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Management and organisation

The foundation Fryske Akademy (the Frisian Academy) was established in Leeuwarden on 10 September 1938. According to its statutes, the Akademy's goal is "to maintain a working community dedicated to practicing science connected to Friesland, the Frisian people and their culture in all its manifestations, and such in the broadest sense".

Our work is made possible by the support of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) and the Province of Fryslân. In accordance with the affiliation agreement with the KNAW (1989) and the Covenant on the Frisian Language and Culture, both institutions contribute to the maintenance of the Akademy.

The organisation consists of a Science Department, which is headed by the Managing Director, and a General Affairs Department, headed by the Head of General Affairs. The research group structure of the Science Department was replaced on 1 September 2015 by a project organisation structure.

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Interim Managing Director Willem Smink on the 80th annual Academy Day, 14 September 2018.

Managing Director

The daily management of the Fryske Akademy is in the hands of the Managing Director. The Managing Director is ultimately responsible for all activities and decisions related to the institution. He is accountable to the Supervisory Board in accordance with the statutes and rules of procedure.

  • Willem Smink, M is Interim Managing Director of the Fryske Akademy since January 2018.


Management Team

The Managing Director is advised by a Management Team (MT), which is formed by representatives of the departments of Science and General Affairs. The MT meets regularly at their own discretion and advises the Managing Director broadly on policy, human resources, finance and external affairs.

Since 1 July 2018, the representation consists of:

  • Cor van der Meer, M, project leader Mercator Research Centre
  • Dr Marijn Molema, project leader and researcher
  • Jos Tjalsma, M, head of department of General Affairs
  • Dr Hans Van de Velde, senior researcher



Supervisory Board, from left to right: Anthonya Visser, Jacob Fokkema (Chair), Houkje Rijpstra, Seerp Leistra and resigned member Wybren Eijzenga.

Supervisory Board

Pursuant to the Statutes, the Fryske Akademy has a Supervisory Board. The Board oversees the policy and management of the Managing Director. 

Since 11 April 2017, the Supervisory Board consists of:

  • Prof Jacob T. Fokkema, Schiedam (Chair)
  • Seerp Y. Leistra, Groningen
  • Houkje Rijpstra, Gytsjerk
  • Prof Anthonya Visser, Amsterdam


Science Committee

The Science Committee has the task to give solicited and unsoliticed advice to the Managing Director, the Supervisory Board and the KNAW on the policy and scientific program of the Fryske Akademy. 

Members of the Science Committee are, since 1 December 2017:

  • Prof Klaas van Berkel, University of Groningen (Chair)
  • Prof Arnoud-Jan Bijsterveld, Tilburg University
  • Prof Paula Fikkert, Radboud University Nijmegen
  • Prof Durk Gorter, Ikerbasque, Basque Foundation for Science
  • Prof Franciska de Jong, Twente University en Erasmus University Rotterdam
  • Prof Max Louwerse, Tilburg University


Social Advisory Council

Pursuant to the Statutes, the Fryske Akademy also has a Social Advisory Council (MAR). The Council can give solicited and unsolicited advice to the Managing Director, the Supervisory Board and the Province of Fryslân on the social services of the institution. This includes the support to volunteers within the Fryske Akademy. 

Since 1 May 2016, the composition of the Social Advisory Council is as follows:

  • Dr Geart Benedictus (Chair), Joure
  • Maaike Andringa, Groningen
  • Folkert de Jong, Drachten
  • Gerbrich van der Meer, Sneek
  • Steven Sterk, Tjalleberd
  • Jan de Vries, Koudum
  • Jan Veldhuis, LLM, Opeinde


Works Council

The Fryske Akademy has a Works Council (UR), in which five employees of the Akademy are seated. The competence of the Council, among others the right of advice, the right of consent and the right of initiative, is regulated in the Dutch Law on the Works Council (WOR). According to this Law, the Council works in the interest of the proper functioning of the company.

Since 15 January 2020, the Works Council consists of:

  • Marlous Visser (Chair)
  • Eduard Drenth (Co-Chair)
  • Joop Petter (Secretary)
  • Edwin Klinkenberg
  • Han Nijdam



Frysk Akademyfûns Foundation

The foundation Frysk Akademyfûns (Frisian Academy Fund) was founded on 19 July 1968 to bring together funds with the aim to stimulate Frisian scientific work in the broadest sense. Among the aims is also to promote a reasonable accommodation in terms of buildings and property of the Fryske Akademy. As a legal entity, the Frysk Akademyfûns has a separate status from the Fryske Akademy foundation and its financial capital is formed by i.a. donations, gifts and legacies.

Since 1 January 2020, the composition of the board is as follows:

  • Jan Kersbergen, M (Chair)
  • Jos Tjalsma, M (Secretary/Treasurer)
  • Wiebe Adema, LLM
  • Ernest de Lange, LLM
  • Rembrandt Veldhuyzen van Zanten, LLM

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