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November 2017 - Issue 1

Summer 2019 Newsletter - Issue 5

Message from the Academic Senate Chair

In this final newsletter as Chair of the Academic Senate, I want to emphasize what a great pleasure and privilege it has been to hold this position for the last two years, and to see so much positive change at UCSF during my tenure. The Senate, working closely with the Administration, has been involved in much of that change. Examples include working with the Academic Affairs office on the 3FI (Faculty Family-Friendly Initiative), which has made progress in improving faculty life; planning the redevelopment of the Parnassus Heights campus, to become a model of high intensity and quality health care in concert with state-of-the art biomedical research and educational facilities, integrated into its community; supporting the open access initiative, in which UCSF Senate members are among the leaders in this worldwide movement, with UCSF faculty and students encouraging the UC’s efforts at achieving a fair contract with Elsevier and other publishers; modifying systemwide and local regulations of conflict of interest with private sponsors of research (see attached article), which are making relationships easier and more transparent; and engaging the faculty broadly in the very difficult issues of international risk and clinical affiliations, which, hopefully, will lead to positive outcomes of advancing science and patient care, without limiting academic freedom.

I want to thank all of the many faculty members of Senate committees, task forces, and faculty councils, who, in those capacities, have volunteered so much of their time to improve the lives of the faculty, staff, and students at our campus, and to improve UCSF itself. And I want particularly to thank Todd Giedt, the Senate’s executive director, and all of the Senate staff, who have worked so diligently and effectively despite being understaffed for much of my tenure. They have made my job easy; many of the Senate’s achievements are due in large part to their tireless efforts on our behalf.

My final message as Senate chair is about community engagement, the fourth pillar of the UCSF mission and the basis of my pie selection (see below). I have talked about faculty engagement in UCSF affairs throughout my tenure (that critically important issue is highlighted in this newsletter as well, in the article on SOM faculty), but there are many issues to address in our other communities. The US and world problems are exhaustive (and exhausting), and many of us are directly involved in addressing climate change, immigrant rights, poverty, gun violence, and many more. But we should also specifically address critical issues within the Bay Area community, such as the high cost of living and homelessness, so that we do not lose the diversity that has made our region so exciting and our lives so enriched, and so that committed, local businesses like Mission Pie will not need to close their doors.

For the last pie selection of my tenure, I am returning to my first, Mission Pie, and am highlighting their mixed berry pie, a summer favorite of mine. Enjoy!

Mission Pie

Apologies to Dan – it just seemed to go much better with a pot of tea on a summer day.

Community-focused Mission Pie was founded in 2007 with the belief that locally owned, financially healthy businesses contribute to social and economic health of their community. After 12 years of offering delicious food made from high-quality, ethically sourced ingredients, at price levels people in the neighborhood can afford, it is closing its door on September 1. Why? Over the last five years, their operating costs have increased substantially, mostly due to the extraordinary increase in the cost of living in the Bay Area. They are committed to paying their employees a living wage and offering health insurance benefits. In its blog, Mission Pie states that it will not abandon its core values, and concludes that it cannot survive in San Francisco without significantly raising prices and compromising the principles that guide the way it does business. Stop in before this highly ethical and amazing eatery is gone.

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What does it mean to be Faculty at UCSF? (print)

Part I in a Series – What does it mean to be a faculty member at an UC-affiliated health care facility?

In recent years, UCSF has affiliated with a growing number of health care facilities throughout Northern California. While there had been a clear separation between the medical center and campus in the past, the strengthening of the clinical enterprise and its integration with the campus as UCSF Health has created a unified entity, with shared core resources and financial planning, and common goals. This shift can be seen as part of a much larger trend of consolidations and clinical expansions of Academic Medical Centers (AMCs) nationwide. In the Bay Area, UCSF has largely kept pace with its competitors by growing its network through affiliations and agreements.

At UCSF, the medical center also contributes substantially to the financial viability of the University, often accounting for the majority of its revenue. In FY 17-18, nearly 2/3 of the $7B revenue came from UCSF Health, and accounted for 2/3 of the net income. Increasingly, however, both UCSF Health and campus revenue are being impacted by cost-control measures such as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. On the campus side, there have been reductions in state and federal support for medical education, and levels of research funding are stagnant. On the medical center side, conservative estimates of a four to five percent reduction in traditional revenue (some estimates predict as much as a ten percent decrease over the next decade) that would put most AMCs in the red1, which is leading to an even more rapid expansion of UCSF’s affiliated clinical network.

With this expansion comes the inclusion of new faculty and clinicians into the UCSF system. It is within this changing landscape that the Senate wishes to explore what it means to be faculty at UCSF, and how the expansion of clinical care impacts UCSF’s ability to support the academic careers of its faculty who primarily work at affiliates. For instance, will faculty at satellite facilities have access to enough trainees to fulfill the teaching requirements required for promotion? In order to explore this question and other related ones, it is useful to briefly review the Senate’s role in UCSF’s missions, and its ongoing support of faculty welfare and promotion.

A key part of the Senate’s charge is the maintenance of UCSF’s core academic missions, which include patient care, biomedical research, health science education, and community service. While the Academic Senate does not have authority over clinical operations, it does have purview over the educational mission and is an important consulting body, ensuring that the research and clinical missions are appropriately support by the Administration, while ensuring faculty welfare and high quality patient care. One concern, for example, is that an increased emphasis on clinical revenue could have a deleterious impact on the academic missions if UCSF faculty are increasingly encouraged to perform clinical activities while neglecting research, education, and community service. The latter components have traditionally not only contributed to UCSF’s high reputation, but have also played a major role in faculty members’ own ability to be promoted, depending, of course, upon the different faculty series2:

  • Adjunct Professor—Faculty in this series are focused on either teaching or research. University or public service is encouraged but not required.
  • Health Sciences Clinical Professor—Faculty in this series are predominantly responsible for clinical service and teaching (bedside, clinic, or classroom). Research is encouraged but not required.
  • Professor of Clinical X—Faculty in this series are predominantly responsible for clinical service and teaching. University or public service, and research is also expected.
  • Professor In Residence—Faculty in this series are responsible for teaching, research, and University and public service, and if applicable, clinical service to the same extent as those holding corresponding titles in the Professor series (below).
  • Professor (aka “ladder” or “regular” rank) – Faculty in this series are responsible for teaching, research, University or public service, and if applicable, clinical service.

In making the distinctions above, one should also note that there is a relatively new non-faculty series, the clinical associate, which is essentially a UCSF physician who primarily works at one of UCSF’s affiliates without formal teaching or research obligations. In all of the above academic series except “ladder rank, faculty must generate all of their salary through revenues derived from their clinical, research, and teaching activities.

As it is unlikely that there will be a significant number of faculty in the In-Residence or Ladder Rank tracks at affiliated institutions, teaching will be a major component of a faculty’s academic activity. However, will these faculty members have access to sufficient trainees to fulfill those teaching requirements? This past year, the Senate’s Committee on Faculty Welfare (CFW) and Clinical Affairs Committee (CAC) both explored this question, and determined that APM 210 stipulates that faculty must do some teaching of UCSF trainees; it does not specify the number of UCSF trainees. It does not say is that one does not get credit for teaching non-UCSF trainees. The key is that there must be some teaching of “UCSF trainees.” While the exact mix of UCSF and non-UCSF is an open question, the Senate will continue to push to ensure that all UCSF faculty at affiliates have access to at least some UCSF trainees to afford them the opportunities for promotion.

Another example concerns the support (e.g., research support) necessary to foster academic activities as UCSF faculty based at affiliates. As one example, there is concern that St. Mary’s-based UCSF faculty do not have equal access to internal grants sponsored by the School of Medicine as their UCSF medical-center based colleagues. This is an issue that CAC will pursue further, especially as UCSF continues to expand the number of its affiliates.

Future Discussions

As alluded to above, the Senate is concerned with the welfare of all faculty at UCSF and its affiliates. Indeed, many of these issues are being addressed by various Academic Senate committees and working groups, and some will be highlighted in future issues of A Slice of Pie.

If you would like to propose other topics related to the recent growth of UC-affiliated health care facilities that you think would be important for the Senate to explore, please email us at

1 Governing the University of California Health System: An Analysis of Issues and Options, RAND Health, Prepared for the Regents of the University of California (PR-1884-UC), June 2015
2  For more detailed information about the different faculty series, please refer to:

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Recent Modifications of Conflict of Interest Guidelines in Privately Sponsored Research (print)

New UC Policy on Disclosure of Financial Interest and Management of Conflicts of Interest in Private Sponsors of Research and Proposed Changes to UCSF Rule 11 are expected to Streamline the COI Process

New UC Policy on Disclosure of Financial Interest and Management of Conflicts of Interest in Private Sponsors of Research

Conflict of interest (COI) in research concerns financial disclosures that may compromise, or have the appearance of compromising, an investigator’s judgement through possible gain.

It is important to note that conflict of interest is not conflict of commitment. The main distinction between the two is that the former’s focus is financial, while the latter is focused on time and effort. Conflict of commitment refers to situations in which outside professional activities may have the potential to interfere with a faculty’s primary commitment to the mission of the University.

UC addresses the various aspects of financial conflicts of interests in research through a number of principles, guidelines and policies intended to promote the conduct of research without bias and with the highest scientific and ethical standards. Each campus is responsible for implementing the conflict of interest policies and developing review procedures.

APM 028 governs the disclosure and review of a principal investigator’s finanacial interest in private sponsors of research. A critical component of the disclosure is Form 700-U, the “Statements of Economic Interests for Principal Investigators,” through which the investigators disclose they have a financial interest in the sponsor company. In October 2018, UC President Napolitano enacted the new Policy COI 700, the Policy on Disclosure of Financial Interests and Management of Conflicts of Interest in Private Sponsors of Research, which replaced that component of APM 028 in which compliance to Form 700-U is assessed, and expanded it to include all University employees. The policy allows for greater local flexibilty and speed in this process, allowing Designated Campus Reviewer (DCR) more breadth to conduct the review, rather than pass it on to the Independent Substantive Review Committee (ISRC). The UCSF ISRC is the Chancellor’s Conflict of Interest Advisory Committee (COIAC).

APM 028 was subsequently revised in April of 2019. It now includes the Presidential Policy, which defines continued compliance with Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) regulations and review of Forms 700-U for all University employees, while the remainder of APM 028 describes the additional important principles guiding the conduct of sponsored research for academic appointees.  

UCSF Proposed Changes to Rule 11

On the UCSF Conflict of Interest website under the section titled COI Disclosure for Research there is a subsection titled previously titled Compliance with Rule 11 which provides:

Faculty who have, or participate in, a privately sponsored clinical study shall not concurrently receive any compensation from the sponsor, including honoraria and consulting fees, during the course of the study.  In addition, they shall not have any investment in, or serve in a decision-making capacity for (such as service on the Board of Directors or management committee), or be an officer or employee of the company sponsoring the study.

In response to concerns raised by several members of the faculty, the Academic Senate Committee on Research (COR) asked the Office of Ethics and Compliance (OEC) to examine Rule 11 and recommend if it should be revised.

In particular, these faculty members have reported that Rule 11 has caused them to decline professional activities such as attending conferences or acting on advisory boards for companies with which they are performing clinical trials. Note that the Academic Senate had advocated to have the name “Academic Senate” removed from the description of the rule on the OEC website because the Senate had neither recommended nor endorsed the rule.

The UCSF COIAC, which is primarily composed of faculty, invited faculty stakeholders to attend its meeting when the rule was reviewed and accepted written feedback. The COIAC determined that Rule 11 is essential to the substantive review of conflict of interest but that it should be clarified, which would eliminate many of the faculty’s concerns. Most importantly, COIAC believes that eliminating travel payments from the definition of “compensation” would remove most of the faculty’s problems with Rule 11.

In addition to removing travel payments from “compensation,” COAIC is recommending further clarifications in the rule, such as defining the “course of a study,” and noting that payments incorporated into an agreement are not a personal payments, and that contracts are now signed by the individual faculty and not on behalf of the Regents.

Noting that travel payment is not “compensation,” COIAC still advises that it is preferable for the sponsor cover the investigator’s travel costs by paying the vendors (e.g., the airline, the hotel) directly, which will avoid the appearance of a concurrent personal payment.

The proposed revision will be forwarded to the Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost for review, after which, the other proposed revisions will be revisited. The Academic Senate will notify faculty of any additional updates.

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Why I Serve in the Academic Senate (print)

School of Medicine Faculty

As part of a series highlighting the importance of shared governance, the Academic Senate has asked faculty who have been active on Senate committees why it’s important for them to be involved in the Academic Senate. In previous Slice of Pie newsletters, we heard from the faculty from the School of Dentistry and from Senate Chair David Teitel, who spoke passionately about his reasons for serving and how UC’s unique model of shared governance has evolved.

Given the diversity of UCSF’s schools and departments, a one-size-fits-all approach does not work for all with respect to shared governance. With this in mind, we have approached faculty from the School of Medicine (SOM), asking them why they choose to serve in the Academic Senate, and how shared governance contributes to their professional lives.

Why I Serve

The motivations to serve within the SOM are very similar to those put forward by SOD faculty. Incoming Academic Senate Chair (2019-2021) Sharmila Majumdar, PhD, Professor and Vice Chair, Radiology spoke about the unique opportunity in having a direct role in shaping UCSF into the “perfect place”. “The Academic Senate is a unique way that the UC campuses enable the faculty and administration to have a joint governance model,” she says. “In many cases it enables faculty to have a direct role in decisions made, in others it may be advisory. Regardless, in a place like UCSF with basic science, translational science and clinical faculty, the diversity of issues are immense. If I want to play a role in making UCSF the perfect place, I felt when I joined UCSF in 1989, I should be well informed and participate. With this in mind, and the desire to meet the exciting faculty working here, I volunteered for Senate Service. I serve on the Senate to work as a team with the administration and faculty alike and make a positive difference to my workplace and for others at UCSF.”

Since joining UCSF, Dr. Majumdar has participated in numerous Senate committees including Academic Freedom, Academic Planning and Budget, Equal Opportunity, Graduate Council, Clinical Affairs Committee, and has represented the division at the UC Systemwide level with the systemwide Academic Senate.

Incoming Academic Senate Vice Chair (Vice Chair 2019-2021 and Chair 2021-2023) Steven W. Cheung, MD, Professor, Otolaryngology- Head and Neck Surgery, spoke about the importance of shared governance, hearing from a diversity of voices, and the ability to shape policy. “Shared governance, the essential partnership between faculty and administration, has been critical to the success of the University of California,” he says.  “I serve in the Academic Senate to advance the missions of UCSF.  I enjoy hearing diverse viewpoints from the faculty, cherish representing opinions that advance the common good, and value working with administrative leaders to realize goals and aspirations of the collective.  Through systemwide Academic Senate service, I have an active voice to shape policy decisions that impact our great ten campus University.”

There are significant implications of this shared governance in action. For example, the Faculty Family-Friendly Initiative (3FI), which aims to support faculty in their efforts to balance the needs of their career and family, identified access and affordability of childcare as a major issue facing our campus community.  The planned closure of Laurel Heights Childcare in fall 2020 disadvantages faculty primarily based at the west campuses (Parnassus, Mount Zion, and VAMC).  While the expanded Mission Bay Childcare facility remains an option for west campuses faculty, cross-town travel for drop-off and pickup will likely be infeasible.  

The Committee on Faculty Welfare, which Cheung currently serves as chair, responded to this problem by working with Vice Provost-Academic Affairs Brian Alldredge to find a solution.  VPAA Alldredge and Senior Associate Vice Chancellor-Campus Life Services Clare Shinnerl were quick to identify suitable replacement childcare seats by summer 2019.

The Chair of the Committee on Equal Opportunity (EQOP) Jae Sevelius, PhD, Associate Professor in Residence, Medicine spoke about the meaningful impact participating with the Senate provides. “I have served on EQOP for several years now and currently have the honor of chairing this committee. This has been an invaluable learning opportunity, as I am passionate about our committee’s mission to advance campus- and UC-wide initiatives to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion. Serving on this committee has not only allowed me to contribute meaningfully to upholding this commitment, but also to build connections and solidarity within UCSF and across UC campuses with others who share our mission,” she says.

Most recently, EQOP partnered with the Committee on Academic Personnel, the Academic Affairs Office, and the Schools’ Associate Deans of Academic Affairs to develop a Guidance Document for Faculty Advancement Contributions to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI). This document will be shared with faculty so they can better include their own DEI contributions within personnel packets.

Because of the nature of UCSF as a health sciences campus, the Senate Division has several committees and faculty councils that have no counterpart at the systemwide Academic Senate. One such committee, Clinical Affairs, occupies the niche between the intersection of UCSF’s clinical and academic missions.

Steven Hays, MD, Professor, Medicine, Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care, Allergy and Sleep Medicine and the Chair of the Clinical Affairs Committee spoke about how rewarding work on such a Senate committee can be. “Why be a passenger on the ship, when you can grab an oar and help guide its direction?,” he says. “I first joined the Academic Senate four years ago when I became a member of the Clinical Affairs Committee. I had responded to a call to serve after I had started to feel established in my career. I reached a point where I not only wanted to participate, but I felt that I needed to participate in our self-governance.

“As the director of a clinical program, I was very interested in joining a committee that provided an interface between the operations of the Medical Center and the academic mission of the University - the Clinical Affairs Committee was right up my alley. It has been extremely rewarding to be actively involved in some important UCSF developments that impact directly on the careers, livelihood and success of the faculty. Most importantly, participating in the Academic Senate has made me feel like a member of this amazing crew, and not just a passenger on the ship.”

Finally the Senate spoke to Steven Hetts, MD, Professor in Residence, Radiology, systemwide Senate Representative to the Regents Health Service Committee and Chair of the Clinical Affairs Committee. “I serve to meet people beyond my own specialty and department, gaining a better sense of who works at the university and the good work they do. I also want to have a say in the direction the university is taking and how it fulfills its academic mission. Shared governance is an important part of fulfilling this mission and the Senate is the body that allows us to have this input,” he says.

For more information on serving on an Academic Senate committee, please click here to provide us with committees you’re interested in serving on

Continuous Faculty Engagement – Critical for Shared Governance

In addition to regular committee meetings, throughout the year, the Senate hosts town hall meetings designed to give faculty a platform to voice their concerns and provide direct feedback on how best to handle current issues affecting the University. In 2018-2019, the Senate hosted a record of five town halls to address pressing faculty concerns. In addition to town halls and email notifications, we are exploring new ways to engage faculty in an effort to stay on top of issues in this fast-paced environment. Future town hall topics will be cultivated from discussions that arise during Senate Committees and Council meetings.

In addition to being engaged in moving the academic and clinical missions forward, the Academic Senate also hands out a total of $500,000 in small individual and group grants each year. It also participates separately bi-annually in the RAP Research Award process.

The Senate Awards from Chancellor’s Funds were created in 2014 to support faculty life. The UCSF Senate is the only Senate office in the system with these types of funds. It aims to support faculty with seed funding to build initiatives within their respective units to benefit faculty life. The Senate also supports, at faculty request, the following campuswide programs: Open Science/Open Access, Childcare, plus Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion matters. It also sources conference travel grants. The funds are distributed by Academic Senate committees and school faculty councils. Keep your eyes open for 2020 submission deadlines at


Created by UC Board of Regents Standing Order 105, the UC San Francisco (UCSF) Academic Senate is empowered to exercise direct control over such academic matters as admissions for degrees and curricula, which are of central importance to the University. The UCSF Division of Academic Senate provides an independent forum to discuss faculty-related campus wide academic concerns. In other areas, the Senate exercises an active advisory role. The Academic Senate works within the larger body of UCSF, 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.

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