversity, equity,
and inclusion, and a university with a passion for working together on the biggest problems
in biomedicine, and science. I hope you all share the pride I feel. It’s been really a remarkable run. The last five years has been a period of remarkable
growth here at UCSF. Growth in the number of people who call UCSF
home, growth in our budget, growth in our facilities, but most importantly growth in
our impact. So let’s start with people. At UCSF, we’re in the knowledge business,
and we critically depend on great people. Over the last five years, we have grown by
almost 25% in terms of the number of people that call UCSF home. Today, UCSF faculty, staff, and students number
more than 36,000. The excellence of this entire community is
manifest in so many ways every day, but we are always proud when outside institutions
recognize one of our own. In three weeks I will have the pleasure of
attending the awarding of the 2020 Breakthrough Prizes. These a coveted international prizes celebrating
breakthrough science, and this year, professor David Julius, who’s with us, Chair of Physiology,
will be recognized for his work in deciphering what’s behind our ability to sense the external
environment. To sense heat, to sense cold, and sense chemical
irritants. David’s work harnesses natural products such
as insect venoms, chili peppers, and wasabi to decode at the molecular, if not the atomic
level, the mechanisms of pain sensation. Who knew that a touch of curiosity, a lot
of brilliance, a teaspoon of hot pepper, and a little bit of bug venom was a recipe for
a $3 million Breakthrough Prize? So like much of the curiosity driven, fundamental
basic research that’s done at UCSF, David’s work may well lead to clinical breakthroughs
in new ways of treating pain, and alternatives today’s addictive therapies. So thank you for congratulating David, but
let’s congratulate all of the other faculty, staff, and students who have received awards
over the last five years. So together we have leveraged our Here and
Now to make progress in each of our missions. I’ll start with health. Five years ago we intentionally changed the
way we have been organized to deliver healthcare for over 100 years. The very first UCSF hospital opened on this
campus in 1917. In 2014 almost 100 years later, we successfully
transitioned from a single hospital on the hill, with a separate faculty physician group,
into a robust healthcare system that importantly had strongly aligned governance between the
executive, and physician leadership. We’ve been able in the subsequent five years
to leverage this internal strength to develop many clinical partnerships throughout the
Greater Bay area. With these partnerships, we are able to serve
many, many more patients than we did just five years ago. With these partnerships, our clinical services
are also now better aligned across the care continuum, giving us the capability to take
care of entire populations. Indeed, we have started Canopy Health, our
own accountable care organization to do just that. It may be hard to believe. It certainly is for me that the brand UCSF
Health, and with it, the tagline of redefining possible came into being just five years ago. As part of this dramatic expansion, we opened
our Mission Bay hospitals, and clinics in 2015 the following year we celebrated with
city, and County partners with the opening of the new Zuckerberg San Francisco general
hospital. Just 10 days ago, I had the pleasure of cutting
the ribbon, opening the new Baker Cancer Precision Medicine building. Next year we’ll add the Wild Neuroscience
building, the Valley Vision Neuroscience building, and the Pritzker Psychiatry building on the
Mission Bay campus. All of these new buildings will greatly increase
our ability to serve our patients in world class facilities. We’re now switching gears, and have started
to plan new hospital facilities right here on the Parnassus Heights campus, as well as
the Oakland campus. So coupled with all this rapid growth, I’m
pleased that we have achieved historically high patient satisfaction scores, and every
year we have been recognized as a top 10 hospital in the nation. Also in health, I’m very excited about the
plans in our school of dentistry to reorganize, and expand patient care, in what is being
called the UCSF Dental Center, and I hope that in the future we will be able to integrate
dental, and oral health care more fully into UCSF Health. This would allow us to provide even more coordinated
care, for the full spectrum of our healthcare needs. Our growth has in fact greatly exceeded our
expectations, or at least my expectations when I stepped into this role five years ago,
and I know personally how stressful the work in the health system can be at such times
of high demand for our services. So today I would like to thank all of the
staff, and clinicians who give their all every day. Now let’s pause for just a minute to watch
a short video that reminds us all of what this work is in fact, all about. – I’m astounded by what the garden offers
you, and how you really need to pay attention to it. I was able to translate my love of gardening,
and food into a career as a personal chef. I was on my way to pick up some items in Napa. I got up that morning, and I didn’t feel right. I was like spacey, tuning out. I had a brain seizure, and I ended up in a
ditch, and I totaled my car. Two days after the accident, they finally
came in, and they said, you have stage four melanoma, that has gone from a lymph node
in your left armpit, and has metastasized to your brain. I didn’t want to grasp onto the thought that
I could be dead in six months. I felt like I needed to go to UCSF. There was no doubt in my mind that was the
place. – No matter how high a dose of use of standard
chemotherapy. There’s a limit beyond which you can’t go,
and you cause a lot of side effects. A lot of toxicity. There was a ceiling. We were reaching that ceiling. Precision medicine unlocks the power of a
patient’s unique tumor biology. You’re just revving up somebody’s system,
letting your immune system kill the tumor. – [Linda] My first meeting with Dr. Daud I
had no idea what my treatment would be. I walked in grasping for a miracle. – At the time we had a trial. The approach had been to do surgically get
rid of the brain metastases. The idea that you could just leave an untreated
tumor in the brain, and just give that patient immunotherapy was new and unproven. – [Linda] The minute I heard immunotherapy,
something clicked inside of me that it was like, yes, let’s let my body fight this. Why not? I don’t have a lot of time anyway. I realized the gravity of what this diagnosis
meant. – 12 weeks into the trial we have our results
back, and I opened up her scans, and I was astounded. The brain metastasis had shrunk to about half
the size it was at the start of treatment, and that was just unprecedented. You know, we hadn’t ever seen something that
would work on brain metastasis in that dramatic fashion. It’s an amazing feeling to be part of this
tremendous breakthrough. Remember that in 2008 immunotherapy wasn’t
even considered a standard type of treatment for cancer. – [Linda] At the end, the scan showed that
there was no evidence of cancer in my body. – The trial that Linda was on, the numbers
just blew everybody away. Today, that approach that Linda used is now
an approved standard treatment for everybody with stage four melanoma with brain metastasis. Many times these ideas are not successful,
but if you’re gonna make advances in cancer, we’re going to have to think outside the box,
and we’re going to have to have high risk, high reward collaborations. There’s no place better than UCSF for that
type of science. – I feel great. I feel better than I’ve ever felt. I’m thrilled that I’m here. It’s that simple. – Now Linda’s story speaks to the power of
precision medicine, itself a story of our Here and Now. Turning now to research. UCSF continues to rank as the number one public
university for funding from The National Institutes of Health. As a campus, our singular focus on the health
sciences, and biomedical research has been a great strength. In 2014 in my very first university address,
I said that breakthroughs in the life sciences come from providing our scientists unfettered
freedom, and resources to pursue their curiosity and dreams. Five years in, I feel even more strongly about
that today, but as I also noted my first year as chancellor, future progress will most likely
be marked by research converging across different disciplines. To name a few, these include computer and
data science, engineering, mathematics, physics, also economics, law, business, and the environmental
sciences. These disciplines are all part of what is
called the new biology, and they are quickly becoming more important to research across
all of UCSF. So over the last five years we have together
responded to this era of convergence by building new programs at UCSF, recruiting faculty for
more diverse scientific backgrounds, and establishing transformational partnerships with other academic
partners, and companies in our region. From many examples, I will highlight just
two of these new convergent programs. Computing in all its forms, and the new data
sciences like artificial intelligence, and machine learning have become critical for
discovery across all of UCSF. So to strengthen our capabilities in computation,
and data science, we started a brand new institute in 2017, the Baker Computational Health Sciences
Institute. This Institute is now home to a growing cadre
of faculty with cutting edge expertise in data science. The Institute is also home to a repository
of the health record data from all six UCSF health systems. This is one of the largest, and most diverse
health databases in the country. Why you might ask is all this data important? Let me try to explain the excitement with
showing just one example of the potential power of this big data. On the screen behind me, you are looking at
data display of real California patients. Each line is a patient moving from disease,
to disease, to death as they age. Each circle represents a different disease
diagnosis, and the squares represent deaths. The big purple circle at the upper right is
sepsis, with many different disease maps ending there. So this makes for an interesting visualization
of massive amounts of data. You might’ve even seen it on the side of some
of our shuttles. It’s a kind of a Grim Reaper’s map of our
life’s journeys, but just imagine what it could mean if we apply machine learning to
build predictive analytics to test interventions that could alter even some of these trajectories. That’s the excitement. Now we’ve also made considerable progress
in organizing, and expanding our capabilities in what I call the population sciences, both
locally and globally. Data scientists are again, important for population
health research, but so are lawyers, economists, anthropologists, epidemiologists, and other
disciplines from the social sciences. Many important initiatives have been started,
including the population health data initiative. This initiative again provides big data, and
other resources for our population health, health equity, and health service researchers. Our population scientists, including our collaborators
from Hastings Law, and Berkeley Public Health, have focused on many important issues of our
day. They range from youth vaping, to health equity,
to boarder health. Making our own Institute of global health
sciences, a formal organized research unit for the university in 2017 was also for me
a significant milestone of the last five years. Currently almost 600 ECSF researchers working
on more than 1,000 projects are in nearly every country in the world. Just this last month, Sir Richard Featum from
our Global Health Sciences Group released an influential international land set commission
report providing a roadmap to eradicate malaria from the globe by 2050. Now that’s what I call advancing health worldwide. In addition to building our own programs here
at UCSF, we have initiated several transformational partnerships to take advantage of our here,
the remarkable Bay area ecosystem. More than ever, I think our success depends
on capitalizing on the talents, and resources of our dynamic neighbors. So over the last five years, we have brought
together academic institutions, federal agencies, for profit companies, and forward looking
philanthropists, to take on grand challenges at a scale that would just not be possible
for us at UCSF alone. Today, let me describe two of these partnerships. The first is the Biohub, a partnership between
the Chan Zuckerberg initiative, UCSF, UC Berkeley, and Stanford. The Biohub, which is housed at Mission Bay,
leverages of the talents of the Bay area ecosystem to focus on two major problems, emerging pathogens,
and an ambitious project that we call the Cell Atlas, and that is to map at the molecular
level every single cell type in the human body. The second partnership that I’ll describe
is called Adam. Adam is a partnership between UCSF, Lawrence
Livermore National Labs, The Department of Energy, the Frederick National Cancer Lab,
and the for profit pharmaceutical company, Glaxo Smith Kline. Just imagine how long that took to put together. So scientists from all of these institutions,
both nonprofit and for-profit work together on site at Mission Bay. This is really a paradigm shift in how we’re
thinking about partnerships, where people are physically working together in the same
location. The goal of Adam is to use the national labs,
unrivaled super computing, and machine learning capabilities to accelerate drug design and
discovery. Now, both of these projects, and I picked
these as examples, because they both focus on technology development, and the convergence
between the life sciences, computer science, and engineering. Both projects also bring together partners
that significantly augment what UCSF can do alone. Now, of course, scientific affiliations, and
partnerships are not new to the last five years. In fact, tonight I go to a gala to celebrate
the Gladstone Institutes achieving their 40th year anniversary. Our affiliation with the Gladstone, and their
search for science to overcome disease makes UCSF stronger. So join me in congratulating our partners
at the Gladstone for this milestone anniversary. So turning now to education. UCSFs five professional programs, dentistry,
medicine, nursing, pharmacy, and physical therapy, and our graduate division consistently
rank as top programs nationwide in their fields, and they consistently attract the world’s
most talented students. UCSF is and continues to be a leader in evidence-based
innovation educational programs. All of our programs have been very active
over the last five years in curriculum innovation, and new ways to prepare our learners for the
full range of careers that are open to them. These reforms reflect a tremendous amount
of work by our educators and learners, and I thank them for that. Let’s take a brief look at three new initiatives
that have been launched in just the last two years that are reflective of all of this hard
work. In 2018, The School of Pharmacy reformed their
Pharm D curriculum moving to a 36 month program to uniquely prepare pharmacists to drive change
across the complex medication landscape. The new Pharm D degree program is differentiated
from almost all of their peers by relying on an incredibly strong foundation in scientific
thinking. With this new curriculum, our graduates are
ready to lead in the midst of high speed changes in pharmacy and healthcare. Also in 2018, The School of Nursing welcomed
its first cohort of students to its Doctor of Nursing Practice program. This new program is a critical part of our
effort to increase the number of doctorally prepared nurses who can meet the complex needs
of our patients. Last year, the San Joaquin program in Medical
Education was transferred from The School of Medicine at UC Davis, to The School of
Medicine at UCSF. This transfer paved the way for us opening
a true branch campus of UCSF in Fresno. This enabled The School of Medicine this year
to welcome its very first cohort of students who are passionate about engaging with the
community, and the underserved populations in the Central Valley. Several initiatives have ultimately undertaken
to improve the student life, and wellbeing across all of our programs. Perhaps most importantly is the Brilliant
Minds pillar of our fundraising campaign, a pillar to raise funds for our education
mission. This effort is focused on reducing professional
student debt through scholarships, and building the discovery fund to support our graduate
students. The Brilliant Minds pillar has been very successful
to date, and will continue to be a major, major focus of our campaign in its last year. In 2017 we opened The Student Success Center
right here on Parnassus Heights to bring together under one roof, a wide range of key student
services, and we are now under construction, or in the final phases of planning new multicultural
centers on both the Parnassus Heights, and Mission Bay campuses. So speaking of construction, I’ve already
mentioned the very ambitious construction schedule on the Mission Bay campus over the
last five years. Adding to this work, we will soon break ground
on a research building on the Zuckerberg San Francisco General Campus. In my 2017 address, I pledged to pivot, and
begin the planning to revitalize the facilities of our Parnassus Heights campus. With input from hundreds of stakeholders,
including our neighbors, we recently unveiled, in fact, if you go to the website on Monday,
we unveiled the comprehensive Parnassus Heights plan. This plan is a bold vision for the revitalization
of Parnassus Heights over the next two to three decades. I want to recognize everyone who devoted time,
energy, and ideas in this extensive, and inclusive planning process. As provost, Dan Lowenstein stated in introducing
the plan, he said this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to create a destination campus
that supports an innovative ecosystem of human centric science, a campus where scientists,
clinicians, learners, and staff can do their very best work, and where patients, visitors,
and neighbors can experience the best that UCSF has to offer. We are currently fully engaged in planning
the first major projects of what we’re calling phase one of the campus revitalization, a
new hospital at the Helen Dilla Medical Center on the Eastern end of campus, a new academic,
and research building on the Western end of campus, and a new Irving street entry as a
visible pathway onto the campus. More information on these projects will be
available to you all in the next few months. Now, many of the programs, and initiatives
that I’ve mentioned to date have been catalyzed by the remarkable success of our philanthropic
campaign for UCSF’s future. A campaign that was predicated from the start
on our here and now. This campaign is now in its final year, incredibly
just two years after the public launch in October, 2017, and I’d like to take just a
minute to thank our foundation board, and all of the supporters, and volunteers who
have made the campaign such a great success to date. The success of the campaign has complimented
a strong year over year financial operating performance of the university for the last
five years, and I’m pleased to report as I have in the past, that the financial state
of the university is strong. In the last five years, our total revenues,
UCF Health and campus together have increased nearly 50%. Importantly, we have posted a positive net
income for each of the last five years. Now our longer term projections extend those
trends into the future, enabling us to plan for ongoing investment in people, programs,
and facilities, but while our financial position and outlook are positive, we must continue
to build in financial resiliency, resiliency to weather changes in the economic outlook,
such as major changes in federal policy around health care, or research funding, or a possible
recession. Along with these achievements, and there are
many more, we have also faced challenges. Unquestionably, we are living in extraordinarily
challenging times. Our society faces increasingly complex problems
of social justice and polarization, not just in San Francisco, but in the Bay area, in
the United States, and indeed around the entire globe. Perhaps foremost amongst these complex problems
is the challenge of growing inequality in our societies, inequity in health access and
outcomes, and in income and opportunity. These inequalities and inequity broadly affect
both our UCSF family, and the communities we serve. The rising cost of living in the Bay area
further exacerbates the inequalities amongst us. The total cost of living in San Francisco
is now 60% higher than the US average, and housing is nearly three times more expensive
than most other cities in the nation. I don’t need to tell you these facts, but
the rising costs put great strain on many members of our community, particularly our
students and our staff. Unfortunately, there are no easy solutions
to these challenges, but we must together work on those solutions that are indeed within
our reach. We are striving to achieve competitive local
market based salaries, and benefits for all, and we’re continuing to expand access to below
market housing and childcare. However tough these challenges are, we are
chipping away at them in multiple ways, and we’ll continue to do so. This summer we opened the Tidelands, a new
housing complex at Mission Bay that allows us to offer an additional 700 learners housing
at below market rates. Next year we will open 70 units in our first
dedicated apartment building for faculty near the Mount Zion campus, and soon we will open
a new childcare facility midway between Parnassus and Mount Scion to compliment the existing
centers on Parnassus, and at Mission Bay. These and other efforts to keep UCSF accessible
and affordable will continue, but I recognize the urgency to do more. Equally important, we are committed to expanding
our initiatives to reduce unconscious bias, microaggressions, and address the differential
experience of those who are underrepresented in our community. We will continue to work on those things that
are within our control so that everyone in the UCSF community feels a sense of belonging,
a sense of security, a sense of continuity, and most importantly a sense of equity. The need for this work is both immediate and
enduring. So now let’s turn to the future. Obviously many specific projects, and initiatives
are either underway, or being planned across the university, many more than I could possibly
address today. So I will share just four over arching goals
that seem to me important, goals that I believe are important to UCSF’s success in the years
to come. Those four goals are one, to foster innovation,
two, to build value added partnerships. Three, to bolster financial resiliency, and
four, to nurture our culture, and empower our people. So first, innovation. To remain at the forefront of our missions,
and to continue to be an inspiration for the nation, we must not rest on our laurels. We must always be looking for emerging forces
of disruption. What I like to call future scanning, and we
must be willing to act in response. Now, this of course is not a new call to action. UCSF has been known for innovation throughout
its history, whether it be the birth of the biotech industry in the 1970s, the groundbreaking
ways to manage the AIDS epidemic in the ’80s, the reorganization of our graduate programs,
freeing them of departmental restrictions, or the many clinical innovations that have
arisen out of UCSF such as clinical pharmacists, and the hospitalist movement. With this great history of innovation, why
continue to call it out as a future goal? Strangely, it is our success that drives me
to highlight it. Andy Grove, a hugely successful CEO of Intel,
and a onetime mentor for me famously said, success leads to complacency, and complacency
leads to failure. So as we grow larger, and more complex, we
must intentionally guard against the complacency that some mature organizations suffer, and
like it or not, after 150 years we are a mature organization. That we can all name potential future disruptors
such as gene editing, artificial intelligence, digital transformation, automation, robotics,
payment, and political reform, and so, so many others, but I’ll highlight just three
from my future scan. Please do not feel left out if I do not mention
your favorite, just double down on it, and I’ll hear about it eventually. So first, digital transformation. I am very excited that one of the three pillars
developed by UCFS Health in the 2025 strategic plan is to accelerate digital innovations
to shape the future of healthcare. The topic of data science, and digital technology
was also a big theme from last year’s School of Medicine’s strategic plan. Our new digital patient experience project
is an ambitious multi-year effort to design, and implement a coordinated digital healthcare
experience. Ongoing work in our center for digital health
innovation, and our digital collaboration, and many other initiatives across the campus
will compliment this project. There is just so much opportunity in this
space, but in some areas we’re already leaders. I was very excited to learn just weeks ago,
that recent work here at UCSF in clinical image analysis was the very first, the very
first artificial intelligence application ever approved by the FDA for clinical use. To build on this, we announced this week the
launch of the UCFS Center for Intelligent Imaging. Our aim is nothing short of making UCSF the
premier digitally enabled university, and health system in the world. The second opportunity I’ll mention today
is the living therapeutics revolution. Using cells to treat disease has the potential
to be the third pillar of medicine along with small molecule, and protein drugs. Engineered T-cells, as many of you know currently
in clinical trials to treat patients with some types of cancer. However, the field is very much in its infancy,
and UCSF is poised to take a leadership role in this emerging field of what I call living
therapeutics. Just this year alone, our faculty have published
several groundbreaking advances in synthetic biology, and cell engineering that provide
exciting windows into the future. We have plans well underway to support these,
and other exciting basic advances with GMP grade cell manufacturing, a cell factory,
if you like, and stronger clinical trial support. Once again, our goal is to be a premier center
of innovation in cell, and gene therapy. The third opportunity I see in my future scan
is to continue innovation in education, and lifelong learning with two future forces in
mind. The first force is the likelihood that technologic
advances will supplant some human tasks, but in a wide range of occupations. So we should be thinking now as a university
about how we respond to this force in ways that we might help our staff adapt to the
changing relationships between learning, work, and economic security. Programs that offer opportunities for retooling,
or up-skilling throughout a career, perhaps more than once, are a potential solution we
should embrace, what some call the 60 year curriculum. The second force to consider are advances
in learning science that are generating new insights into how people successfully acquire
knowledge or skills. As a research university with strengths in
cognitive neuroscience, we should lead in ways to teach, and prepare our learners in
the digital age. So my second future goal is partnerships. In my 2015 state of the university address,
I introduced the concept of transformational partnerships across all our missions. I’m pleased with the progress that’s been
made, but I also see future opportunities to solidify, and expand these partnerships. One thing I’ve learned over the last year,
the last five years that these partnerships are hard to create, and they’re even harder
to maintain, so to be worth the effort they have to create additional value for the university,
and for the people that we serve. Partnerships should either strengthen our
core mission, or create opportunities that would be difficult, or impossible to do alone. Now, specific partnerships that I think will
be increasingly important to us over the next five years, our expanded scientific, and education
partnerships, particularly with UC Berkeley, UC Hastings, and The National Labs. I think we have enormous opportunity to further
expand our clinical partnerships, supporting our Canopy Health Accountable Care Organization,
and further strengthening our health system. There are opportunities to expand our global
partnerships to work on emerging global health needs like adaptation to climate change, and
mass migration, and finally there are expanded local community partnerships under our Anchor
Institution umbrella. Now, let me just pause for a minute on that
last term, Anchor Institution, as it may not be familiar to all of you. Just what is an Anchor Institution? It is an institution that consciously leveraging
its resources to improve the wellbeing of the community that surrounds it. The idea of becoming an Anchor Institution
came about as a result of our partnership with the San Francisco Foundation last year. Together we explored how we can leverage our
resources as now a $7.5 billion a year enterprise, and a major Bay area employer to improve the
wellbeing of our community. The goal is to broaden our impact as an economic
catalyst, and increase our ability to mitigate, and counter the region’s growing inequalities. Last year, I focused the entire address on
the work we are doing with the community. That work is very consistent with our role
as an Anchor Institution. I highlighted the work that Dr. Margo Michelle,
and her colleagues in our Center for Vulnerable Populations are doing to study the root causes,
and consequences of homelessness, and I’m delighted that a wonderful gift from Mark
and Lynne Benioff just this summer will allow Margo to greatly expand this work. Just this last month, Dr. Matt State, Chair
of Psychiatry joined mayor London Breed in releasing a report commissioned by UCSF, and
the Tipping Point community. This report addresses the needs, and opportunity
for the most vulnerable of the homeless population, those with behavioral health, mental health,
and substance abuse problems. I’m very proud of all of our faculty, staff,
and students who are making social justice in our own community a priority. Now my third goal is financial resiliency. Of course, none of these other goals will
be possible if we do not remain financially strong and resilient. Part of resilience is continued value improvement
of our administrative infrastructure to help everyone achieve their aspirations. To remove waste and inefficiency, UCSF Health
has made great progress in their value improvement work, leaning lean management and operating
tools. We’ve just begun that journey with pilots
on the campus side, and further expanding lean value improvement work will be an important
administrative goal for the campus in the next five years. Our 10 year business and financial plan is
also a tool for resiliency. This tool we have developed to strengthen
our financial resiliency. It helps navigate our finances over the longer
term, and helps us prepare for, and mitigate problems and risks, hopefully before they
happen. Our current tenure plan projects solid sustainable
growth through 2029, but in order to achieve these growth projections, and maintain fiscal
health, we will need to make sure that our costs do not outpace our revenue. This will require discipline, and controlling
expenses, and a willingness to be proactive when future scanning suggests changes in the
economic outlook. Another important step to resiliency will
be to build on the great success of UCSF the campaign. During the campaign to date, we have received
gifts from nearly 113,000 donors. Incredibly 70,000 of those are first time
donors to UCSF. So stewarding the supporters, growing our
base, and getting even better in telling the remarkable story of UCSF are critical goals
for building resiliency over the next five years. Now, my fourth and final goal is to nurture
our culture. Each of our four schools, and UCSF Health
have current five year strategic plans. These plans address the ambitions, operating
environment, and competition that is specific to each of the areas. Of course, the strength of the school, and
health strategies is key to our future, but these strategies will only succeed if the
people working on them are fully engaged, and empowered, and our culture remains strong. We must work even harder under our pillar
of diversity, equity, and inclusion to ensure that all of us feel respected, and supported
to do our very best work. Settling for an environment that doesn’t let
everyone, regardless of their role, or background achieve their full potential is not an option. We must also remember the truism that culture
eats strategy for lunch. We are rightly proud of our culture, our very
way of being here at UCSF, but any institution’s culture is fragile. This is especially true during periods of
rapid growth, geographic dispersion, and national rancor. So amidst all the change, and amidst all the
noise, the one thing that we have in common, the thing I would encourage every single one
of us to do every day, is to recommit to as shared values, professionalism, respect, integrity,
diversity, and excellence. Those values are the key to maintaining the
particular culture that defines, and drives UCSF’s excellence. So in closing, let me return to where I started
with my fossil analogy. I must now admit a pretty big problem, a central
tenant to Gould’s hypothesis is that after a sudden punctuation in the evolutionary order,
the population becomes stable for many generations before the next punctuation. Here, the analogy with today’s scientific
environment no longer holds up. The velocity of change is just too great and
too unremitting. The advances happening here and now lead some
to suggest that we in fact lead in the exponential age. The rapid technologic advances no longer allow
for a period of recovery, or stabilization between punctuations. So what does the emergence of the exponential
age mean to me as chancellor? To me it means two things. It means we must develop the institutional
will to recognize future forces early, and then embrace innovation. It also means that we must have the courage
to transform our naturally cautious university. Yes, thoughtfully, and strategically, but
we must continue to position us for the future. Not for today. I am confident that UCSF will not only survive
in this exponential age, but will thrive, and provide national leadership at this time
of unprecedented opportunity. So as I have asked all of you in the past,
never lose sight of the nobility of the work that you do. We have the privilege of improving the health,
and lives of people we serve, training the next generation of leaders and scholars, discovering
new knowledge to benefit humankind, and the ability to strengthen our local, and global
communities. So I’m very grateful to have the opportunity
to work with you all. Thank you for listening, and thank you for
all you do at UCSF.