Dr. Tudor Vlad and Dean Calin Hintea at the communication management course in Cluj-Napoca, Romania.

University of Georgia Partnership With Babes-Bolyai University Continues in Cluj-Napoca, Romania

Government communicators and journalists should focus on improving public understanding of issues in society, Dr. Tudor Vlad from the University of Georgia told a group of 25 administrators enrolled in a post-academic public administration education program in Romania.

Dr. Vlad said that during previous work in Romania he found high levels of distrust among government communicators and the journalists who covered public administration.

According to Vlad, this distrust is because each side saw the other as having different agendas. "This situation can be improved if there is agreement that the main goal for all is to have a well-informed public, willing to engage in the process of decision making," Dr. Vlad said.

"People working in public administration can use the media to spread information about their projects, if they understand how journalists are working," Dr. Vlad said. "In addition, the new technologies allow government communicators to go directly to the citizens and to ask them for support and feedback."

Dr. Vlad is associate director of the James M. Cox Jr. Center for International Mass Communication Training and Research at the University of Georgia.

The Cox Center, in partnership with the International Center of the Carl Vinson Institute of Government at the University of Georgia, is collaborating with the College of Political, Administrative and Communication Studies of Babes-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania, to create a joint post-academic program focused on communication management in the public sector.

The collaborative program was launched in October 2013 and it is designed to improve the relationship between public administration managers and their constituencies.

The curriculum consists of six intensive courses taught once a month each, for three days, by two U.S. and four Romanian faculty.

Dr. Luther Ray Brooks, director of the International Center of the Carl Vinson Institute of Government, taught the first course in the program in October. Three Romanian public administration faculty taught the courses in November, December and January.

Dr. Tudor Vlad taught communication management in public administration on February 13 - 16, 2014.

The 25 participants - with job assignments as diverse as mayors, city hall spokespersons and public relations department heads - are enrolled in this pilot project, the first post-academic public administration education program in Romania.

Their final assigment in the class taught by Dr. Vlad was to write a press release related to their work.

While in Cluj-Napoca, Dr. Vlad had meetings with Dr. Ioan-Aurel Pop, president of Babes-Bolyai University, and Dr. Calin Hintea, dean of the College of Political, Administrative and Communication Studies, to discuss further collaboration between the University of Georgia and the Romanian university.