August 1, 2018
A new fiscal year is upon us! The budget cycle can be tense and complicated and too often filled with disappointment. To someone from outside the university, it can be puzzling. Actually, even within the university it’s puzzling! Why on earth, with an endowment and $5 billion fundraising campaign, does the university not have the financial resources to fund all the things we need and want to do? Believe me, before I became provost, I wondered the same thing myself. So, if you’re interested, click on the first topic below.
Cybersecurity is just as important as fiscal responsibility and there’s no question the risks to all of us have never been higher. UCSF IT is taking on a huge endeavor towards protecting our data and information, and each of us has a part to play. They're even providing a handy password management tool that stands to benefit everyone.
Finally, three colleagues weigh in on a provocative article that I received from Matt Hirschtritt about mentoring millennials.
Let’s get started:
- UCSF Finances: “A nickel isn’t worth a dime today.” (Yogi Berra)
- Cybersecurity: The Password Change Project
- Mentoring Millennials: A new day it is
Do the topics here and the information on the UCSF Finance Blog shed any light for you? Do you have questions? Please send them my way at [email protected].
UCSF Finances: “A nickel isn’t worth a dime today.” (Yogi Berra)
Most of us work at UCSF because we’re committed to its public mission, but it’s really difficult to understand the increasingly complex world of higher education finance unless you’re directly involved in it. Money, or the lack thereof, has a huge impact on our professional lives, and it does us all good to try and understand our fiscal priorities and fiduciary responsibilities. The reality is, despite a $2.76 billion endowment and a $5 billion fundraising campaign underway, UCSF has significant considerations and limitations on how money is allocated.
UCSF Vice Chancellor and Chief Financial Officer Teresa Costantinidis started a Finance Blog towards explaining, in plain language, all things financial at UCSF – from budgets and ten-year plans to supply chain management and how our PRIDE Values affect our fiscal behavior. She also meets with many different groups to describe how it works. “We think it is important that everyone have as much information – more than they may want, actually – about how finance works at UCSF,” she says.
The blog brings a measure of transparency to that otherwise opaque process. “It’s not meant to be just boring financial data, although sometimes it is, because we love our boring financial data,” explains Teresa with typical drollery. “Really, it’s about writing things in a very personal way to provide people with financial information that is meaningful and understandable to them.” Hats off to Teresa and her team for making that “boring financial data” interesting and engaging!
So, let me break it down…
As a purely graduate institution dedicated to the health sciences, UCSF is unlike any other institution, even its siblings in the UC system, all of which have undergraduate students. While we do get critically important money from the state and from tuition, both of those sources account for a relatively small percentage of our $6.4 billion budget. Instead, nearly 80 percent of UCSF’s revenues come from what Teresa calls “highly competitive sources” – patient care and research. More than 60 percent of revenue is generated by our clinical enterprise, UCSF Health, while 20 percent comes from grants and other sources for the research enterprise.
“In the patient care arena we are in a competitive environment where we really have to manage ourselves carefully like a business, which is not typical in higher education. We have to contain our costs because we are in competition with an industry that isn’t trying to teach students at the exact same time,” Teresa points out. “It is critically important that we provide the highest quality levels of patient care and also at the same time excel at our education – and discovery-related activities.”
The research arena also requires us to control our costs. The grants and contracts we receive make some contribution toward covering our overhead expenses – known as Facilities and Administrative costs (F&A), or more commonly as “indirect costs” – but they don’t cover all of it, meaning UCSF has to pick up the slack.
I dedicated an entire issue of Expresso to indirect costs, so I won’t belabor the point here. The main thrust is that we don’t get enough money from our sponsoring agencies to pay the total costs of our research infrastructure and must always cobble funding together to make it work.
Our third area – education – has what Teresa calls “constrained sources of funding.” In education, that’s both tuition and state support. State funding makes up only three percent (!) of our budget, and it’s a shrinking portion of our overall resource base. Tuition accounts for only about one percent. While both are critically important in supporting the educational mission and we greatly appreciate them, our overall mission is supported by other funding sources.
But what about philanthropy? Don’t large donations pick up the slack?
The short answer is: UCSF receives wonderful donations, but that money does not typically pay for operating expenses. I detailed the efforts of University Development and Alumni Relations in this regard in 2016, and the points still hold today – philanthropic funds often are restricted and reflect the passions of the donors that tend to gravitate toward ambitious new ventures.
To summarize… all these activities bring in a great deal of revenue, but they are associated with major costs, and we essentially are always running on the margins. Other than the major gifts that are meant for new initiatives, buildings and the like, there is a tiny amount of discretionary money that can be used on new projects. Knowing this, you can really appreciate the impact of the Diller gift from last year – $500M earmarked specifically for students, faculty, and new programs…
Cybersecurity: The Password Change Project
My Tip of the Month in June 2016 was 1Password. I still think it’s a great place to keep track of passwords. But there’s a new option now – Keeper Password Vault. It’s free of charge for UCSF employees, students, and trainees, and manages your passwords simply and intuitively by setting up one Master Password. Keeper also generates strong passwords, auto-fills passwords across your apps and sites, and organizes passwords on all platforms and devices. NB: Keeper is intended for UCSF work purposes only. If you do use it for personal accounts, when you separate from UCSF, this information will be immediately removed and irretrievable. IT would really like your feedback. Please write to [email protected].
Keeper also is one part of a larger and very important initiative. On July 11, UCSF Chief Information Officer Joe Bengfort informed the entire UCSF community about an Enhanced Cybersecurity Campaign that requires all of us to better protect our electronic resources from the perpetually growing number of threats, both sophisticated and unsophisticated, and that is – change our passwords. I know most people will see this as a major pain, so I want to make sure you understand how important it is for this initiative to be successful.
Is there truly a problem? Patrick Phelan, chief information security officer reports, “We’ve experienced a dramatic rise in the number of compromised accounts, and requiring employees to change their UCSF network password isn’t something we take lightly. But the risk is real, and this is something we simply have to do to keep our patient and research data, networks, and systems secure.”
According to Kevin Souza, associate dean for Medical Education, and chair of the IT Governance Steering Committee (ITGSC), “IT Governance has worked closely with UCSF IT over the past year to understand the critical security issues facing our faculty, staff, and learners. The amount of password theft on UCSF accounts during the past few years and the increased sophistication of password thieves has put our community at risk and has led to IT Governance endorsing this required password change. We have advised UCSF IT on ways of making the process as streamlined as possible.” So, in May 2018, the ITGSC approved a change to the UCSF Active Directory (AD) Password Policy making it mandatory that all UCSF network passwords for accounts on the Campus, UCSFMC, and SOM domains – i.e., the one you need to log into your computer, email, and access the UCSF network – have a minimum of 12 characters with three degrees of complexity (uppercase, lowercase, numbers, symbols; choose three).
This brings me to the Password Change Project and efforts that include enlisting the help of a pilot group that went through the change process and reported on their experiences. Reaction ranged from “I’m not tech savvy at all, and it was a breeze,” to “There are a lot of instructions, and I ran into a few issues. I called the help line, but the individual wasn’t quite up to speed.” This user feedback was “taken to the lab” so to speak, and helped to refine the online material and identify knowledge gaps, ensuring that all client-based IT employees are well versed in the process.
The project team has gone to great lengths to provide the information and guidance that we need. Detailed instructions are available online. I suggest printing them when the time comes to avoid having to toggle back and forth. I carry multiple devices (laptop, phone, tablet, etc.) and am sure that you do, too. It is relatively easy to get locked out of your account when changing your password, so take heed and follow the instructions carefully to help make it a smooth experience – have all devices with you and do it all at once. Warning – the 15-step instructions might make you queasy at first, but stick with it.
Of course, you won’t be left high and dry but try to avoid doing this Friday thru Sunday. You’ll have the full spectrum of customer services during the work week – call the IT Help Desk or stop by one of the IT Health Desks for help.
In the coming months you will be notified via email to change your password and make it more complex. Don’t procrastinate, because after a maximum number of reminders, you will be locked out of the AD.
So, please – get in the right mindset (say your mantra) – reset your [email protected]$$W0rD!!!
Mentoring Millennials: A new day it is
“No. Try not. Do or do not. There is no try.” Yoda – the great mentor of the galaxy.
The JAMA article, “Mentoring Millennials,” sent to me by my colleague and friend, Matthew Hirschtritt, a resident physician in the Department of Psychiatry, prompted me to dedicate a story to the topic.
I read it with great interest and also had it shared with a few colleagues, Mitch Feldman, professor, chief, and associate vice provost of faculty mentoring; Patricia O’Sullivan, 2018 UCSF Lifetime Mentoring Award recipient and professor; and Sirisha Narayana, assistant clinical professor.
The article is geared toward “physicians,” but the overall premise can be applicable across highly traditional, hierarchical disciplines, so I’ll extend it accordingly. Waljee, Chopra, and Saint observe that the students entering medical school today were born between 1980 and 2000, known as the “millennial generation.” In some sense, they are a “disruptor” generation to the mentoring world: “Nevertheless, the values, expectations, and ethos that define millennials are perceived as substantially different from their predecessors and have caught the attention, and concern, of older generations. This is particularly true in medicine where training, advancement, and mentorship are steeped in tradition and where change often comes slowly.” Example scenarios are given and suggestions are made based on more twenty-first century approaches, e.g., “Flat vs Pyramidal Infrastructure,” “Micromentoring,” “Reverse Mentoring.” The article includes a table that balances characteristics such as impatient vs. efficient, entitled vs. motivated, and so on. It closes with words of caution if changes are not made: “…millennials are willing to look for opportunities elsewhere if they are not fulfilled in their position, leading to faculty attrition and high-opportunity costs in academic medicine.”
Sirisha is a member of the millennial generation, her mentors not, and Sirisha mentors millennials, so she sees the experience through many lenses. Like me, she saw the missed opportunity to acknowledge the presence of underrepresented populations and the strides they have made to be represented. She wrote, “Recruiting, retaining, and promoting women and underrepresented minorities who regularly combat the systematic stifling of their progress require refined mentorship and dedicated sponsorship skills. I suggest starting with this focus to best mentor a millennial rather than just thinking about generational differences.”
Likewise, Mitch reinforced the need for humility and respect (see #3 below). While he cited a 2005 paper by Bickel and Brown that claims generational differences to be the greatest challenge of all, in a broader context, he asserts, “…that a core competency of an outstanding mentor is the ability to work with diverse mentees, however diversity is defined… Differences in values, professional or personal, in world view, religious or spiritual orientation etc. may create challenges in mentoring regardless of the generational differences.” Rather than dwell on generational differences, he summarizes a few key elements for developing strong mentoring skills:
- Emotional Intelligence. The ability to perceive, use, understand, and manage emotions in ourselves and others.
- Communication Skills. In a qualitative study we conducted at UCSF, poor communication was the #1 reason for failed mentoring relationships.
- Humility and Respect. Cultural beliefs, worldview, and identity can influence mentoring practices. Conscious and unconscious assumptions, privilege, stereotype threat, and biases may have an impact on the mentor-mentee relationship. Competent mentors practice cultural humility, which is the “ability to maintain an interpersonal stance that is other-oriented (or open to the other) in relation to aspects of cultural identity that are most important to the [person].”
- Mentor Training. Like teaching, mentoring can be taught and learned. We are fortunate to have many opportunities at UCSF. Check out the various sessions organized by the Faculty Mentoring Program. Want more extensive training? Consider taking the comprehensive Mentor Training Program. Looking for ways to improve skills for mentoring across differences? Take the Differences Matter Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Champion Training, which is open, regardless of school, to all faculty who work with School of Medicine learners.
If you’re mentoring a postdoc, remember that they either are or will soon become mentors as they advance in their own careers, and mentoring has proven to have a direct impact on their success. Send them to the Office for Postdoctoral Scholars’ leadership and management training for current postdocs.
What response did 2018 UCSF Lifetime Mentoring Award recipient Patricia O’Sullivan have? She agreed that the article provided sound advice regardless of generation and that mentees will look for information more readily and quickly than mentor. But she added, “I have to admit that I am not prone to thinking about mentees as of a certain generation. Rather, the pleasure of mentoring is figuring out what a mentee wants and how my experience as a mentor fits…Mentoring experts describe mentoring as a reciprocal relationship. I admit I thoroughly enjoy mentees teaching me new skills or strategies…A skilled mentor will enjoy capitalizing on this resourceful mentee.” Her last piece of advice, “You need to listen to what mentees want or need and temper a tendency to make assumptions about mentees who, perhaps, are not just like you.”
Agree more, I could not.
Dan’s Tip of the Month
It’s as easy as putting a letter in the mailbox for us to help protect our drinking water and marine life by safely disposing of old medications. Luckily, UCSF campuses are close to a number of safe medicine disposal kiosks: Walgreens at 500 Parnassus (PHTS), Walgreens at 5280 Geary (VA), the Post/Divisadero Pharmacy at 2299 Post (MTZ), Kaiser at 1600 Owens (MB), and Walgreens at 1189 Potrero (ZSFG). To locate even more throughout the city and get helpful instructions, along with a list of what isn’t accepted, check out the San Francisco Department of the Environment!