Change in leadership in the PRVA's Academic Senate


The Academic Senate of the Public Relations Association Austria (PRVA) has a new chairman: Hans Haider, chairman of VERBUND's board of directors, was voted to this office by the Senate's members.

He thus follows the former Austrian National Bank (OeNB) president, Adolf Wala, who stood down from this role after nine year's in office on account of his retirement from his position at the OeNB. Dr. Wolfgang Hötschl, director general of Kelly Austria, was voted in as acting chairman.

The Academic Senate of the APRA was founded 17 years ago and currently comprises of 13 senators, primarily managers of large Austrian companies. On account of annual financial contributions, a fund was established from which the proceeds are used to promote academic projects in the public relations sector. 

The Academic Senate of the APRA has set itself the goal to promote science and research, as well as the professionalizing of the PR branch. It awards, among others, scholarships, supports academic works and presents an annual academic prize for public relations. In addition to this, it supports relevant university and high school study courses. A close cooperation exists, for example, between the Institute for Journalism and Communication Science at the University of Vienna, which organizes the university course in public relations. The University of Klagenfurt’s PR course for professional people is equally supported.

The APRA is currently preparing a comprehensive academic project, together with the University of Vienna and other partners, for the establishment of PR studies at universities in Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina. This project will be submitted for financial support within the framework of the EU's Tempus programme. It is intended that the prerequisites for a profound university education on the subject of public relations activities should be created here within two years. The Academic Senate is financing the start-up costs.

An alphabetical list of the senators: Hans Haider, Österr. Elektrizitätswirtschafts-AG; Dr. Wolfgang Hötschl, Kelly GesmbH; Georg Kapsch, Kapsch AG; Prof. Herbert Krejci,Vereinigung der Österr. Industrie; Univ. Prof. Dr. Wolfgang R. Langenbucher, Institute for Journalism and Communication Science, University of Vienna; Dr. Hans Peer, Interunfall u. Generali Versicherung AG; Gerhard Randa, Bank Austria Creditanstalt AG; Herbert Schimetschek, Austrian National Bank; Gerhard Swarovski, Swarovski Optik KG; Dr. Georg Wailand, Kronen Zeitung; Dr. Leo Wallner, Casinos Austria AG; Helmut Zwettler, BAWAG; Franz M. Bogner, APRA scientific delegate.