IGNACIO GALAN ADVOCATES FOR THE UNIVERSITY’S EXCELLENCY EFFICIENCY AND INTERNATIONAL PROJECTION
Speaking at the inauguration of the Social Affairs Advisory Board of the University of Salamanca
- IBERDROLA chairman proposes positioning the University of Salamanca as a global benchmark for learning.
- “Our main objective should be shaping professional entrepreneurs that are ready to challenge things and pursue constant improvement whilst promoting their own projects" Galan stated.
Ignacio Galan, chairman of the Social Affairs Advisory Board of the University of Salamanca, together with the University’s Vice-Chancellor, Daniel Hernandez Ruipérez, presided over the investiture of the members of the Social Affairs Advisory Board.
The ceremony took place at the Casa Museo Unamuno auditorium in Salamanca and was attended by Mayor Alfonso Fernández Mañueco, as well as national and regional government representatives. During his speech, he encouraged excellency, efficiency and international projection as the means to positioning the University of Salamanca as a global benchmark for learning.
IBERDROLA chairman described the action plan to advance towards a more global university, thus implementing the strategy of the institution.
“We should begin by being more efficient and improving the management of our resources; particularly now, in times of economic and financial hardships. We must be able to do more with less. This requires budgetary discipline and accuracy, but also imagination and creativity," he emphasized.
In addition, Galan pointed out that the University must adapt to the needs of society, always providing the training it demands. To do so, "we need closer relationships between university and business, intensifying existing communication and collaboration channels, so that our students can develop the skills businesses require and join the workforce as soon as possible."
One of the key elements of the action plan proposed by Galan is strengthening the international appeal of the university which will provide young Spaniards with new training opportunities in other countries and other cultures.
“I have suggested to the Board to create new partnerships with international universities and companies, so that USAL students can get training and internships abroad whilst attracting increased numbers of foreign students to our classrooms, taking advantage of the enormous possibilities offered by an increasingly globalized world. Also, to increase the number of visiting lecturers from other universities, promote the presence of prestige scholars, such as Nobel Prize holders, and award honorary doctorates to individuals of international recognition”, he added.
University committed to R&D
Another key aspect pointed out by the chairman of IBERDROLA was the need to make the University more innovative and focused on industry-relevant academic research, facilitating technology transfer to corporations in Castile and Leon region and Spain. In this regard, Ignacio Galan stressed the commitment to research initiatives such as the Aldeatejada Technology Center, "a clear example of technological research made in Castile and Leon, with the collaboration of the University, which is promoting growth in the province of Salamanca.”
Ignacio Galan has spoken for an outstanding college education. "Therefore, our main objective should be shaping professional entrepreneurs that are ready to challenge things and pursue constant improvement whilst promoting their own projects; and fostering values such as ethics, effort, austerity and the spirit of tenacity that have always been a hallmark of this land and should become the cornerstone of future generations.”
Moreover, he highlighted two major challenges facing the University of Salamanca: to stimulate the International Excellence Campus in order to promote Spanish teaching and the development and transfer of bioscience; and the celebration of the University’s 800th Anniversary. These two initiatives can help to consolidate the prestige and brand name of the institution and its recognition in international university rankings.
Finally, Galan said he was convinced that the key for the future of the University of Salamanca lays on excellency, efficiency and international projection. “If we reflect on the myriad achievements and world-changing ideas born within its walls we will be able to achieve great success which will have a positive impact on Salamanca, Castile and Leon and rest of Spain.”
CHAIRMAN OF THE SOCIAL AFFAIRS ADVISORY BOARD OF THE UNIVERSITY OF SALAMANCA
On 5 July, Ignacio Galan took up chair of the Social Affairs Advisory Board of Salamanca University at a ceremony in Valladolid, hosted by the president of the Castile and Leon regional government, Juan Vicente Herrera. The event was also attended by the chancellors of all public universities in Castile and Leon.
The chairman of IBERDROLA took over from former Spanish minister of transport, communication and employment, Salvador Sánchez-Terán.
The Social Affairs Advisory Board of the University of Salamanca comprises 30 members representing social organizations and companies that have strong links with Salamanca and a long-term engagement in University matters. It represents the interests of social groups and stakeholders of the university community at large.
Important political leaders, such as Carlos Mayor Oreja or Ricardo Martí Fluxá and senior corporate executives including José Manuel de la Sen, Manuel Pizarro and Salvador Alemany hold the same responsibility at various state universities in Spain.
Last December, Ignacio Galan was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the University of Salamanca, the oldest university in the Hispanic world, which is also one of Europe’s oldest and most prestigious. He is also a visiting lecturer at Strathclyde University in Glasgow, and in 2011 he was given an Honorary Degree by the University of Edinburgh. These important distinctions reflect the contribution of IBERDROLA chairman to research and innovation, whilst recognizing his strategic vision throughout his professional career.
Married and father of four, Galan was born in Salamanca (Spain) in 1950. He graduated in electro-mechanical industrial engineering from the Escuela Técnica Superior de Ingeniería (ICAI) at the Universidad Pontificia Comillas. He also holds a degree in General Business Administration and Foreign Trade from the Escuela de Organización Industrial (EOI) of Madrid.
Galan’s contribution has decisively reshaped the profile of the companies he has managed, fostering transformations which have made them larger, more efficient, more profitable and more international. Of this, IBERDROLA is the best example.
Ignacio Galan’s appointment in 2001 as executive vice-president and CEO of IBERDROLA marked the beginning of one of the most important and successful company transformation projects of the last decade. His commitment to international growth and renewable energies has enabled IBERDROLA to become Spain’s largest energy utility, the world’s wind energy leader and one of Europe’s largest electricity utilities by market capitalization. The company is today present in 40 countries and has a workforce of 32,000 people.