Former Presidents

Former SGroup Presidents

Period President
2016 - 2020 Prof. Jacek Witkoś (Adam Mickiewicz University Poznań, Poland)
2012 - 2016 Prof. Albert Corhay (University of Liege, Belgium)
2008 - 2012 Prof. John Tuppen (Joseph Fourrier-Grenoble 1 University, France)
2004 - 2008 Prof. Stefan Jurga (Uniwersytet im. Adama Mickiewicza, Poznań, Poland)
2002 - 2005 Prof. Jesús María Sanz Serna (Universidad de Valladolid, Spain)
2002 - 2004 Prof. José Ferreira Gomes (Universidade do Porto, Portugal)
1997 - 2001 Prof. Manuel Esteban Albert (Universidad de Murcia, Spain)
1988 - 1997 Prof. José María Ureña (Universidad de Cantabria, Santander, Spain)


Prof. Jacek Witkoś
Prof. Jacek Witkoś

Adam Mickiewicz University of Poznan (Poland)

Prof. Jacek Ireneusz Witkoś (born 1963) is a full professor of English linguistics at Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, Poland. He obtained his title of Doctor of Philosophy in 1993 on the strength of the dissertation Some Aspects of Phrasal Movement in English and Polish.

Since 1999 he has been the head of the Department of Polish-English Comparative Studies at AMU and is deeply involved in research and teaching in the areas of English linguistics, generative grammar, English syntax and morphology, Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL), contrastive and comparative syntax and the syntax of Slavic and Germanic languages.

He is the author and co-author of over seventy publications and edited volumes, including five monographs and organizer of numerous conferences and workshops in his field. So far he has successfully acted as supervisor for seven Ph.D. students. He spent several years as visiting scholar and researcher in foreign Higher Education Institutions such as the University of Maryland in College Park, U.S. (2000-2002), the University of Vienna (1994-1997) and the University of North Wales in Bangor, UK (1991-1992).

Prof. Jacek Witkoś is active in professional organizations and scientific societies, he is a member of the Scientific Committee for Societas Linguistica Europea (SLE) and an executive board member of the Slavic Linguistic Society (SLE).

Jacek Witkoś is also actively involved in university administration. From 1999 to 2005 he was Deputy Head of the School of English, from 2005 to 2008 he was Deputy Dean at the Faculty of Modern Languages and Literature and recently, for the past eight years (2008-2016) he was Deputy President of AMU for Research and International Cooperation. His responsibilities included molding and developing an international strategy for the university (third largest in Poland, over 40 thousand students). He concentrated on fostering international cooperation in the field of research, joint research projects, student and academic mobility and joint study programs. His efforts helped increase AMU’s international profile. He has served as an executive board member for SGroup for the past three years.

Prof. Witkoś was elected President of the SGroup Network in December 2016.

Professor John Tuppen
Professor John Tuppen

SG President between 2008-2012; born in 1949, is currently professor of geography at the Université Joseph Fourier in Grenoble, France. He received his B.A. and Ph.D from the University of Southampton, England, and was also awarded a post-doctoral degree at the Université Jean Moulin – Lyon III in France. Professor Tuppen has taught both at the undergraduate and postgraduate level in Britain and in France, working predominantly in the fields of regional planning, economic geography and globalization and tourism development. He has been appointed professor and held senior management positions in both these countries. At the Joseph Fourier University he was Dean of the School of Geography, before becoming Vice-Rector in charge of International Relations (2002-2007). Between 2005 and 2007 he was also Vice-Rector responsible for coordinating the international policy of the four universities of Grenoble.

Professor Tuppen has also undertaken other responsibilities. He has been Vice Chairman of the International Geographical Union Study Group on Early Industrial Regions, while currently he is a member of the French National Univerities’ Council (Geography section), part of the editorial board of the journal ‘Géocarrefour’ and acts as an expert evaluator for the European Commission.

Much of Professor Tuppen’s research has been related to the analysis of different spatial characteristics of France’s contemporary society and economy, particularly with respect to questions of regional and urban development and the economic impacts of tourism. He is a member of the PACTE (Politiques Publiques, Actions, Politiques Territoires) research laboratory which combines researchers from the Université Joseph-Fourier (Grenoble 1), the Université Pierre Mendès-France (Grenoble II) and the French Research Council (CNRS). His research activity has resulted in over 80 academic and scientific publications, including four books. He has also worked extensively on producing articles for the Encyclopaedia Britannica.
He was elected President of the Santander Group in June, 2008.

Professor Dr. Stefan Jurga
Professor Dr. Stefan Jurga

SG President between 2004-2008; Vice-Minister of Polish Ministry of Science and Higher education 2005-2007; born in 1946, professor of physics. The main field of his scientific activity is nuclear magnetic resonance. At Adam Mickiewicz University in Poland he holds a position of Head of Macromolecular Physics Department. A member of several academies, scientific associations, research councils and committees such as for example the prestigious Saxon Academy of Sciences in Germany. In 2002 he assumed a position of Vice President of the International Scientific Association „Groupement Ampere”. He was granted many international fellowships and awards, to name some the most important, at the University of Liege (Belgium), University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign (USA), Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research and University of Mainz. A visiting professor at the Cornell University and North Carolina State University in USA, at the University of Pretoria in the Republic of South Africa, at the Centre of Atomic Research in Saclay near Paris.

He has published numerous scientific papers, delivered over 70 guest lectures at international institutions, schools, and conferences. He supervises many Ph.D. students with whom he publishes in the world renowned scientific journals.

Prof. Stefan Jurga has held a wide range of responsible functions in the Polish higher educational system. In 1990-1996 he was Vice Rector and in 1996-2002 Rector of Adam Mickiewicz University of Poznan. During his term of office among others he significantly developed University, contributing to the dynamic growth of the new university campus Morasko. Moreover, he was very active in supporting cross-border co-operation with German European University Viadrina (Frankfurt on Oder), which resulted in establishing a common research and teaching institution “Collegium Polonicum” in S??ubice, Poland. In 1999-2000 he was chosen President of Conference of Rectors of the Polish Universities and Vice President of Conference of Rectors of the Academic Schools in Poland. Since that time on he has chaired the Accreditation Committee of that Conference. He also presided the Bologna Process Research and Development Group established by the same Conference in 2004.

Apart from the academic position at the University of Pozna??, Prof. Jurga deals with the European affairs as Director of the European Integration Centre at Adam Mickiewicz University. Within framework of the Centres’ activity there are meetings with outstanding celebrities of the world of politics, culture and science as well as seminars, trainings and courses promoting the idea of the European integration addressed to both academic society and citizens of the region

Professor Jesús María Sanz Serna
Professor Jesús María Sanz Serna

4th Santander Group President, was unanimously elected President of the Santander Group at the General Assembly in Bari, on the 15th and 16th March 2002.

Born in 1953, received a “Licenciado” Degree in Sciences in 1975 and a PhD in Mathematics 1977 both from the University of Valladolid, Spain. He further obtained MSc in Numerical Analysis at the University of Dundee, Scotland in 1979. His first tenured position (1981-1982) was held at the University of the Basque Country. From 1982 he was full professor at the University of Valladolid and Rector since 1998. His main research interest lies in the numerical solution of partial differential equations. He has authored almost a hundred research papers in international journals and two books; member of the editorial board of more than a dozen of international journals. He has supervised fifteen Ph.D. theses. He holds the Dahlquist Research Prize for the best Spanish scientist, the Research Prize of Castille and Leon and the Medal of the Academy of Sciences of Spain. He is Vice-President of the Spanish Royal Society for Mathematics. He is deeply committed to the idea of a United Europe.

Professor José Ferreira Gomes
Professor José Ferreira Gomes

3rd Santander Group President, was Vice-Rector of the University of Porto since 1998, but also President of the Portuguese Chemical Society since January 2001 and Member of the Executive Committee of FECS – The European Federation of Societies of Chemistry.

Professor Manuel Esteban Albert
Professor Manuel Esteban Albert

2nd President of the Santander Group, received on the 17th October 1998 an Honorary Degree from the State University of New York at the international symposium "On Charting Partnership for a Global University" on the occasion of the 50th Anniversary of this American university. The conference started on the 14th October 1998 in New York and ended on the 17th in Albany at the State Capitol Building with the convocation ceremony for the presentation of a Doctor Honoris Causa to 19 representatives from universities all over the world. Manuel Esteban was the sole Spanish representative to receive this award.
Manuel Esteban Albert, who was President of the Santander Group for four years, ended his mandate on the 30 June at the General Assembly 2001 held in Poznan and hosted by the Adam Mickiewicz University. The General Assembly failed to elect a President on that occasion therefore, the Executive Committee was appointed an Acting President. Prof. José Ferreira Gomes was Acting President until the election of a new President at the General Assembly 2002.

Professor José María Ureña
Professor José María Ureña

Founder President of The Santander Group, born in 1950 in Zaragoza. In 1977 he was invited to join the young University of Cantabria in Santander to develop Urban and Regional Planning in theSchool of Civil Engineering. In 1986, José Maria Ureña was a candidate for Rectorship promoting a programme to transform the University into a modern outward-looking European University with an international, interdisciplinary and professional approach. His election and subsequent term of office brought many changes. The University ofCantabria might still be one of the youngest and smallest Universities in Spain but today it is a thriving modern institution which is held in high esteem.
Rector Ureña was determined to put his University on the international map. In the spring of 1988 he organised a meeting from which the intention of developing a European University Network emerged. The Santander Group came into being in December 1988, launched at the University of Murcia.
The General Assembly of 1997 symbolised a turning point in the relatively short existence of the Santander Group. For the first time, in almost 10 years of existence, the Presidency changed hands. José María Ureña, who was the father and mentor of this network of European universities, ended his term as its first President. Manuel Esteban Albert, Vice-Rector for International and Institutional Affairs at the University of Murcia took over at the very place were the agreement for the establishment of the group was first signed in 1988.

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