Integration and development of the academic centre
The University of Craiova was founded in accordance with the Decision of the Council of Ministers 894 of 27 August 1965 (published in the Official Bulletin of the Socialist Republic of Romania, issue no. 2 of 10 September 1965). Its establishment was justified by the need for the economic and cultural development of the Oltenia region, as well as the demand for higher education in the area.
The Ministry decision stipulated that the University of Craiova would consist of: the Faculty of Mathematics, the Faculty of Chemistry, the Faculty of Philology, the Faculty of Economic Sciences, the Faculty of Electrotechnics, the Faculty of Agriculture and the Faculty of Horticulture. The decision also mentioned that the Institute of Agronomy would cease its activity and its faculties would transfer to the University of Craiova, whereas the Three-year Institute of Pedagogy would continue to function with the Faculty of History and Geography and the Faculty of Natural Sciences, as a structure which was administratively integrated to the new institution.
Under these circumstances, in September 1966, the University of Craiova is officially open with seven faculties - agronomical, technical and economic specialisations - and two pedagogical faculties.
By integrating to one academic structure the agronomical faculties (with a time-honoured tradition), a few faculties of sciences (reorganized within the Institute of Pedagogy), the two faculties of pedagogical profile and the new faculties (Electrotechnics, Economic Sciences and, later on, Medicine and Mechanical Engineering), the University of Craiova implemented an original structure, unexperimented before in Romania, whose efficiency was to be proven in the following year by a steady increase in the number of faculties and specialisations, of teaching staff and students alike.
Completing its structure, based on the addition of some diverse specialisations, the University of Craiova would develop itself in this multi-disciplinary direction, advancing the existent domains and attaching new ones which were not experimented in the area.
The Faculties of Mathematics and Chemistry, integrated within the initial academic community of the University, modified their structure in 1974 by being united under the Faculty of Natural Sciences. Out of the 8 sections of the faculties of Mathematics and Physics-Chemistry, within the Faculty of Natural Sciences, only 4 were maintained (Mathematics, Informatics, Physiscs and Chemical and Anorganic Technology), to which the Chemical Organic Technology was added.
Proud of its tradition, the Faculty of Agriculture, continued its activity through the departments of Agricultural Machines and organisation, Agro-Phytotechny, Food Production and Zootechny. Until 1974, the duration of studies for this faculty being 5 years (4 years and half theroretical and practical education, and half a year – practical experience in the field). Starting from the academic year 1974-1975, the duration of studies was reduced to 4 years, which included internships. In accordance with official regulations which aimed at mapping the higher education system to production and research, starting from the academic year 1974-1975, the curricula were thoroughly reshaped, on the one hand, regarding the timeframe of courses and, on the other hand, regarding research and internships.
The Faculty of Horticulture managed to retain high standing teaching staff, out of which 4 Professors were Fellows of the Academy of Agricultural and Forest Sciences: Professor Mircea Oprean, PhD, Professor Radu F. Ion, PhD, Professor Şonea Vasile, PhD, Professor Teodorescu Ştefan, PhD. The establishment of the University of Craiova hallmarked, among others, the beginning of the economic higher education in the Oltenia region.
The Faculty of Economic Sciences represented a new stage in the development of higher education in Craiova. At the beginning, the faculty was oraganised into three sections: the Industrial Economy, Civil Engineering and Transport; Accounting and the Economy of Agriculture. The specialisations of Finances and Financial Accounting were added in the following years. The Faculty experienced one of the fastest developments, reaching 2,100 students in the academic year 1976-1977 (23.71% of the total number of students at the University of Craiova), starting from only 162 students in the first year. Based on the number of students, it became the largest faculty of the University of Craiova. Between 1970-1977, the Faculty of Economic Sciences trained 2,440 specialists, who were employed in industrial units, construction and transportation, agriculture, commercial units, financial and credit insitutions, local councils, etc. across Romania (approx. 60% remained in the Oltenia region).
The study of humanities in Craiova is strongly connected to the three-year Institute of Pedagogy. The new Faculty of Philology, with a duration of 5 years, counted 61 students in the first year, grouped on the Romanian-French and Romanian-Italian specialisations. In the academic year 1967-1968, the distance learning programmes were implemented - Romanian-French, with a duration of 6 years (63 students being enrolled in the first year). The number of students increased every year, so that in 1970-1971 courses were attended by 334 young people. Starting from 1970-1971, new specializations are added, namely Romanian-Russian, Romanian-German and Romanian-English, and from 1972-1973, the French-Romanian specialisation is added to the specialisation of Romanian-A Foreign Language (with the above mentioned specialisations). In the following years, new specializations are introduced (in 1974-1975, Romanian - Latin, in 1975-1976, French – Romanian, French – Russian, French – English, in 1977 – French - Latin).
In accordance with the President Decree of 1974, the Faculty of History - Geography, with a duration of three years, became a section of the Faculty of Philology, in its turn, renamed the Faculty of Philology and History. The academic competence of the Faculty of Philology and History was strenghtened by the establishment of the foreign language centres. The first such centres were: the French Cultural Centre – where Professor Alain Werthener, Professor Bernard Ohier, Professor Hubert Padiou; Professor Jean Marie Rikolfis;The English Cultural Centre: George W. Ayer, Margaret Locke; The Macedonian Cultural Centre: Olga Ivanova; Docka Teodorovska; The Bulgarian Cultural Centre: Gheorghi V. Petkov. Conversely, a number of professors from the Faculty of Philology and History ran cultural centres of Romanian language and civilisation abroad: Associate Professor Marin Petrişor, PhD – at the University of Washington, SUA, Seattle, Washington; Senior Lecturer Eugen Negrici, PhD – at ”Universita Komensky”, Bratislava, Cehoslovacia; Senior Lecturer Titus Bălaşa, PhD – at ”Université de Strasbourg”, France, etc.
The technical higher education, which was in place between 1951-1958, by the Institute of Electrical Machines and Appliances, was continued, within the academic centre of Craiova, by the Faculty of Electrotechnics (starting from 1966). Initially, the faculty consisted of the sections of Electrotechnics – machines and electrical appliances and Automatics. The diversification of this profile, starting from 1972, by the addition of the Civil and Industrial Engineering section, culminated in 1978, when the faculty was structured into 6 sections (Electrotechnics, Automation and Computers, Electromechanics, Electrical Machines and Appliances, Electrical Networks and Centrals). Year by year, the faculty of Electrotechnics, as well as the other faculties of the acedemic community of Craiova, witnessed a steady increase in the number of teaching staff and students. If in the first year (1966-1967), there were 21 members of the teaching staff and 140 de students, in 1975-1976, there were 57 academics and 1841 students, thus becoming, besides the Faculty of Economic Sciences, the most popular institution among students (22.56% of the total of 8157 students of the University).
The technical domain was completed in 1977 through the foundation of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering (with the following sections: Automotive Construction Technology, Tools, Civil Engineering and tools for the construction materials industry).
The Faculty of Medicine was to become one of the most popular unit of higher education in Craiova. The Faculty of Medicine had been part of the University of Craiova from 1970 (the decree establishing the Faculty of Medicine) to its transformation into the University of Medicine and Pharmacy in 1998 (in accordance with Law 119/05.06.1998).
The University of Cariova managed, between 1966-1989, to create an original academic structure, through administrative and functional integration of multiple specialisations in a single institution. Beyond ensuring training for specialists, whose competence was necesary in various social domains (industry, education, agriculture, economy, medicineetc.), the University of Craiova represented the core of the academic community in the Oltenia region and the motor to promote scientific values and excellence.
The University of Craiova underwent constant development, which is reflected in the number of students, and which enhanced the development of the teaching staff. Between 1948-1949, 1965-1966, the number of students increased from 374 to 2,670, and the number of the teaching staff members from 38 to 431. Between 1970-1980, the number of students enrolled in the three forms of education (full time, part time and distant learning) increased from 5,895 (in the academic year 1970-1971) to 9,589 (in 1979-1980). Between 1980-1990 (when there were 8 faculties, in the first 6 years, and 7 in the next 4 years), the total number of enrolled students was 90,120. According to statistics, from 1950 (when the first cohort of graduates from two-year programmes is registered) until the academic year 1989-1990, the total number of graduates amounts to 30,058 (out of which 4,707 between the academic years of 1950-1951 and 1973-1974, respectively, and 23,351 between 1974-1975 and 1989-1990, respectively).
The number of teaching staff members at the University of Craiova has increased steadily: from 431 (1972-1973) to 714 (1975-1976) and 739 (1980-1981). Later on, in the academic year 1985-1986, it decreased slightly under 700, and 4 years later, in the academic year 1989-1990, reached 707.
Due to its number and quality of students and teaching staff, its equipment and the results of scientific research (patents, inventions, books, treaties, etc.), the University of Craiova gained a high standing place within the Romanian higher education system before 1990.
At 1 October 1989, the University of Craiova had the following structure of faculties and specialisations:
- Faculty of Agriculture, with the specialisations: Agriculture and Horticulture.
- Faculty of Electrotechnics,with the specialisations: Electrotechnics, Automation and Computers, Electromechanics, Electrical Machines and Appliances (junior engineers), Thermo-Electrical Centrals (junior engineers);
- Faculty of Philology,with the specialisations: Romanian language and literature – a foreign language (English, French, Russian), French – Romanian/a foreign language (English, Russian, Latin);
- Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, with the specialisations: Technology of automotive construction, Tools, Tools for the industry of construction materials (junior engineers), Civil, industrial and agricultural engineering (junior engineers);
- Faculty of Medicine, with the specialisation: general Medicine;
- Faculty of Economic Sciences,with the specialisations: Industrial economy, civil engineering and transport, Finance-Accounting, Accounting and Agricultural Economy;
- Faculty of Natural Sciences, with the specialisations: Mathematics, Informatics and Physics.
(Source: Monograph of the University of Craiova, 2008, Universitaria Printing House, Beladi Printing House, coordinated by: VLADIMIRESCU, ION; OTOVESCU, DUMITRU)