On March 26, 2015, members of UCSF Staff Assembly met with Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost (EVCP) Dan Lowenstein. Dr. Lowenstein, a renowned physician-scientist, was enthusiastic about meeting with our group and plans to continue to engage with us. Here is a brief summary of the items we discussed during the session:
EVCP Lowenstein began by expressing his deep thanks to the staff for the work that we do, noting that it is “astounding how committed we are the mission of UCSF.” He has been with UCSF for 32 years, starting in the Neurology Residency Program. He states, without a doubt, that there’s no other place he’d rather be than UCSF.
EVCP Lowenstein described the values he brings to the EVCP Office that are important to him personally—three in particular:
1. We all work at exceptionally high standards, no matter what our job or role is. This is a personal decision we make every day when we come to work. Only internal motivation can make this happen.
2. We are all committed to UCSF’s mission to relieve the suffering of humankind. We have a responsibility to relieve the misfortunes that occur due to poor health. No matter what your job is at UCSF, you play a role in this mission.
3. The power of community means that we at UCSF appreciate what can be wrought by going beyond the scope of our jobs. We know what happens when there’s synergy and we want success for others, as well as ourselves.
EVCP Lowenstein affirmed that what’s unique about UCSF is the nature of our community. Our silos are minimal, and our faculty are especially community-minded. He discussed his ideas and priorities for UCSF. Concerns highlighted include cost of living and recruitment. Of particular relevance to staff, EVCP Lowenstein and the group talked about pressures associated with the Bay Area’s raising cost of living—long commutes and tough choices faced by staff in the face of rising costs. The group also discussed staff issues including: appreciation efforts such as educational compensation/coverage, professional development opportunities, management/supervisory training, diversity training, succession planning, healthcare as well as childcare coverage issues, software solutions, and job categories with related skills assessments.
We concluded with EVCP Lowenstein requesting that we circle back regarding our conversation. We hope to have him return for another dialogue with UCSF staff.