Chancellor Emeritus Larry N. Vanderhoef
Larry N. Vanderhoef led UC Davis for 25 years—first as provost/executive vice chancellor (1984-94) and then as chancellor (1994-2009)—and is widely credited with mentoring future university presidents and provosts.
Under his leadership, the campus grew by nearly every measure: student population, faculty, rankings, facilities, stature, research funding and philanthropic donations (including the launch of UC Davis’ first comprehensive campaign, with nearly half of its $1 billion goal raised by the time he stepped down as chancellor).
He made good on an inaugural promise to build a world-class performing arts center at UC Davis—just one of numerous state-of-the-art facilities constructed on his watch—and led the university itself to a more prominent place on the world stage.
Thousands of Interstate 80 commuters daily pass by his realized vision of an impressive and welcoming new south entry to campus, including the soaring Robert and Margrit Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts, the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science, a conference center and hotel and the soon-to-be-completed Shrem Museum of Art.
Especially gratifying to Vanderhoef was the transformation of an ailing county hospital into the academically distinguished UC Davis Health System, located on the university’s Sacramento campus. He oversaw the health system’s development, first as its governing body and subsequently as chancellor. In particular, he was an early champion of telemedicine and valued the contributions of nursing—his mother’s calling—to health care.
In 2015, he completed the book “Indelibly Davis: A Quarter-Century of UC Davis Stories…and Backstories,” described by UC historian Patricia Pelfrey as “lively and highly readable” and “a deeply engaging portrait of a university community and an academic leader for whom a life in higher education is not a career but a calling.”
As chancellor emeritus, Vanderhoef continues to serve on multiple university and regional advisory boards, developed and taught an undergraduate biology course at UC Davis and at National Taiwan University, served on the U.S. Department of Education’s National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity, and chaired the California Public Utilities Commission’s Independent Review Panel investigating the 2010 San Bruno Gas Explosion.