Office of Planning and Communications

The Office of Planning and Communications is the lead communications unit for the School. The office is responsible for ensuring the School’s contributions to science, education, and patient care are communicated successfully to its audiences and for managing the development of the School’s strategic plans.

The office is managed by the associate dean of planning and communications, who reports to the dean.

It is part of the Dean’s Office.

Responsibilities include

Communications general

  • Develops and implements a current School-level communications plan in support of the School's mission and strategic plans; plan covers and extends beyond the web presence
  • Supports the dean's communications needs

Strategic planning

  • Based on direction from School leadership, assists in developing School-level strategic plans

Branding and identity

  • Establishes, implements, and supports the School’s brand, including messaging and design, with respect to UCSF identity standards
  • Maintains digital assets for School-level needs



The office is responsible for building, maintaining, and updating the technical infrastructure for all School websites*, which means:

  • Hosting all School sites
  • Administering and maintaining web systems in conjunction and in collaboration with the campuswide Drupal infrastructure
  • Ensuring security across all web properties that are under its umbrella
  • Collaborating with other campus units to maintain custom UCSF Drupal modules
  • Establishing technical procedures and protocols
  • Producing analytics and listening reports
  • Building backend databases
  • Facilitating and testing core updates
  • Documenting services, policies, and procedures helpful to School colleagues
  • Reviewing new tools and technologies for possible application to the School’s web presence
  • Building microsites, such as faculty lab sites, with content supplied by site owners



The editorial responsibilities of the office cover the main School and Dean’s Office website pages. The office:

  • Develops and implements School-level editorial plans in support of the School’s mission, plans, and priorities
  • Develops targeted School-level content, such as news and features, that is syndicated to other School sites
  • Establishes editorial procedures and protocols for all sites
  • Establishes editorial style guidelines for all sites
  • Provides guidance on content strategy as needed for all sites


The office trains School staff to ensure they are able to:

  • Update and add content on their respective sites
  • Write and edit for the web following established guidelines

Social media

  • Maintains a robust and well-rounded social media presence for the School based on the social media goals in the School's communications plan

Expertise includes

  • Extensive skill in a wide array of computer and web technologies—Drupal, in particular—and other open source and proprietary software
  • Digital photography, utilizing a wide array of authoring software
  • Digital asset management software
  • Reporting and writing: news, features, announcements, general writing, science and health care writing
  • Editing and proofreading
  • Messaging
  • Sharing information on a variety of social media platforms
  • Communications planning, execution, evaluation
  • Strategic planning

Contact us

Susan Levings, MS
Associate Dean of Planning and Communications
[email protected]

UCSF Box 1204
3333 California St Rm 218 & 420
San Francisco CA 94143

Staff listing


Susan Levings, MS
Associate Dean of Planning and Communications
[email protected]


Grant Burningham
Editorial Director
[email protected]


Eric Davila
Digital Communications Director
[email protected]


Frank Farm
Web Production and Technology Manager
[email protected]


Levi Gadye, PhD
Health and Science Writer
[email protected]


Hwachieh Huang
Web Developer
[email protected]


Paula Joyce
Editor and Content Manager
[email protected]

All images: Elisabeth Fall


Organization chart

PDF iconOrg chart: October 2017