The court confirms the dismissal of director Ranti Tjan from the Kabak Academy of Arts in The Hague

The court confirms the dismissal of director Ranti Tjan from the Kabak Academy of Arts in The Hague

Ranti Tjan (center) before the trial on May 30.Lena Selge’s photo

In recent months, Tian has come into conflict with Huge De Dugd, the Chairman of the Executive Council. At stake in the conflict was the organizational structure of the University of the Arts, which included KABK and the Royal Institute in The Hague. Tien contests his dismissal, but the court finds the working relationship broken and finds it highly reprehensible that Tejan shared information about the conflict with staff and students at KABK.

The judge ruled in favor of the university on all points. This means that Tjan, who requested €384,000 in “fair compensation” in the event of dismissal, is not entitled to severance pay. Tegan, who has been suspended since March, is considering an appeal.

He has been restless at KABK for a long time. When Tejan took office in June 2022, The Hague Academy of Arts had been without a director for about a year. Tejan’s predecessor had resigned after a critical report. After that, KABK was led for a short time by an interim director, whose reorganization plans were not well received. Things have also been unsettled at other art academies for years, after critical studies on social security were published.

Until recently, the Director of the Academy of Arts and the Director of the Conservatory together lead the management of the University of Applied Sciences. But as a result of the investigation, that changed. Since September 2022, De Deugd (ex-Director at Inholland University of Applied Sciences) has single-handedly formed the Executive Board. Tegan believes this is impractical. In December, De Deugd had already warned that they threatened to end up in a “fundamental conflict”.


Tegan is disappointed with the verdict. “The hundreds of statements of support I have received in the past three months from each of my teachers, students, artists, colleagues, and interested parties is a huge boost and support for a better CABC,” he says in response to De Volkskrant.

Tian has received support from the art world, among others, Sjarel Ex, former director of the Boijmans Van Beuningen Museum in Rotterdam. In response to the lawsuit, Ex had urged mediation in a letter to the Supervisory Board of the Applied Science University. This letter was signed by, among others, the artist Wim te Schippers and the director Benno Tempel of the Kunstmuseum Den Haag.

The court ruling comes at an uncertain time. From June 30th to July 4th during the festive period graduation presentation KABK is staffed by more than 200 alumni. Corridors and classrooms become exhibition spaces that include performances, illustration, graphic design, installations, photography, film, painting, objects, and sound art.

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