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 first published on July 14. Further remarks may be added over time as events and plans come to fruition. The latest updates were made on October 26, 2020.

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:

7. Require all UCSF faculty to receive mandatory yearly training on how to effectively mentor across differences, in particular underrepresented minorities, and how to be an active ally to BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) graduate students. All faculty must attend, regardless of whether they currently have graduate students in their lab or not. Faculty must be held accountable for their progress in implementing said training by the Graduate Division and the dean of their corresponding school.

The Graduate Division Dean’s Office strongly supports this mandate.

1) Graduate faculty mentorship workshops

*The Graduate Division has paid for three sets of workshops in the past three years (May 2017, April 2019, and November 2019), facilitated by Dr. Carlos Hoyt, a nationally-recognized expert in social identity, social bias, and social justice education, training, and consultation. The Graduate Division has committed to bringing Hoyt to campus on an annual basis to facilitate faculty trainings in mentoring across race and difference. In May 2017 the workshop was by invitation. The next two were open to all faculty: 25 participated in April 2019 and 16 in November 2019. We would be thrilled if every faculty member took this training; Dr. Hoyt has the capacity to include any number of participants.

Anti-racist values and principles of equity and inclusion will be addressed in all other faculty mentorship development workshops as well. 

Graduate programs have agreed to list on the faculty pages of their websites the names of workshops taken and the dates on which they were taken by faculty (alongside faculty research interests).

2) *Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Training is available for all faculty: The successful Differences Matter Champion Training has been expanded to include faculty and staff from across campus and UCSF Health.

Departmental accountability is tracked. Faculty can also take the workshops to complete the Teach for UCSF Certificate in Teaching for Equity and Inclusion.

3) The Office of Diversity and Outreach (ODO) is currently working with a third-party vendor to develop an on-line mandatory training in foundational diversity for all faculty, students, and staff.

(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.")