We’re thrilled to announce that James P. Pappas, vice president for Outreach and dean of the College of Liberal Studies, was recently awarded an honorary title of Professor Honoris Causa for his contributions to lifelong learning. The award was presented on April 26 at a public ceremony at the University of Bucharest, Romania.
The University of Bucharest, considered among the most important universities in Romania and southeast Europe, was established in 1864. Its Faculty of Psychology and Educational Studies selected and voted on Pappas to receive the honor.
Pappas was cited for his “outstanding achievements in the field of adult and continuing education,” according to Romita Iucu, vice rector of the university. As a result of the ceremony, Pappas “became an elite member of our scientific community,” Iucu said.
“This recognition came as a surprise and was very humbling,” Pappas said. “The University of Bucharest is a great institution of higher learning in Europe. I am deeply honored by this award from my esteemed colleagues in Romania. I believe it recognizes, too, the great work in which the University of Oklahoma and OU Outreach are engaged and it is another opportunity to showcase the university on the world stage. And for all of that I am very thankful.”
Pappas delivered an address to members of the Faculty of Psychology and Educational Studies, providing his perspective on lifelong learning trends and the future of the field.
Following the ceremony, Pappas participated in the Fourth International Conference on Adult Education at Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iasi in Iasi, Romania, where he moderated a panel on adult higher education in the United States and Western Europe. Pappas also chaired the induction ceremony for the International Adult and Continuing Education Hall of Fame, in which six internationally known adult and continuing educators were inducted.
Pappas joined OU in 1987. In addition to his roles in outreach and CLS, he is a professor in Educational Psychology and Liberal Studies.
Before coming to OU, Pappas served as associate dean of liberal education, associate dean of continuing education and director of academic counseling at the University of Utah. He has worked as a psychologist in the Veterans Administration, a faculty member at Indiana University and an assessment officer with the Peace Corps. He has also consulted with governmental, business and educational organizations in the areas of psychological assessment, training and development and marketing.