CRITICAL CONVERSATIONS is an annual presidential program showcasing distinguished scholars at the forefront of their fields and at the vanguard of shaping how we understand the vital issues, questions and challenges facing our 21st century world.

Celebrating UB’s longstanding history of intellectual leadership and innovation, this program is a vital forum for timely, insightful dialogue about key issues shaping the world around us.

The CRITICAL CONVERSATIONS program spotlights prominent scholars who are leading the conversation about major societal questions and challenges with broad-ranging, cross-disciplinary relevance and impact. From global health concerns and contemporary cultural debates to technological trends and socioeconomic challenges, these are the topics that cut across disciplinary boundaries and geographic borders to shape daily life for us all.

Held annually in conjunction with the start of the academic year, each program features a keynote address, free and open to the public, as well as multiple opportunities for students, faculty, staff and others to interact with these distinguished visitors.

2017 Program: Featured Events

The 2017 CRITICAL CONVERSATIONS program features Dr. Mary Sue Coleman, president of the Association of American Universities.

Dr. Coleman was president of the University of Michigan from 2002 to 2014 and president of the University of Iowa from 1995 to 2002.

Time magazine named her one of the nation’s “10 best college presidents,” and the American Council on Education honored her with its Lifetime Achievement Award in 2014.

Elected to the National Academy of Medicine, Dr. Coleman is also a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

As a biochemistry faculty member at the University of Kentucky, Dr. Coleman built a distinguished academic career through her research and teaching. Prior to becoming a university president, Dr. Coleman was vice chancellor for research and graduate education at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and provost at the University of New Mexico.

Dr. Coleman earned her undergraduate degree in chemistry from Grinnell College and a PhD in biochemistry from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  

During her keynote address and panel discussion, Dr. Coleman will discuss the value and importance of research universities on the community and the nation at large.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017 | 1:00 p.m.

220 Student Union, North Campus

Wednesday, November 15, 2017 | 3:30 p.m.

250 Baird Hall, North Campus

Thursday, November 16, 2017 | 10:30 a.m.

732 Clemens Hall, North Campus

Thursday, November 16, 2017 | 1:00 p.m.

10 Capen Hall, Buffalo Room, North Campus