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The Path Forward

Advancing the School of Dentistry through the 21st century

True North pyramid

The True North Pyramid is a visual aid that depicts the core elements of our True North. It is a simple visual reminder of what the school is focused on and why. (Click to enlarge)

UCSF School of Dentistry has a bold vision to advance not just oral health but overall health, in our community and beyond. Doing so requires that we think big and execute effectively. Central to this is aligning our people — our greatest asset — and the important work they do to a common set of strategic priorities.

Our True North

UCSF School of Dentistry, along with UCSF Health and the wider UCSF campus, has adopted True North as a tool to create focus on achieving our mission and vision. True North serves as the compass that guides our school from our present condition to where we aspire to be.

Our mission, vision, values and pillars, or strategic priorities, collectively define our True North. The school has adopted six pillars — Empowered People, Operational Strength, Innovation and Discovery, Education, Exceptional Care, and Community Engagement — to inform and guide our work. While the projects and initiatives we pursue within our pillars may change over time, our True North remains constant. In this sense, True North is a strategic framework: a set of guidelines designed to keep our organization aligned and focused on a shared purpose.

School leadership has identified a set of high-level initiatives for each pillar. These initiatives will spawn multiple projects, each of which will move us incrementally closer to our True North. True North is a journey, not a destination.

A Short Explainer on True North

About Our Pillars

Pillars form the foundation of the True North pyramid. They encompass strategic areas of focus within which work will happen to move the school forward. Each pillar will have a portfolio of initiatives and supporting projects.

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Empowered People & Leadership

Create a diverse, inclusive and supportive environment

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Operational Strength

Optimize resources, processes and partnerships

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Innovation & Discovery

Push the boundaries of knowledge

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Educate and prepare the biomedical and health care workforce for the future

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Exceptional Care

Continuously improve health and patient care

Exceptional Care
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Community Engagement

Promote economic, social and health equity

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Organizing for Success

Support and accountability structure helps ensure the work within each pillar progresses


Staying Informed

The contributions of each and every member of the School of Dentistry helps move us closer to our True North. Watch this space, as well as our communications channels such as Newsbrief, to stay current on developments.