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The American Schools of Oriental Research
Executive Committee Meeting
February 26, 2000

PRESENT: P.E. MacAllister, Joe Seger, Nan Frederick, Holland Hendrix, Al Leonard, Dick Scheuer, James F. Strange, Jerry Vincent, and Ingrid Wood.
ALSO PRESENT: Rudy Dornemann, Executive Director, Holly Andrews, Assistant Director, and Billie Jean Collins, Director of Publications.

1.  CALL TO ORDER by P.E. MacAllister, Chairman of the Board of Trustees.  The Chairman took a moment to congratulate the Secretary, James F. Strange, for a timely and accurate production of the minutes of the previous meetings.

2.  PREVIOUS MINUTES: It was noted that John Camp is a writer of non-fiction and fiction.  The minutes were so corrected.

BE IT RESOLVED that the minutes of the Feb 6, 2000 meeting are accepted as corrected.  The resolution was moved, seconded, and PASSED UNANIMOUSLY (see copy attached).

3.  REPORT FROM THE CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES: P.E. MacAllister notes that the survival of ASOR has been surprising, given the moving of the offices to new venues with each new President.  Nevertheless the organization has adjusted.  P.E. agrees with Ted Campbell that we need more business people on the Board.  In that connection P.E. reports that he has met with Mr. B.W. Ruffner about  Board membership. The general strategy in which this invitation fits is to elect four categories, including donor-members. He has identified a group as "The Chairman's Circle" asking them to donate $5,000.  So far seven have responded positively.  This will change the complexion of the Board.  Those people will need important jobs so that they will stay.  PE suggested putting them on CAP or COP.  There was some discussion about the need to educate the academic members of the board about this initiative.  Holland Hendrix suggested that we put together a strong orientation for new Board members.   There was also a discussion about the wisdom of asking for advice from business people if that advice is not followed.

4.  REPORT FROM THE PRESIDENT: Joe Seger praised P.E. MacAllister for his leadership.  Joe then turned to introduction of the credentials of  potential new Board members.  These include Austin Ritterspach, an investment counselor with theological degrees from Union Theological Seminary, and Dr. B. Winfred Ruffner, interested in educational outreach.  Joe cautions that bringing anyone into ASOR requires appropriate instruction.  It was suggested that P.E. MacAllister make his report of new Trustees and obligations to the full Board.

BE IT RESOLVED that the following new Institutional Members be accepted: Carroll College, Waukesha,  WI with Lamar Cope as representative and Trinity College in Hartford, CT with Martha Risser as representative. The motion was moved, seconded, and PASSED UNANIMOUSLY.

Joe indicates that we will follow through with the full Board with three names as Board Elected Trustees of the class of 2003, namely, Ritterspach, Ruffner, and Jerry Vincent.

Joe lead a discussion of reformulating Board Committees, to wit:

The Finance Committee is presently chaired by Ingrid Wood, Treasurer, with Jerry Vincent, P.E. MacAllister, Joe Seger, Tom Schaub, and with the addition of new Trustee Kent Birmingham.  Finance also includes supervision of publications' finances.

The Development Committee is presently chaired by Holland Hendrix with .B.W. Ruffner (new), Kent Bermingham (new), John Camp (possibly), and Austin Ritterspach (new).  Holland Hendrix will review the list of other Trustees for further member additions.

Some discussion ensued about orientation of new Trustees at the April or November meetings.  Perhaps 15 minutes could be set aside at the Board meeting.  No action.

The Personnel Committee is chaired by Nan Frederick, with Joe Seger, P.E. MacAllister, Rudy Dornemann, ex officio, and Ingrid Wood.  The committee handles questions of personnel, evaluation, and policies, and will produce a Policy Manual.

The Nominations Committee is chaired by Randy Younker, with Randy and Holland Hendrix as Board Elected Trustees.  Joe affirmed that any trustee can serve, but that two each from the Individual and Institutional Trustees are routinely recommended by election at each Members Meeting and are subsequently appointed by the Board Chairman.

Joe Seger asked for suggestions from the Executive Committee about committee structure and who might best serve where.

CENTENNIAL REPORT: President Joe Seger reports that a great deal of work has been accomplished between Rudy Dornemann, Holly Andrews, Britt Hartenberger and himself.  ASOR has sent 3,000 packets of invitations, first mailing to all Trustees and the Centers' Trustees.  Special letters went out to all institutional representatives mentioning  special opportunities for them and special sponsorship opportunities for business and individuals.  Major recruitments are in progress for the Honorary Committee.  Hilary Rodham Clinton is the Honorary Patron.  The Honorary Committee includes Senators Moynihan and Sarbanes, the Ambassador of Canada, representatives from Jordan and the Palestinian Authority, past presidents of the Board, etc.  Liz Moynihan and Eric Meyers are Honorary Co-Chairs. By White House protocols Mrs. Clinton is honorable patron, but not an honorary committee member.

The Gala is segregated as a second special invitation because of the facilities, namely, upstairs in the State Department. The other part of the program features Smithsonian Associates, and the attendance looks positive.  he number of responding Smithsonian Associates forced us to move to a larger auditorium. The rest of the program will take place at the Washington Wyndham  Hotel Saturday evening and Sunday morning. ASOR has arranged for give-aways such as a Swiss army knife, rulers, jar grip, letter openers, etc. The Publication Office handled announcement in the ASOR Newsletter beautifully under the leadership of Billie Jean Collins. Materials went up on the ASOR web site as well. Rudy Dornemann added that Alice Pickering, Lee Seaman, and Giraud Foster have also been helping a good deal. The Commemorative Program Booklet needs more sponsorships, though some have been contacted already. SBL will sponsor one full page.  PFI has been helpful, interviewing string quartets and photographers. A caterer (Well Dunn! Catering) has been selected.  We have a few responses from institutional affiliates for sponsorships as Founding Institutions for a New Century.

The Centennial History book project will not be completed in April, but will be for fall meetings.  Dig Directors are being encouraged to furnish slides. The Public Relations initiative is in progress, including brochure, press releases, and press packets.

5.  FINANCIAL REPORT: Ingrid Wood, Treasurer.  The Executive Committee reviewed the audited financial statements, related statements of activities, and changes in net assets and cash flows for 1999 and 1998 (on a restated basis).  In 1999 ASOR formally adopted the Statement of Financial Accounting Standards (SFAS) No. 117 "Financial Statements for Not-for-Profit Organizations" and SFAS No. 124 "Accounting for Certain Investments Held by Not-for-Profit Organizations." These standards require a presentation format that uses accrual basis accounting in which net assets are classified as unrestricted, temporarily restricted, and permanently restricted assets.  Donor specified or legally imposed restrictions are the conventional basis for this classification now reflected in ASOR's Statement of Activities and Statements of Changes in Net Assets.  Under SFAS No. 124 investments in equity and debt securities are reported at fair value.  Unrealized gains and losses (changes in fair value) are reflected in the change in net assets.  Realized gains and losses occur when an investment is sold or expires. Investment income and gains restricted by donor are reported as increases in unrestricted net assets if the restrictions are met (duration or use-specified) in the reporting period in which the income and gain is recognized.

The disclosure of an accumulated benefit obligation (for medical benefits to a surviving spouse) was discussed and should be included in future Notes to the Financial Statements.  The Treasurer will review this item with ASOR's auditors to determine how this should be recorded. This particular item was disclosed on internal reports and is a long-term obligation ASOR carries on its books, but it has not previously been disclosed on external financial statements.

The James B. Nies bequests, with Citicorp Trust, will require appropriate accounting recognition and presentation pending resolution of their status, and Citicorp Trust's status as fiscal agent or trustee. As a result of this discussion as well as the preceding item, the Executive Committee agreed to defer adoption of these audited Financial Statements until the April 2000 meeting.

Ingrid Wood stated that the use of standard accounting methodology is a prerequisite to appropriate disclosure in the endowment fund-raising campaign starting Fall 2000. Jerry Vincent suggested that a functional activity matrix for program services also be incorporated to more appropriately identify services ASOR provides to its affiliates, program beneficiaries, and other institutions, in a manner consistent with its mission, purpose, and annual goals, including fund-raising, publications, as well as special event sponsorship. The Finance Committee had previously agreed to adopt standard accounting disclosure on a go forward basis for all external reporting.  The Executive Committee also reaffirmed the internal monthly financial reports should be simplified to mirror the accrual basis external reports.  It also requested that separate budget reports be used for internal reporting.

Rudy Dornemann reported on the December 1999 and January 2000 month-end actuals. Notable items are that Trustee giving is healthier than last year (74% of estimate of $96,500) and Centennial Program expenditure is expected to begin soon.  Rudy Dornemann reported on the anticipated Centennial Program income and expenses, and the head count assumptions regarding the Centennial program.  These projections will need to be monitored and revised if head count assumptions are not borne out by March 15, 2000.

Billie Jean Collins, Director of Publications, reported on the financial status of the Publications, including moneys, which are to be transferred from Scholars Press.  Billy Jean Collins also presented a preliminary inventory valuation of ASOR books and journals.  The benefit of a disclosed inventory valuation is that it will enable ASOR to better understand the timing of production costs as well as the supply and demand economics for pricing of ASOR publications.  The recognition of ASOR's  publication inventories will be presented in the 1999/2000 Financial Statements.  Analysis of inventory valuation, manufacturing costs, revenues, and timing have begun coincident with the move of ASOR publications fulfillment from Scholar's Press to Academic Services.

Ingrid Wood distributed investment summary asset allocation, year-to-date performance in 2000, and valuation as of February 9, 2000 on ASOR accounts held at SalomonSmithBarney brokerage.  Market volatility in January and early February created a challenging environment for growth in our diversified portfolio.  The portfolio includes mutual funds intended to have a buffering effect in adverse conditions.  Growth has been around 2.6% overall this year. By contrast, November and December 1999 growth or appreciation in fair value was on average, 13%.  The Executive Committee recommended that interest, dividends, and gains be realized as cash, and held as cash or money market funds (as opposed to reinvestment option) as long as current market conditions persist.  This change in reinvestment option was put in effect in mid February, prior to this meeting.  By early February all ASOR controlled investment assets have been transferred into ASOR accounts at Salomon Smith Barney.  A review with respect to donor restrictions on accounts will be reported in the April meeting.

BE IT RESOLVED to defer approval on the final 1999 Financial Statements until April 2000, pending outcomes that could materially change the accounting recognition for the prior period.  The Resolution was moved, seconded, and PASSED UNANIMOUSLY.

6.  DEVELOPMENT REPORT: Holland Hendrix reports (1) We cannot roll out the Centennial Campaign at the Centennial Celebration because of restrictions involving State Department protocols on fund raising at hosted events.  (2) We shall therefore launch the Centennial Campaign at the National Meetings.  (3) We must add to our Development Committee and use the time after the April events to assemble campaign leadership teams.

7.  PUBLICATIONS REPORT: Al Leonard gave a written report handed out at the meeting.  It was moved by Al Leonard and seconded as follows:

BE IT RESOLVED that ASOR approve the contract with Brown as presented.  The motion was moved, seconded, and PASSED WITH ONE ABSTENTION,

8.  THE COMMITTEE ON ARCHAEOLOGICAL POLICY sent in a written report.  Joe Seger congratulated David McCreery in absentia for his hard work and patience.

9.  THE ANNUAL MEETING REPORT was passed out in printed form to the Executive Committee.

10.  EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR'S REPORT: Rudy Dornemann recounted that the Centennial occupies much time.  He mentioned that ASOR Staff is working with the alumni magazine of Boston University on the ASOR Centennial.  The Boston University Bridge had an article on the Centennial.  A television program with Boston University is in the planning.  Billie Jean Collins and Rudy went to Mystic to talk with World of the Bible.  They also met with Jim Henderson of Academic Services about the Member Subscription Services.  Time was also spent on finances with the Treasurer, Ingrid Wood.  Dr. Dornemann sees a need to rework hours in the office so that all of initial work is in house so as not to use or misuse the Accountant.  There exists a draft statement of indemnification for the ASOR lawyer.  There is good news in that the Kress Foundation has agreed to roll over leftover monies to next year.  ASOR has applied to the Dorot Foundation for Centennial support.

The Saudi Arabia initiative: An official from Saudi Arabia wants to visit with those interested in the Saudi Arabia initiative.  But we need to send a delegation to them to see what is possible.  Consider April/May.  The Ambassador to Saudi Arabia is facilitating contacts.

The New York Times and the Washington Post mentioned ASOR matters with stories on Megiddo.  End of Report.

Joe Seger added a note about ASOR's  support of initiatives to encourage congress to earmark $2 million in funds for overseas centers scholarships through CAORC, the Council of American Overseas Research Centers.

Adjourned by P.E. MacAllister at 4:46 PM.

Respectfully Submitted,

James F. Strange, Secretary