Chernivtsi University (Чернівецький національний уніерситет ім. Юрія Федьковича; Chernivetskyi derzhavnyi universytet im. Yuriia Fedkovycha). The university was founded in 1875, succeeding the Chernivtsi Higher Theological School, which had existed since 1827. Until 1918 it was known as Franz-Josefs Universitat, with German as the language of instruction and separate departments of Ukrainian and Romanian language and literature. From 1919 to 1940 it was the Universitatea Regele Carol i din Cernăuţi, with instruction in Romanian, and in 1940 it became the Chernivtsi State University, with instruction in Ukrainian. Public efforts to rename the university in honor of Yurii Fedkovych, led by the literary scholar Yevhen Kyryliuk, for many years did not gain the consent of the Soviet authorities, but in 1989 Fedkovych finally became the university’s patron. In 2000 the university was granted a national university status and its name was changed to Chernivtsi National University.

During the Austrian period Chernivtsi University had three faculties: Orthodox theology, law, and philosophy. The department of Ukrainian language and literature was in the faculty of philosophy and was chaired by Klymentii Hankevych and Omelian Kaluzhniatsky (1875–6), Hnat Onyshkevych (1877–82), and Stepan Smal-Stotsky (1885–1918). The department of Slavic languages was headed by O. Kaluzhniatsky (1875–99) and Yevhen Kozak (1899–1923). The department of practical theology was under the direction of Denys Yeremiichuk-Yeremiiv (1899–1919).

In this period the university was attended not only by Bukovynians, but also by many Galician students, among whom were Ivan Franko, Les Martovych, and Denys Lukiianovych. V. Milkovych defended a doctoral thesis on the history of Eastern Europe and eventually was appointed professor at the university (1895–1919). Oleksander Kolessa received a doctorate in the Ukrainian language in Chernivtsi. The following rectors of the university were Ukrainians: K. Tomashchuk (1875–6), O. Kaluzhniatsky (1889–90), and Yevhen Kozak (1907–8). Ukrainian students constituted, on the average, about 20–25 percent of students enrolled: 41 out of a total of 208 in 1875, and 303 out of a total of 1,198 in 1914. There were about as many Romanians, with the majority of students being Jewish or German.

In 1918–40 Chernivtsi University was Romanianized: the Ukrainian departments were dissolved, and the Ukrainian professors dismissed. The faculty of philosophy was split into the faculty of philosophy and literature and the faculty of natural science. For many years the university's rector was I. Nistor, who was hostile towards Ukrainians. In 1920 there were 239 Ukrainians in a student body of 1,671. In 1933 the body of 3,247 students consisted of 2,117 Romanians, 679 Jews, 199 Germans, 155 Ukrainians, 57 Poles, and 40 of other nationalities.

In 1940 northern Bukovyna was annexed to the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, and Ukrainian became the language of instruction at Chernivtsi University. The university was reorganized at first into 7 faculties and by the 1980s had grown to 10 faculties. evening-school, correspondence-school, and graduate-school programs were also introduced. Today the university has 16 faculties: history, political science, and international relations; philology; philosophy and theology; fine arts; pedagogy, psychology, and social work; law; foreign languages; geography; biology, ecology, and biotechnology; economics; chemistry; physics; applied mathematics; engineering; computer science; and physical education. In 2009 close to 16,000 students were enrolled at the university while the teaching faculty numbered about 900.

The university's main building is the previous residence of the metropolitan. There are a number of research institutions associated with the university, including a botanical garden (est 1877), a zoology museum, and the university’s historical and cultural center. The library possesses about 2.6 million books (2005). The university issued Naukovi zapysky (58 vols, as of 1967) and its publishing house Ruta has published scholarly monographs, textbooks, and other works. In 2009 its rector was S. Melnychuk.

In the 1970s a faculty-and student-exchange program was established between Chernivtsi University and the University of Saskatchewan in Canada on the basis of which a Canadian Studies Center named in honor of Ramon Hnatyshyn was established at the university in 2005.

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Turczynski, E. ‘Die Universitüat Czernowitz,’ in Buchenland. Hundertfünfzig Jahre Deutschtum in der Bukowina (Munich 1961)
Systematychnyi pokazhchyk do vydan’ Chernivets’koho derzhavnoho universytetu (1948-cherven’ 1965) (Chernivtsi 1965)
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Arkadii Zhukovsky

[This article was updated in 2009.]

Encyclopedia of Ukraine