We are looking for a new chair of the Executive Board for the independent Gerrit Rietveld Academie: an inspiring, experienced and empathetic figurehead with a global outlook, affinity with art, culture and art education and a vision on 'diversity and inclusion' and 'ecology and sustainability'.


The Chair of the Executive Board at Gerrit Rietveld Academie


The Academy

The Gerrit Rietveld Academie is a small-scale, internationally-oriented university of applied sciences for Fine Arts and Design that comprises the Rietveld Academie (Bachelor’s programmes) and the Sandberg Instituut (Master’s programmes). We, the Gerrit Rietveld Academie, are committed to developing, providing, positioning and protecting investigative and experimental art education. Rooted in practice and critically engaged in society, we facilitate the exploration, interrogation and imaginative representation of the world, contributing to alternative discourses, processes and forms of creation. Our lecturers and students adopt an independent, investigative and critical approach to their work; they question the premises of their profession and relate to the world in a conscious way. In our education and research, we see teachers and students as intellectual equals. They are participants in a shared learning process that is also a group process in which everyone has an influence.

The Academie is characterised by decentralised decision-making processes in which the different parts of the organisation work together in dialogue. In our decision-making and in preparing and implementing policy, we prioritise a bottom-up approach. The key principles within these processes are the autonomy of the teaching departments and ensuring that the multiple voices of the Academie community are heard.

We consider diversity and inclusivity and ecology and sustainability to be the most important themes for the years ahead. They are core values for the whole Academie community. Therefore, these priorities are embedded in the 2020-2025 Institutional Plan, entitled ‘Undefined, Unsolicited, Unsettling’.

Due to the expiration of the board term of the current chair of the Executive Board, the Gerrit Rietveld Academie is looking for a new chair of the Executive Board.


The new Chair of the Executive Board


Vision development, internal organisation and style of governance

The Chair of the Executive Board is responsible for the further development of the mission, vision and strategy, always in collaboration with the Academie community and reflecting the decentralised management philosophy. A good listener, the Chair will develop the vision with the Academie, at least involving the Participatory Council, Unsettling and a range of student representatives, such as the Student Council and the Unions. The Chair will have the ability to distil a clear way forward from the different perspectives held across the Academie. In this, it is important for the Chair to be able to bring knowledge and vision to the Academie community while also taking inspiration from it.

The Chair will be an inspirational figure with ample experience in governance. Someone capable of gaining an overview of all parts of the Academie: Bachelor’s and Master’s programmes, workshops, research and operations. The actual internal management is mainly carried out by the other members of the management team, who have a clear mandate.

Since the lecturers and students come from across the world, a Chair is sought who has experience of working in an international environment and context. Even more importantly, the new Chair must have experience in the practical application of inclusivity, diversity and sustainability.

All of this calls for a style of governance in which listening, entrusting people, sharing information, delegating responsibilities and collaboration are paramount. By applying this style, the Chair will inspire and moderate the conversation about the core activities and institutional priorities, which prevails within the Academie community. The new Chair will be capable of reconciling this style of governance with decisiveness and vigour, wherever and whenever necessary.

The Chair will also respond in a recognisable and visible manner to changes and developments in the professional field, society and politics.


Representation and safeguarding the continuity of the Academie

The external representation of the Gerrit Rietveld Academie will be one of the Chair's primary tasks in the years ahead. As a figurehead, the new Chair must be able to represent the Academie at various levels. Responding to external, local and international developments, the Chair will safeguard the continued existence and further development of the Academie as a small independent educational institution.

First of all, this representative role calls for a person with a strong connection and/or affinity with the discipline of education/art education. Secondly, it requires someone with an extensive network that includes representatives and strategic alliance partners within the art and education sector, cultural sector, the professional field, ministries and public and semi-public institutions.

The Chair will be capable of safeguarding the Academie’s continuity and, in doing so, will maintain a sharp focus on its key characteristics: small-scale, independent and with an Academie community made of students and lecturers with a wide variety of visions. The Chair will be capable of creating the right conditions in which the Academie community and its education can thrive. This is about more than just creating a favourable external climate for art education. It also involves a focus on internal issues, including good conditions of employment for staff and working towards an inclusive organisation. The Chair will be capable of developing and improving the role of the Academie as an employer and commissioning party. In this, the Chair will collaborate with other institutions and the wider cultural field.

The Chair will be inspiring, have administrative sensitivity and be skilled in public relations, capable of dealing with the media and media coverage, and will create trust.

In brief, the Chair will be capable of serving as a strong partner in dialogue for internal and external parties with an ability to strengthen and further develop the position of the Academie.


What are the executive tasks and priorities?

The Chair is primarily responsible for the core executive tasks and for achieving the eight priorities in the 2020-2025 Institutional Plan. In a broad sense, the core executive tasks cover the management of the Academie, as detailed in the job description. The Institutional Plan sets priorities to be worked on in the Academie. The Chair has final responsibility for achieving these eight priorities, which are: diversity and inclusivity, vision and positioning, ecology and sustainability, decision-making processes, developing research, strengthening education, supporting students and personnel policy.


Review of past term of office

In the previous term of office, the focus was primarily on developing and consolidating a diversity and inclusivity path. The Academie community attaches great importance to this priority. So the Executive Board has a responsibility to continually work on this together with the Academie community.

Numerous developments have been initiated with regard to the priorities ‘supporting students’ and ‘personnel policy’ and the new Chair will be expected to pursue these further in the period ahead.


Looking ahead to 2022-2026 term of office

The new Executive Board will focus on carrying out its core executive tasks. In addition, the new Chair will guide the Academie community in the further development of the priorities of the Institutional Plan. In addition, there are also individual priorities for the Rietveld Academie and the Sandberg Instituut, which will need to be delegated and implemented decentrally.

More particularly, the Institutional Plan states that research is an important part of the activities of the Academie. This is reflected in the new fields of research in the temporary Master’s programmes, the further development of practice-oriented research in the arts and the Art and Public Space Lectorate. The task for the period ahead will involve the further development of research policy and its anchoring within the Academie.

Furthermore, the themes of relevance to the Chair include the significance of internationalisation, ensuring access to art education in the Netherlands and the position of alumni.

Finally, the Chair will ensure that new developments and themes are included in a revised or new Institutional Plan.


Position within the organisation

The Chair of the Executive Board reports to the Supervisory Board and is a member and Chair of the management team (MT). The MT comprises the Director of the Rietveld Academie, the Director of the Sandberg Instituut and the Director of Operations. The MT is a vital link between the internal organisation and the external environment.

Externally, the Chair is the representative of the Academie and has relationships with representatives from the social arena and other stakeholders at national and international level.

The Chair works from the perspective of the mission, strategy and management philosophy of the Gerrit Rietveld Academie.

Further details of the Chair of the Executive Board’s role are laid down in the job description.


Chair of the Executive Board – knowledge and skills

> Skilled, at a high professional and intellectual level, in developing and communicating the Academie’s mission, vision and strategy in a way that reflects the Academie’s decentralised management philosophy;

> Strong connection and/or affinity with art, culture and professional art education;

> Experienced in managing a public/semi-public institution preferably devoted to art, culture and/or art education or education in general, with an excellent track record;

> Maintains a balance between management and vision development;

> With a vision and practical experience of ‘diversity and inclusion’ and ‘ecology and sustainability’;

> Experienced in working within an international context, preferably abroad;

> Skilled in creating a socially safe working and learning environment for a diverse and international community of students, lecturers and staff in order to ensure that everyone can feel at home in the Academie;

> Knowledge and experience of Dutch social and political relationships;

> Good social skills: the ability to be sensitive in oral and written communication, paying particular attention to inclusive communication;

> A strong discussion partner in consultations with representatives from the Dutch Ministry of Education and other public bodies and strategic partners in the Netherlands and internationally;

> Skilled in dealing with the media and media coverage.



> Figurehead: a figurehead for the Academie, approachable, shares information, places responsibility where it belongs, empathic and complimentary, open to new ideas across all layers of the Academie;

> Connector: a networker, with an eye for other people’s positions, respectful, demonstrating empathy and sympathy, communicating in a way that connects;

> Communicator: a good listener who asks probing questions and is persuasive;

> Source of inspiration; can inspire based on open dialogue with the Academie community and the world beyond it, creative;

> Visionary; capable of placing issues in a broader future perspective, inquisitive and innovative;

> Decisive and vigorous; weighs up alternatives and makes transparent choices, makes prompt decisions.


Terms of employment

The appointment will be for 32 to 40 hours, exact number of hours negotiable;

The position will be rewarded according to the WNT (Executives' Pay (Standards) Act) standard for education, class C, with a salary based on knowledge and experience;

This includes a generous number of holidays, pension scheme and holiday allowance;

Four-year appointment, with the option of extending for a maximum period of four years.



The Gerrit Rietveld Academie is guided in this procedure by the executive search agency Colourful People. For more information about the Gerrit Rietveld Academie, the position or the procedure, you can contact Naima Azough, senior partner at Colourful People, by email: n.azough@colourfulpeople.nl or telephone: +31 (0)6 4344 9717.

You can apply for this position by uploading your letter and CV no later than 15 May, 2022 via the 'Solliciteer/Apply' button at www.colourfulpeople.nl