From left to right: Dr. Roger Hamlin, Michigan State University, Dr. Dan Lazar, Vice President of Economic Affairs at Babes-Bolyai University, Dr. Elena Abrudan, Head of Journalism Department at Babes-Bolyai University, Dr. Emil Boc, Mayor of Cluj-Napoca, and Dr. Calin HIntea, Dean of the College of Political, Administrative and Communication Sciences.

Cox Center Associate Director Celebrates 20 Years of Journalism Education at Babes-Bolyai University, Romania

Dr. Tudor Vlad, associate director of the James M. Cox Jr. Center for International Mass Communication Training and Research, was a keynote speaker at the International Conference on Media Convergence organized on Oct. 23-26 by the College of Political, Administrative and Communication Sciences of the Babes-Bolyai University in Romania.

The conference was held to celebrate the birth of the journalism program at Babes-Bolyai University in 1993.

Dr. Vlad designed the curriculum, hired faculty and created this journalism program in Romania in 1992-1993. He chaired the program until he came to the Cox International Center in 1999.

Babes-Bolyai University, located in Cluj-Napoca, is the oldest and most prestigious academic institution in the Transylvania section of Romania.

“It was with a lot of enthusiasm and – now I can admit – with some irresponsibility when we decided to start this program,” Dr. Vlad told the participants in the opening plenum session. “We had no tradition, no experience, no books and no professors.”

Dr. Vlad added that “I think, however, that sometimes it is easier to build something modern when you start from scratch rather than when you have to fix or adjust something already in existence.”

From the beginning, the program had all the courses offered in three languages – Romanian, Hungarian and German – which is unique in East and Central Europe.

Dr. Emil Boc, mayor of Cluj-Napoca and former prime minister of the Romanian government, participated in the ceremony. He also is a political science professor in the College of Political, Administrative and Communication Sciences.

“I have always respected and encouraged independent media,” Dr. Boc said. “Romania is still a young and relatively fragile democracy, and it would be risky to think that the democratic process is irreversible. This is why we need Romanian media to be real watchdogs.”

Dr. Calin Hintea, dean of the College of Political, Administrative and Communication Sciences said that, in the last 17 years, the College had developed a “wonderful relationship” with Michigan State University that has culminated in a dual degree graduate program.

“Now, having our former colleague and good friend Dr. Tudor Vlad in the Grady College, we are planning to develop a strong partnership with the University of Georgia,” Dr. Hintea said.

The Cox International Center is a unit of the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia.

From left to right: Dr. Peter Gross, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Dr Tudor Vlad, University of Georgia, and Dr. Juan Carlos Sanches Illian, University Carlos III, Madrid, Spain..

The other two keynote speakers in the conference were Dr. Peter Gross, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, U.S.A., whose presentation title was “The Unbearable Lightness of Being or the Struggles for Relevancy,” and Dr. Juan Carlos Sanchez Illian, University Carlos III, Madrid, Spain, who spoke about “Teaching of Journalism in the Internet Age.”

More than 200 journalism scholars and graduate students presented papers in the conference. One final session was devoted to reviews of journalism books published by Romanian authors, including Dr. Vlad’s “The Interview: From Plato to Playboy.”

Dr. Vlad used the conference as an opportunity to invite Dr. Ioan-Aurel Pop, president of Babes-Bolyai University, and other top administrators, to visit the University of Georgia.

Following the conference, Dr. Vlad joined in the launch of a joint post-academic program focused on communication management in the public sector. The Cox Center, the International Center of the Carl Vinson Institute of Government at the University of Georgia and the College of Political and Communication Studies of Babes-Bolyai University are partners in the program.

To view conference photos, please click here.