Graduate Division Leadership Response
to the UCSF Graduate Student Petition

UCSF graduate students first posted the petition reproduced below on social media in mid-June 2020. Graduate Division leadership posted a first response to the petition (addressing demands 1-3) on June 25. The responses here, which address the 15 demands in the petition one by one, were published on July 14. Further remarks may be added over time as events and plans come to fruition. 

Please note: An asterisk in the text of the responses below signifies that programs/initiatives existed, or that plans were initiated before the petition was published.


Dear Graduate Division Leadership,

We are writing to express our strong support for the Graduate Division to take a clear and public stand against the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and all other victims of police brutality. We also ask the Graduate Division to take a public stand against the epidemic of police brutality against Black people and Black communities. We believe that as scientists, it is our duty to use our voices and privilege to demand systemic change in our government and our institution.

Inaction in the face of recent events represents complicity and perpetuates various forms of racism and inequity in our community at UCSF. As an institution, UCSF prides itself as a leader in “advancing health worldwide” yet, in this instance of the public health crisis that is racism, it has limited itself to academic influence. We need ongoing committed leadership from all faculty and staff on this issue, not just from those whose jobs focus on equity or diversity.

The UCSF Graduate Division explicitly states that their mission is to “foster the highest quality of graduate education and postdoctoral training; to help graduate programs grow and evolve to meet the changing demands of science and needs of society; to nurture an inclusive and supportive learning environment; and to ensure that every graduate student and postdoc at UCSF can look forward to a meaningful and personally satisfying career.” To uphold these values, we demand that the Graduate Division take the following actions:

(Students submitted this timeline: "We ask that these requests 1, 2, and 3 are completed by June 30, 2020. We ask that requests 4 and 5 be completed by the start of the 2020 fall quarter. We ask that requests 6 through 15 be completed by the start of the 2021 fall quarter.")