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The Chancellor’s Distinguished Lecture Series

The Chancellor’s Distinguished Lecture Series at UC Riverside launched in 2005 with the goal of facilitating a space for faculty, staff, students, and the wider community to engage in the academic life at UCR and with timely issues from a variety of disciplines. These lectures are generally offered to the community at least twice per academic year. The main objectives of this series are to:

  • raise the visibility of UC Riverside as a national and global leader;
  • celebrate scholars and practitioners who have made substantial contributions to their profession and/or the larger society; 
  • engage community members in the Inland Empire around a timely, provocative topic relevant to the UCR community.

Nominees for this program should be people of national and international stature and influence who will provide a compelling presentation of broad interest to the community. Nominators should keep the more general audience in mind when recommending and planning events for the speaker, which will include at least one large public lecture or performance and a reception or other social event. It also may include opportunities to engage in seminars and other organized activities for more specialized audiences. 

CDL events will be managed by the Office of the Chancellor, in collaboration with the nominating school, college, or department, and according to campus policies, procedures, and protocols for special events.

Distinguished Lecture Nominations

  • Nominations may be submitted by individuals or collectively by a department or other academic unit.
  • Nominations should be submitted via the online form for consideration in Fall 2021 and beyond. Please note that lectures in 2021 may be in a virtual format.
  • A committee (consisting of delegates from the Provost’s office, Academic Senate leadership, University Advancement, and Staff Assembly leadership) will review the nominations and submit recommendations to the Chancellor.

Please direct questions about this process to elizabeth.thrush@ucr.edu

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Previous Distinguished Lectures

José M. Hernández,
President and CEO of Tierra Luna Engineering,
LLC and Former NASA Astronaut

(February 10, 2021) 

Watch Lecture


Anthea M. Hartig,
Elizabeth MacMillan Director of the Smithsonian's
National Museum of American History 

(November 16, 2020) 

Watch Lecture


Eduardo Bonilla-Silva,
James B. Duke Professor of Sociology, Duke University 

(January 18, 2019) 

Watch Lecture

France Córdova,
National Science Foundation Director

(November 7, 2018) 

Read the Article

Watch Lecture

Raj Chetty,
Department of Economics, Stanford University

(Dec. 1, 2017) 

Read the Article

Watch Lecture

Joyce Carol Oates,
Award Winning Author

(Feb. 8, 2008)

Read the Article

Amartya Sen,
Nobel Laureate in Economics

(Oct. 26, 2007)

Read the article

Wole Soyinka,
Nobel Laureate in Literature

(Feb. 7, 2007)

Read the Article

Billy Collins
Poet Laureate

(Feb. 7. 2006)

Read the Article

The Honorable Joseph Ghougassian,
former U.S. Ambassador 

(April 18, 2006)

Richard R. Schrock,
Nobel Laureate in Chemistry

(Jan. 25, 2006)

Read the Article

Mary Robinson, 
Former President of Ireland
and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

(April 1, 2005)

Read the Article

Anthony J. Leggett,
Nobel Laureate in Physics

(March 2, 2005)

Read the Article

Robert Pinsky,
Former U.S. Poet Laureate

(Feb. 3, 2005)

Read the Article