UCP emerged from UCSF's desire to document and expand its community engaged scholarship and work throughout San Francisco, the Bay Area and beyond. The Community Partnership Resource Center (CPRC) at the School of Medicine served as a model for today's UCP. To learn more about the history of the UCP please click on the links below.
Click here for the Task Force Report Executive Summary.
Click here for the Full Task Force Report.
In 2003, the Department of Family and Community Medicine (DFCM) at UCSF’s School of Medicine initiated planning for a new Community Partnership Resource Center (CPRC). The CPRC was envisioned as an entity that could facilitate more and better collaborative projects between San Francisco communities and UCSF to improve health and eliminate health disparities. Two project co-directors with experience in community based work were selected—Naomi Wortis (a DFCM faculty member) and Robert Uhrle (a community activist and founder of Advocate Initiatives for Grassroots Access who also taught part-time in DFCM service-learning courses). The decision was made to focus initially on partnerships based in three neighborhoods in southeast San Francisco—Bayview Hunters Point, the Mission District, and Visitacion Valley—where there are striking health disparities compared to the rest of the city and where DFCM had a foundation of preexisting community connections. Although planning for the CPRC emanated from DFCM, the department viewed the CPRC as vehicle to involve other departments and schools at UCSF in more effective community partnership activities.
Development of the CPRC consisted of several steps: a community assessment to validate the potential utility of a resource center, recruitment of community and UCSF representatives to a collaborative planning committee, drafting of a formal mission statement and goals, and creation of infrastructure. See the list of CPRC planning partners below. By 2004, this process had resulted in the generation and formal adoption of the mission, principles, and goals of the CPRC.
A full-time Program Coordinator for the CPRC was hired. This position was initially held by Jay LaPlante and later by Roberto Ariel Vargas. A Community Council was formed to serve as the executive body for the CPRC, empowered to make decisions about projects and activities. Members of the Council represented a diverse cross-section of the population of southeast San Francisco, including community residents and representatives of CBOs. The Council included an intentionally smaller number of UCSF representatives.
The CPRC provided services matching potential new partners and facilitating collaborations, as well as assisting in sustaining existing partnerships. In addition to the financial support from DFCM and the Executive Vice Chancellor, an early grant of $15,000 was obtained from California Campus Compact to support these activities. In 2005, the CPRC was awarded one of the highly competitive grants from the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Community Outreach Partnership Center Program. This grant was used to build partnership capacity infrastructure, to launch a job training program, and to work with community partners on their high priority areas of violence prevention and resiliency promotion.
In 2004, as the CPRC was coming into being, the UCSF Chancellor’s office also began to focus more attention on civic engagement. A new Executive Vice Chancellor & Provost (EVCP), Eugene Washington, had recently been appointed, and prior to assuming that role, he had attended one of the planning committee meetings of the CPRC and assisted with identifying some seed funding. Soon after his appointment, the EVCP appointed a UCSF Task Force on Community Partnerships.
The EVCP charged the task force to (1) perform an inventory of what university-community partnerships already existed between UCSF and California communities; (2) review the case for university-community partnerships and best practices for engagement by academic institutions; and (3) make recommendations for how to improve UCSF’s engagement in community partnerships. He appointed 20 UCSF representatives to the task force, including the CPRC leadership and program coordinator, and asked the Chair of DFCM, Kevin Grumbach, to lead the task force. Five other UCSF representatives and two community representatives were subsequently invited to participate on the task force. See the list of task force members below. One community forum was held to get input from community partners of task force members on their perspectives about UCSF’s community partnership work and to solicit their input into the task force recommendations. Consultations were obtained from two national experts in community partnerships.
The Community Partnership Task Force distilled all the data they had gathered into a task force report. The report includes (1) the case for community partnerships and an engaged campus; (2) results of the UCSF inventory; (3) best practices at other institutions; and (4) a summary of findings, recommendations, and action steps. Click here for the full task force report with detailed recommendations.
The task force’s report and recommendations were favorably received by the EVCP and by the Chancellor, and the Chancellor allocated institutional funds to create the recommended University-Community Partnership Program (UCP).
In 2005, the University-Community Partnership Program (UCP) was created in the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Advancement & Planning to support the many existing partnerships between UCSF and San Francisco-based community organizations and facilitate new partnerships. The Chancellor appointed ten university representatives from across all schools to serve on the UCP Council, including the CPRC director. Subsequently, community representatives were nominated for the community representative slots, and ten were chosen to serve on the Council. In 2006, a Program Director was hired for the UCP. The Council agreed on a leadership structure that involves two co-chairs--a community representative and a university representative. The co-chairs lead the monthly Council meetings and meet with the Program Director between meetings. The first co-chairs were Gwen Henry and Kevin Grumbach. Working groups formed to focus on the following issues: economic and employment development; educational outreach to youth and adults; service-learning at UCSF; community-based research and evaluation; and developing a UCP sponsored grants program for university-community partnership projects. UCP and CPRC staff worked jointly on the development of a searchable database of university-community partnership programs and resources. In 2007, the UCP Grants Program was established with the first round of grants made in 2008.
In 2009, the Office was restructured to better address the Task Force recommendations. This restructuring included moving the office to Student Academic Affairs to foster stronger relationships with the academic functions of the university. Joseph I. Castro, Vice Provost for Student Academic Affairs, became UCP’s Champion Advocate. Naomi Wortis was appointed to a new position as UCP’s first Faculty Co-Director. And the word “Program” was dropped from the end of UCP’s name. As part of the restructure, the pre-existing Community Partnership Resource Center (CPRC) merged with UCP at the suggestion of CPRC’s Community Council. Two of the CPRC Community Council members subsequently joined the UCP Council. The UCP Council was expanded to include 12 community members and 12 university members.