MSU-BBU second annual conference

Between 15 and 22 September, 2013 a delegation of 12 faculty members (including the mayor of Cluj, Mr. Emil Boc) from the Faculty of Political, Administrative and Communication Sciences at Babeș-Bolyai University visited Michigan State University and attended a series of meetings with faculty members from MSU and various professionals engaged in urban and regional planning projects throughout the Lansing area. The visit was part of the second MSU-BBU annual conference, with the first edition of the conference being held in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, in May 2012.

The 2013 edition of the conference was jointly organized by the School of Planning, Design and Construction (SPDC) at MSU and the Institute for Public Policy and Social Research (IPPSR) at MSU and FSPAC, UBB. The purpose of this annual conference is to expand and consolidate the partnership that has been going on between the two institutions for more than 17 years and to identify new ways and venues for future cooperation not just between the two universities but also for the cities in which they are located.

The first part of the conference took place on September 15th and 16th on the MSU campus and was dedicated to a series of presentations made by American and Romanian speakers on topics regarding how universities can lend their expertise to the communities they are located in and increase their community outreach. The Transatlantic Institute for Public Management and Sustainable Communities is a research entity jointly established by the two universities with the aim of enhancing cooperation in the areas of teaching, research, and community outreach. Several comparative analyses had already been conducted (hedonic analysis of factors which influence consumers’ decisions regarding housing options as well as a study on the competitive advantage Cluj has to offer in view of the creation of an IT cluster with the support of the city hall).

The second part of the conference took place on the Mackinaw Island, MI. The focus was on discussing how the two schools can advance toward creating a double degree or certificate which would allow both the Romanian and the American students to benefit not only from faculty and student exchanges but also from a more integrated and structured common program.

The third annual MSU-BBU conference will again take place in Cluj in the spring of 2014.