University begins critical review of its name

The University of Tübingen - or Eberhard Karls Universität in German - has launched a critical examination of its own name. On Thursday, the University’s senate instructed the President’s Office to form a working group of historians to examine the university’s two namesakes, Count Eberhard and Duke Karl Eugen von Württemberg. "The task of the experts will be to examine the source material on both persons and to arrive at an academically sound assessment of both rulers," said University President, Professor Bernd Engler. The working group will be headed by Professor Sigrid Hirbodian, director of the Institute of Library Science for Historians at the University of Tübingen.

The President said the experts will present a report on Count Eberhard and Duke Karl Eugen von Württemberg during the winter semester 2021/22. On the basis of this report, a Senate committee will then make recommendation on the name of the University. All status groups at the University will be represented on the committee.

Engler said the University has been repeatedly approached in recent years, mostly by students, about whether the name of Eberhard Karls Universitat is still in keeping with the times. Neither name-giver was representative of the University’s current values, the students argued. Count Eberhard von Württemberg founded the University of Tübingen in 1477. Duke Karl Eugen gave it its current name in 1769, referencing the first names of both noblemen.


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