Dr. Tudor Vlad, associate director of the Cox Center, at conference in Bucharest, Romania.

Cox Center Associate Director Presides Over Communication Section at Conference in Romania

Dr. Tudor Vlad, a senior research scientist at the University of Georgia, presided at the communication and public policies section of a conference in Bucharest, Romania, on September 25-28, on the Role of Diaspora in Research and Higher Education.

The four-day event was organized by the Romanian Ministry of Education and Research. More than 800 professors and researchers, out of which 250 are working in universities and research organizations outside Romania, attended the event.

Dr. Vlad is associate director of the James M. Cox Jr. Center for International Mass Communication Training and Research, a unit of the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia.

The communication and public policies section that Dr. Vlad presided over was coordinated by the National University of Political and Administrative Studies (SNSPA). The Cox Center has partnered with SNSPA on international conferences and professional training programs in recent years.

Dr. Remus Pricopie, rector of SNSPA, welcomed the participants and supported the idea of creating a network of scholars of Romanian origin who work abroad in order to stimulate research and more professional standards of higher education in Romania.

“There is a strong relationship between democratization and mass media freedom,” Dr. Vlad told the participants during his presentation, The Impact of Press Freedom on the Public Space.

“It is hard to assess which one leads and which one follows,” Dr. Vlad said, “but the evidence is that democratic countries enjoy media with higher degrees of freedom, and the confidence of the audiences in the press is usually higher in those countries.”

Dr. Lee Becker, Cox Center director, and Dr. Vlad have been evaluating press freedom indicators in a program of research that is nearly 10 years old.

During the conference, Dr. Vlad had a meeting with Drs. Alina Baraoanu and Nicoleta Corbu, dean and vice-dean of the College of Communication and Public Relations at SNSPA, to discuss a seminar that the Cox International Center and the Romanian college will organize in May of 2013 in the Romanian capital.

While in Bucharest, Dr. Vlad and four other scholars had a meeting with Mr. Victor Ponta, Romanian prime minister, and Ms. Elisabeta Andronescu, minister of education and research. The topic of the meeting was the modernization of Romanian higher education and potential partnerships with foreign universities in education and research projects.

Dr. Vlad also traveled to Cluj-Napoca for meetings with Dr. Ioan-Aurel Pop, rector of Babes-Bolyai University, and Dr. Calin Hintea, dean of the College of Public Administration, Political Sciences and Journalism there, to discuss a collaboration between the Romanian school, the International Center of the Carl Vinson Institute of Government and the Cox Center on a training program for public administration managers.

Dr. Pop asked Dr. Vlad to become his advisor.