Chancellor's Colloquium Distinguished Speaker Series

Great universities are characterized by the many contributions they make to the societies they serve. At UC Davis, those include a regular influx of outstanding thinkers and leaders from a variety of disciplines who will challenge us to see the world in new and creative ways.

We started the Chancellor's Colloquium Distinguished Speaker Series in 2009-2010 to stimulate and engage our campus in constructive conversations about how best to serve a rapidly changing world searching for solutions to complex problems. Sometimes uncomfortable, always thought-provoking, our Colloquium events have been a tremendous source of enrichment to the intellectual life of our campus.  

Now, as we continue to reshape UC Davis as the University of the 21st Century, please join me in welcoming another outstanding and diverse group of scholars to our campus.  As in past Colloquium seasons, these innovative leaders are sure to inspire us to dig more deeply into who we are and find new ways to take advantage of the many opportunities that exist to elevate both our campus community and the world.

These events are free and open to the public.

Upcoming series:


Florian Idenburg (12.8.16)

"Museum Building in Unpredictable Times"

Florian Idenburg is a Dutch architect and educator, living in Brooklyn, New York, and designed the newly opened Jan Shrem & Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art. During the height of the financial crisis of 2008 he founded SO – IL with Chinese-born Jing Liu, to create an architectural firm committed to building culture. The firm consistently strives for progressive architecture beyond cultural and economic constraints facing the discipline. It is this optimistic position that guides SO – IL ’s various experiments through a range of media from temporary installations to large-scale built works.  Prior to founding SO – IL, Idenburg gained experience at the practice of Pritzker laureates Kazuyo Sejima + Ryue Nishizawa (SANAA), where he led the design teams for the Glass Pavilion in Toledo, Ohio and The New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York City.

Idenburg recognizes the merit of combining practice with academia to allow cross-pollination to stimulate innovation. He is Associate Professor in Practice of Architecture at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design, where he currently leads a three-year research project on transformations in the workplace. He holds a MSc. in Architecture from Delft University of Technology.  Idenburg is the 2010 recipient of the Charlotte Köhler Prize, an award from the Prince Bernhard Royal Cultural Fund in the Netherlands for exceptional talent, and a 2014 finalist for the Prix de Rome in the Netherlands. Thursday, December 8, 2016 at 4 p.m. Larry and Rosalie Vanderhoef Studio Theatre, Mondavi Center.

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Laurie Fendrich (1.18.17)

"The Downside of Art"

Laurie Fendrich is an abstract painter who lives and works in New York, and is a professor emerita of fine arts at Hofstra University. A 2016 recipient of a John Simon Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship in Fine Arts, she has also been a Dora Maar Fellow, in Ménerbes, France, as well as the recipient of a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. She has had several solo exhibitions, both nationally and in New York, including a 2010 twenty-year retrospective of her paintings and drawings at the Ruth Chandler Williamson Art Gallery at Scripps College in Claremont, CA. Ms. Fendrich’s work has been reviewed in several publications, including The New York Times, Artforum, ARTnewsArt in AmericaARTS Magazine and Partisan Review. Her essays on the role of art and artists in society, on the meaning of painting, and on the place of painting in higher education, as well as her reflections on other cultural issues, appear regularly in The Chronicle of Higher Education. Her essays on beauty and painting have also appeared in The Common Review as well as in various anthologies. Ms. Fendrich’s most recent solo exhibition was at Louis Stern Fine Arts in Los Angeles in 2016. Read her abstract for the lecture hereWednesday, January 18, 2017 at 4 p.m. Larry and Rosalie Vanderhoef Studio Theatre, Mondavi Center.

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Ken Caldeira (4.19.17)


Ken Caldeira is a climate scientist at the Carnegie Institution for Science’s Department of Global Ecology and Professor (by courtesy) in the Stanford University Department of Earth System Science. Professor Caldeira has a wide-spectrum approach to analyzing the world’s climate systems. He studies the global carbon cycle; marine biogeochemistry and chemical oceanography, including ocean acidification and the atmosphere/ocean carbon cycle; land-cover and climate change; the long-term evolution of climate and geochemical cycles; and energy technology. In 2010, he was a co-author of the 2010 US National Academy America's Climate Choices report and was elected Fellow of the American Geophysical Union.  Wednesday, April 19, 2017 at 4 p.m. Larry and Rosalie Vanderhoef Studio Theatre, Mondavi Center.

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