Academic Health Sciences

The University of California operates the largest health sciences instructional program in the nation, enrolling approximately 15,000 health sciences students/trainees across 18 schools on seven campuses. These include schools of dentistry, medicine, nursing, optometry, pharmacy, public health, and veterinary medicine. Our 19th school - the School of Public Health at UC San Diego - was approved by the Regents in September 2019.

Within UC Health, the Academic Health Sciences function provides leadership, strategic direction, policy guidance and advocacy to advance the health sciences goals at individual campuses as well as the overall system. The unit works closely with leadership in the Office of the President (OP) and campus health leaders (deans, chief executive officers, chief medical and nursing officers, senior faculty members and others) on a complex range of issues and priorities.

The Responsibilities of Academic Health Sciences include:

  • Strategic Planning – lead and guide system-wide planning involving enrollment and development of new programs and initiatives, including those addressing campus, regional, and statewide needs;
  • Policy Guidance and Direction – analyze legislation of significant impact to UC health sciences schools, develop recommendations for UC policy positions, and provide expertise on a broad array of topics;
  • Systemwide Decision-Making – collaborate and engage with OP and campus leadership in decision-making, consultation and planning on matters impacting health sciences schools, guide efforts on systemwide initiatives to enable coordinated responses, and assist with reporting on campus achievements to the President, Regents, and state and federal entities;
  • Representation Internally and Externally – represent UC in a wide range of settings, including those involving statewide health workforce planning efforts;
  • Data Collection and Management – collect, analyze, and disseminate various qualitative and quantitative data internally and externally (e.g., medical school admissions and enrollment data).

This unit manages a variety of programs and initiatives that may be ongoing or short-term in nature, such as system-wide oversight and compliance of the UC Anatomical Donation Program (ADP) for education and research purposes at all six UC medical schools, and management and oversight of Proposition 56 funding for a new Statewide Graduate Medical Education (GME) program, with a budget of approximately $40 million annually as a result of a tax on tobacco. Learn more about these initiatives in our related links.

In addition, Academic Health Sciences leads and manages the systemwide work of the UC Chief Medical and Nursing Officers. Current efforts include: reporting and liaison with the Health Services Committee of the UC Board of Regents, and management of a systemwide quality dashboard and selected clinical initiatives.