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The American Schools of Oriental Research
Board of Trustees Meeting
Washington, DC
April 13, 2000


Present: Chairman P.E. MacAllister, President Joe Seger, Vice-President Holly Hendrix, Treasurer Ingrid Wood, Al Leonard, Bill Dever, Victor Matthews, Lydie Shufro, Øystein LaBianca, Gough Thompson, Tom Schaub, B.W. Ruffner, Randy Younker, John Spencer, Ernest Frerichs, Tammi Schneider, Jeffrey Blakely, Sy Gitin, Nan Frederick, Dave McCreery, Kyle McCarter, Oded Borowski, John Camp, Tim Harrison, Ex-officio: Rudy Dornemann, Billie Jean Collins, Holly Andrews   (Absent Jerry Vincent, Ed Gilbert, Charles Harris, Dick Scheuer, Stuart Swiny, Julie Hansen, James Strange, Bruce Routledge.)

1. The meeting was called to order by Chairman MacAllister at 10:05am.

Resolved, the minutes from the Board meeting of November 20, 1999 in Cambridge, MA are approved by the Board. The motion was seconded and voted.

2. Report from the Nominations Committee

The Chairman suggested that this agenda item be advanced to allow for election of new Trustee candidates so that they might formally participate in the meeting. Resolved, candidates to the Board elected Trustee Class of 2003: Jerry Vincent (continuing) and B. W. Ruffner and Austin Ritterspach (new members vitae circulated) be elected as recommended by Randy Younker, Chairman and the Nominations Committee.

The motion was seconded and voted.

3. Chairman’s Report – P.E. MacAllister (see attached)

4. President’s Report – Joe Seger

President Seger held a moment of silence for Janet Harris who passed away in January, and for Jim Sauer who passed away in November, 1999.

President Seger thanked Deborah Stern and Julie Hansen for their service to the Board.  Both complete their terms in June of this year. He also noted that Ed Gilbert, President of CAARI and Patty Gerstenblith, president of AIAR will both be completing their terms and their successors will replace them on the ASOR board as representatives of those two centers.

He then reported on another new institutional membership application. The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor of Belton, TX (representative – Stephen Von Wyrick) was earlier accepted into the ASOR Consortium by the Executive Committee.

President Seger indicated that he needs help and support from the Board on reconstituting the existing committees.

5.  Report from AIAR  – deferred till arrival of P. Gerstenblith.

6.  Report from ACOR – Nan Frederick (for Anne Ogilvy)

ACOR continues to do well overall. Major projects such as Petra, Madaba and Aqaba continue to be active. The Mosaics of Jordan publication is still very popular and going strong.

First Lady Hillary Clinton and Chelsea Clinton visited ACOR in November and presented the center with a USAID award of $185,000 for the Petra endowment. The ACOR endowment now stands at $1.1 million dollars.

Other new initiatives are underway at ACOR. A new digital mapping project is underway thanks to a grant from the USAID and 152 Petra Church Scrolls have now been processed.

7. Report from CAARI – Joe Seger (for Ed Gilbert)

President Joe Seger noted that there is an important vote on officers taking place at the concurrent meeting of the CAARI Board along with other important business.  This explains the absence of Ed Gilbert and other CAARI/ASOR dual Trustees.  He reported that the CAARI center is functioning well under the directorship of Robert Merrillees and thanks to support from Janet and Charles Harris, endowment is strong and activities are thriving.

8. Centennial Report – Joe Seger

The Centennial Committee has worked diligently on putting together the ASOR Centennial Program. ASOR wishes to express appreciation to Under Secretary Tom Pickering and Mrs. Alice Pickering who have given much help and advice on many details, especially the Gala at the State Department.

President Seger wished to recognize several ASOR members for their work:

Nancy Lapp will be honored at Pittburgh Theological Seminary for her work and involvement in the re-opening of the Bible Lands Museum at PTS. Lydie Shufro, Sy Gitin and Bill Dever are congratulated for their hard work in putting together the Centennial Celebration at AIAR in Jerusalem in May, 2000.

Overseas celebrations will also take place at CAARI in Nicosia on June 5 and at ACOR in Amman on June 7.

If there is any interest on the Board for supplemental trips to tour sites after the celebrations please contact the Boston office.

At this juncture Patty Gerstenblith joined the meeting and provided the Report on AIAR activities.

Dr. Gerstenblith indicated that everything is going very well at AIAR. They recently received a substantial Kershaw Grant for their Centennial.  The Garden at the Albright will be named the “Kershaw Garden” in recognition of this gift.  The Albright endowment is now passing the $3 million dollar mark and they have balanced their budget for the year.  The AIAR fellowship program is full and thriving.  She encourages all to try and come to the Centennial celebration in Jerusalem as it should be a wonderful program.

President Seger then announced that the Honors and Awards Committee is recognizing Patty this year with the W.F. Albright Award and he followed this by reading the citation in her honor. She graciously accepted and thanked all at ASOR in return.

9. Financial Reports – Ingrid Wood (see attached report)

In response to our financial obligations, Bill Dever started a discussion on the need to help young scholars; the next generation of ASOR.  We need to address the issue of young people.  They need help from ASOR to secure jobs, receive grant money to start projects and do research.  If we do not help them the field will erode.  Younger scholars did not grow up with ASOR as the senior scholars have and do not have the same support network.  If nothing else the senior scholars can go out and “beat ASOR’s drum” by speaking and tapping into the interest and excitement of young people and raise money to help this next generation.  Many of the younger members feel like ASOR doesn’t do anything for them and we should respond to that and see that we do.

10. Report from the Executive Director – Rudy Dornemann (see attached report)

The Boston office has worked long and hard on the Centennial Program. Now that it is over, we need to tend to new responsibilities and development efforts.

Dr. Dornemann covered the proposed By-Laws amendment which was circulated earlier.  (copy appended)

Resolved, that the proposed By-Laws amendment is accepted by the Board.

The motion was seconded and voted.

Dr. Dornemann next provided an update on the Saudi Arabia initiative. President Seger commented that it is a great opportunity for ASOR and we should pursue it. It was agreed that ASOR will go forward with a delegation to Saudi Arabia when this seems appropriate and to assess the prospects there before making any commitments.

11. Report from Nominations Committee  (See above!)

12.  Brief new Trustee Orientation (deferred)

13. Report on Development – Holly Hendrix

Dr. Hendrix had four points to make in his report.

1. He plans to spend time working with the Boston office to create a solid development staff and identify fundraising for that initiative. He plans to do this either through re-structuring of staff responsibilities or with the help of consultants to aid in that process.

2. He will be reconstituting a high-powered expanded and fully committed committee which is essential if ASOR is going to succeed in the Campaign.  He would like to plan a retreat for a strategic planning session before September 2000, possibly at the Echoing Greene Foundation in New York.  And, he plans to constitute a Campaign Committee before the Annual Meeting in Nashville in November.

3. Keep the momentum going around the major gifts plan.  He hopes to put together cultivation dinners in New York, Indianapolis and California. He hopes to identify major prospects who may have fallen away and identify new prospects.

4. Put forth a Foundations & Corporations grant writing initiative with Holly Andrews instrumental in the process.  ASOR needs to re-build its foundation & corporation pool and create a new base.

During the discussion that followed Honorary Trustee Gough Thompson pledged $5000 to go towards development efforts.

John Camp commented that what ASOR needs is a media-savvy marketing tool or medium to get the word out to the people. People do not know who we are or what we do.  We need a “story” that is marketable and accessible.  Perhaps we could produce an 8-minute advertising promo such as a voice over edited version of PE MacAllister’s video series.

The Development Committee initially needs to spearhead this effort until we can hire a professional Public Relations person.

14.  Report on Publications – Al Leonard (see attached report)

Dr. Leonard covered the 5 points offered in his report.  Discussion ensued on how to attract new members/subscribers.  It would be a nice idea to have field manuals available to the public and primers for first-timers to sites, it may raise more interest.  ASOR should pursue new educational/publication initiatives in this area.

Sten LaBianca spoke on the focus of ASOR’s mission as it is stated in the Mission Statement.  We as an organization are still focused on the three religions yet nothing in our Mission Statement reflects that.  It is time that we examine our historical roots and our mission as an organization.  Do we need to revisit our mission and our original purpose? Why did The World of the Bible fail? Do we need to have a different approach?  Do we need to somehow bridge religious and non-religious interests?  Times have changed over the past 100 years and we need to respond to those changes and be pragmatic in our focus regarding religion and its significance in the world in both the East and the West.

15. Report from the Committee on Archaeological Policy – Dave McCreery

Dr. McCreery reported that as CAP Chairman he has taken the liberty of writing to many of the project directors’ deans, administrators and presidents regarding the importance of the work CAP affiliated project members are doing.  He has had some positive response.  This is one way in which CAP can provide support for ASOR members and can serve to help, especially young scholars.

Dr. McCreery is planning to revise the CAP affiliation forms so that institutional administrators are named and ASOR has a way of knowing how these digs are supported and how we can contact them.

CAP needs to be awarding more grants.  Presently they have only $5,000 for 4 to 5 grants per year.  Dr. McCreery would like to raise a grant base of at least $20,000.  CAP needs to restructure the grant guidelines and get more specific about what the priorities are (what the awarded monies go for) so as to make the review and selection process easier.

We need to have a standardized application.  Dr. McCreery also plans to revise the “General Standards” statement slightly.

Dr. McCreery is considering not going on the CAP tour this summer for personal reasons.  He wishes to use that money to help those in the Middle East to visit the sites and send a report.  He hopes to get the Committee involved in the tour in a “hands-on” way where they can be engaged in dialogue and exchange instead of the Committee operating in a top-heavy manner.  He sees the possibility for more awards and grants such as a conservation award for those who have demonstrated the best conservation efforts at a site.

16. Report from the Committee on Annual Meeting and Programs – Vic Matthews

Dr. Mathews expressed thanks to Doug Clark (Chair of Program Committee) for tightening up the guidelines for Annual Meeting submission of new sections and sessions. He reports that we have already received 14 new sections for the meeting in Nashville.  The momentum from the Cambridge meeting seems to be continuing.

The Outreach Education Committee is really ready to expand and improve their programs beyond the Annual Meetings and need support to do so.

They have completed a great web site and they are seeking to go regional if they can secure grant money.  Carolyn Draper-Rivers, chair of the Outreach Education Committee wishes to hold a summer workshop for school teachers.  She could use a part-time staff person to help coordinate and market these ideas. She needs help and focus with her ideas and seeks the Board’s advice.

17.  Old Business – P.E. MacAllister is seeking help to promote his PBS video series and encourages all to spread the word.

18.  New Business.  There was no new business

19.  Board adjourned – 2:20pm  (Next Meeting at November Annual Meeting in Nashville, November 18, 2000)

Respectfully Submitted,

Holly Andrews (for James Strange)