The Public Administration Department (PAD) at Babeș-Bolyai University, currently ranked by the Romanian Ministry of Education as providing the best Public Administration programs in the country, was founded in 1996 through international projects financed by the European Union (Tempus) and the United States of America. PAD has represented from the very beginning an exception among the other schools in Public Administration from Romania, mainly because it had implemented, with the help and support of Western partners, an interdisciplinary approach to the study of Public Administration. PAD currently has two lines of studies (both for full-time learning and distance learning) in Romanian and Hungarian (the last line of studies is addressed to Hungarian nationals who, based on their constitutional right to study in their mother tongue, wish to pursue a carrier in the field of Public Administration); this multicultural approach has been unique in Romania until now.
PAD also offers two Master programs: one taught in Romanian (Master in Public Administration) and another program taught in English; this latter program is divided into four tracks: Management of Public Services, Management of Non-Governmental Organizations, Community Development and Urban Planning, and Economic Governance of the Public Sector. These programs were created and implemented through institutional partnerships with European and American universities: Michigan State University, Graduate School of Public Affairs, National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration, Florida International University, and School of Public Policy and Administration, University of Delaware. These partnerships maintain a permanent link with the American Public Administration programs and are regarded as best-practice by both the Romanian and the American partners concerning teaching, research, and promoting the public interest.
The Master program taught in English was accredited by the European Association for Public Administration Accreditation (EAPAA) and it is the first Public Administration higher education program in Romania accredited at European level. The final decision regarding this accreditation was made by the accreditation body, based on the report submitted by the international evaluation commission, at the EGPA/EAPAA conference, held in Madrid in September 2007.
For more than ten years PAD organizes professional training courses for civil servants working in the Romanian Public Administration. Additional to these short-term training programs (post-university studies), PAD offers a master program with a one year duration, designed for civil servants and public managers working in public administration in the Transylvania region. PAD has developed and consolidated its own research structure, namely the Public Administration Research Center (PARC). In the last twelve years a variety of research projects were conducted through this Center; research topics cover both the Romanian context (legislative and managerial reforms in the field of public administration, development of policy analysis expertise among public decision-makers, environmental policy, etc.) and comparative approaches (such as, comparative studies regarding the drafting of local public budgets in Romania, Hungary, and Poland). Another important field of research for PAD’s research center is represented by the managerial reforms in Romanian public administration. The Center has also conducted various studies at the request of central and local public administration organizations from Romania and abroad.
Another important achievement is represented by the two scientific journals edited by PAD. These journals are among the very few public administration journals in the country, namely Transylvanian Review of Administrative Sciences (CNCSIS indexed, A category, ISI/Thomson Reuters indexed) and Revista Transilvană de Științe Administrative (CNCSIS indexed, B+ category). Both journals are available online at http://www.rtsa.ro/. Scientific articles, in both Romanian and English, are freely available for interested practitioners, academics, or students. Articles undergo a review procedure by Romanian and foreign experts in the field of public administration. Both journals can be accessed from Romania and abroad.
PAD is also the editor of a collection of books and handbooks, the Administrative Sciences series, which so far includes more than 30 titles (written by Romanian professors and foreign academics involved in the Department’s educational and research activities).
Currently, PAD is an institutional member of the Romanian professional organizations (Association of Schools and Institutes of Public Administration from Romania), and is also part of different European and international networks working closely with public administrations, such as NISPAcee (the Network of Institues and Schools of Public Administration in Central and Eastern Europe), EGPA (European Group for Public Administration), IASIA (International Association of Schools and Institutes of Administration), and is an associated member of the American organization NASPAA (National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration).
The Public Administration Department has three university extensions in other Transylvanian cities: Bistriţa, Satu-Mare, Sfântu Gheorghe.