UCSF makes progress towards new business model

Courtesy of UCSF

The process of reforming UC San Francisco’s (UCSF) business model has begun with the appointment of 13 leaders to serve in the “Future of UCSF” committee. The initiative, which was first announced by UCSF Chancellor Susan Desmond-Hellmann during the UC regents meetings at UC Riverside, will seek to reevaluate the graduate school’s relationship with the University of California. Desmond-Hellmann has assured the regents and UC community that the proposal will not consider any privatization model or other method that entails becoming independent of the UC system.A prominent factor behind UCSF’s need to consider reform stems from the inability of one UC solution—raising tuition—to serve as a significant solution for UCSF’s financial needs; UCSF is highly unique from its fellow UC campuses in that only one percent of its budget comes from tuition dollars (the second closest amount is 11 percent while the highest is 34 percent). Alternative financing models would be a top priority of the group in order to promote the chancellor’s vision of allowing UCSF to stand as the world’s pre-eminent health sciences innovator.  “To meet our public mission, we must aggressively confront our financial challenges. A successful and sustainable business model will allow us to strengthen our excellence in education, research and patient care,” said Desmond-Hellmann to the UC Board of Regents in January.“The Future of UCSF working group is charged with exploring modifications to UCSF’s current governance structure and financial relationship with the UC system that will best enable UCSF to maintain and grow its excellence and to continue to deliver on its critically important public mission,” stated Desmond-Hellman in a letter addressed to the 13 committee members. UCLA Chancellor Gene Block, UC Office of the President (UCOP) Executive Vice President Nathan Brostrom, UC Regent William De La Pena and numerous administrators from UCSF are among selected leaders.  UC Regent Chair Sherry Lansing and UC President Mark Yudof recently endorsed the chancellor’s team.Desmond-Hellman sees the results of the working group’s collaboration as a step toward achieving the 5 goals that she has outlined for UCSF: provide unparalleled care to patients, improve health though innovative science, attract and support the most talented and diverse trainees in the health sciences, be the workplace of choice for diverse, top-tier talent and create a financially sustainable enterprise-wide business model.Recommendations made by the Future of UCSF working group are expected to be presented in June.

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