University of Lorraine

The University of Lorraine is sometimes referred to as either the University of Nancy or the University of Metz.
Because of his role as a professor at Georgia Tech Europe in Metz, France, Declercq also acquired a courtesy role as 'professeur des universités' (i.e. 'full professor') at the University of Lorraine in its doctoral school.


The University of Lorraine has a history going back to the 16th century. In 1572, the University of Pont-à-Mousson was established, based on administrative cornerstones laid in 1558 at Verdun. Indeed, to avoid a brain drain to the neighbouring countries at the University of Paris, the University of Köln and the University of Bologna, Duke Charles III of Lorraine established a University at Pont-à-Mousson, located between Metz and Nancy. As many similar institutes originally meant, the University was to better train catholic priests in the framework of the contra-reformation and the Trente Council. Around the time of establishing the Jesuit University of Pont-à-Mousson, there was also a new one established in Reims and one in Douai near the border with the Spanish Netherlands. Pont-à-Mousson, in the Duchy of Bar, is a city on the banks of the Moselle river and was chosen because of its central location between Metz, Toul and Verdun, three episcopal cities, and the Ducal city of Nancy. By the end of the 16th century, the University already had around 1000 students. Apart from the areas mentioned above, students came from Scotland, Ireland, Germany and the Spanish Netherlands (Belgium, the Netherlands).
As described in Declercq's book (chapter, page 1161), a well-known student at Pont-à-Mousson was priest Maximilien II Villain de Gand. The latter knew Declercq's ancestors Jeroni Desclergue (DC05) and Antoni Desclergue (DC06) and became the Bishop of Tournai in the Spanish Netherlands (Belgium).
From 1616 onward, the University had its book press and became even more critical among international scholars. Scientific papers were also published. The University's fame diminished at the end of the first quarter of the 17th century because of several smaller schools established by the University's alumni. The city was also victim to the plague and several conflicts involving France. The University flourished again around 1642 but declined again in the last quarter of the 17th century. The flourishing nearby city of Nancy became the university center of Lorraine in 1752 after several decades of struggle with all the involved powers to do so. However, the institute consisted only of one faculty and would still compete with Pont-à-Mousson. When Stanislas Leszczynski, who had always defended the old University, was no longer in charge of Nancy, the latter city won the competition and established a comprehensive university in 1768. The New Regime and the Empire consequently abolished universities after the French Revolution of 1789. In 1806 however, an Empire controlled university was established in Lorraine, the faculty of science in Metz and letters in Nancy. A tumultuous history followed, caused by the historical course of the French Empire and its switch to a Kingdom and back to the Empire, in which universities were closed, others established, closed again, etc. The final result was the establishment of several other schools, but always one remaining in Metz for science and one in Nancy for letters, until finally everything was wiped out. The university system was re-established in Lorraine in the mid-19th century. After the war between France and Germany of 1870, Metz and Strasbourg became German, while the French University of Strasbourg was moved to Nancy, which remained French. This is why the three mentioned locations became and remained independent entities academically until, to keep a long story short, recently Metz and Nancy merged back into the University of Lorraine.

The legal entity was established practically by merging l'École nationale supérieure d'agronomie de Nancy, l'École nationale supérieure de géologie appliquée et de prospection minière de Nancy, l'École nationale supérieure de la métallurgie et de l'industrie des mines de Nancy, l'École nationale supérieure d'électricité et de mécanique de Nancy, l'École nationale supérieure des industries chimiques de Nancy, l'École supérieure de brasserie, malterie et biologie appliquée de Nancy, l'École de laiterie de Nancy, la faculté des sciences, la faculté de lettres, and l’institut universitaire de technologie of the University of Metz, l’Université Henri-Poincaré (The University of Nancy I) and the faculties of law, economy, finance, humanities and computer science of the University of Nancy II.
Georgia Tech Europe, also known as Georgia Tech Lorraine, does not belong to the University of Lorraine. However, particular faculty members are associated with the latter in the doctoral school with the ability to advise PhD students at the University of Lorraine or teach classes should they desire such.