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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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Managing Director dr. Nelleke IJssennagger-van der Pluijm.

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. She is accountable to the Supervisory Board in accordance with the statutes and rules of procedure.

  • dr. Nelleke IJssennagger-van der Pluijm is Managing Director of the Fryske Akademy since March 2021.


Management Team

The Managing Director is advised by a Management Team (MT). The MT meets regularly at their own discretion and advises the Managing Director broadly on policy, human resources, finance and external affairs.

Since 1 January 2021, the representation consists of:

  • Joop Petter, Head of Finances
  • Vacancy, Head of Planning and Acquisition



Supervisory Board, from left to right: Anthonya Visser, Jacob Fokkema (Chair), Houkje Rijpstra (advisor), 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 31 January 2021, the Supervisory Board consists of:

  • Prof Jacob T. Fokkema, Schiedam (Chair)
  • Wim Kleinhuis, Gorredijk
  • Seerp Y. Leistra, Groningen
  • Prof Anthonya Visser, Amsterdam
  • Houkje Rijpstra, Gytsjerk (advisor of the Supervisory Board)


Science Committee and Social Advisory Council

The Fryske Akademy had a Science Committee and a Social Advisory Council until the end of 2019.

The task of the Science Committee was to give solicited and unsolicited advice to the Managing Director, the Supervisory Board and the KNAW on the policy and scientific program of the Fryske Akademy. The Social Advisory Council gave solicited and unsolicited advice to the Managing Director, the Supervisory Board and the Province of Fryslân with on the social services of institution, including the support of volunteers within The Fryske Akademy.

Tasks taken over by the Supervisory Board
On the basis of provincial decision-making, the members of the Science Committee and the Social Advisory Council stopped their activities. The tasks of both forums are taken over by the Supervisory Board, so that both the social and scientific aspects of the work of the Fryske Akademy are promoted.


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 2021, the Works Council consists of:

  • Eduard Drenth (Chair)
  • Edwin Klinkenberg (Secretary)
  • Han Nijdam (Co-chair)
  • Willem Visser
  • vacancy



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 20 March 2021, the composition of the board is as follows:

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

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