Priorities

Soon after I became chancellor in 2009, I outlined a series of priorities: Patient Care, Discovery, Education, People and Business. My job, as I see it, is to breathe life into these priorities, to make them more than just words, to connect the dots and show how they relate to one another in ways both obvious and subtle.

My job is also to inspire people to attain goals attached to those priorities in ways that are innovative, and of global importance. And my job is to provide coherence for what we’re doing, along with a roadmap for where we’re going.

As everyone now knows, I have spent the bulk of my professional career in business, mostly at Genentech. While many of the skills I learned there are transferrable to the university setting, the biggest difference, I’ve found since returning to this university I love, is the absence of a single, easily understood benchmark, like shareholder value, to unify us.

A place like UCSF has a variety of missions, and none of us would have it any other way. This means that my job is to demonstrate how my five priorities are intrinsically interconnected. We can’t deliver superb, patient-centric health care without UCSF’s outstanding people, or if our business processes get in the way of these people doing their jobs. Discovery is, to my mind, inextricably linked to clinical outcomes. And education drives us toward excellence – students are the first ones to know when you’re off your game – and ultimately determines the quality of our next generation of caregivers and scientists.

The priorities are also a blueprint we can use to maintain our position as a world leader in biomedical research and outstanding health care. As a community and as individuals, we strive to make a difference by cultivating good health and wellbeing in the U.S. and beyond. And in making differences both small and profound, we’re changing the world for the better.

One of my goals when I started this website last summer was to show the priorities at work. I want to give you a sense not only of what I think matters, but what everyone else at UCSF cares about, too. Toward that end, I welcome your input.