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The American Schools of Oriental Research
Executive Committee Meeting
March 3, 2001 - Boston


PRESENT: Chairman P.E. MacAllister, President Joe Seger, Vice-President Tom Schaub, Treasurer Ingrid Wood, Secretary Jim Strange, Al Leonard, Eric Meyers, BW Ruffner, Austin Ritterspach, Jerry Vincent, Nan Frederick, David McCreery, Dick Scheuer, Ed Gilbert, Doug Clark, Staff: Rudy Dornemann, Holly Andrews, Billie Jean Collins.
ABSENT: Charles Harris
VISITORS:  Holly Hendrix, Consultant

1. CTO at 1:45pm

2. CHAIRMAN’S REPORT – P.E. MacAllister (See item 11).  He ceded his time to the end, but called for approval of the Minutes.

RESOLVED: That the minutes of the Executive Committee meeting, November 17, 2001 be accepted as submitted. Seconded. PASSED UNANIMOUSLY.


David Graff has accepted the nomination to move forward with the Saudi initiative and take on role of Chair of the Saudi Arabia Committee.

RESOLVED: That David Graff is appointed as Chairman of the Saudi Arabia Committee and move forward with Saudi initiative. Seconded. PASSED UNANIMOUSLY.

Committee members need to begin thinking about whom they would like to nominate as new officers for 2002. President Seger circulated brief profiles of what the officers’ responsibilities are and what officers are expected to do as stated in the By-Laws.

Chairman MacAllister officially appointed the nominating committee as a body to carry out this function and role.

Norma Kershaw has requested AIAR’s and ASOR’s honorary (non-financial) sponsorship of the “Exploring the Holy Land: David Roberts and Beyond” exhibition opening at the Bower’s Museum in Los Angeles in the fall of 2001. Discussion ensued on whether this was appropriate for ASOR.  ``Eric Meyers warned of possible negative backlash from Arab groups on negative portrayal and colonial nature of the paintings involved.

RESOLVED: That ASOR become an honorary sponsor of the Bower’s Museum Exhibit in the fall of 2001. Seconded. PASSED UNANIMOUSLY.

President Seger advised the Executive Committee that there is a Proposal for an Executive Committee retreat to discuss ASOR’s future – The last retreat of this kind was held in 1970’s, and it is time for ASOR to seriously focus on its structure and plan for the future. There may be some possible funding available for this type of retreat, ASOR will have to check into it soon. ASOR may be able to apply for a “strategic planning” grant from certain foundations.  We will also need to discuss the feasibility of conducting such a retreat. Discussion ensued on possible venues and retreat centers. Jerry Vincent indicated the need to create a budget.  He also strongly suggested contracting a facilitator for this retreat, he recommended Collin Hershel from “Planning Dynamics.”

RESOLVED: To have an outline of the proposed retreat by the April Board meeting for approval by the Executive Committee. Seconded. PASSED UNANIMOUSLY.


Treasurer Wood recommended that the Executive Committee accept the Financial Reports (Audit) from fiscal year 2000 as prepared by Creelman & Smith.

RESOLVED: That the Executive Committee approve the audit report prepared by Creelman & Smith. Seconded. PASSED UNANIMOUSLY.

She also recommended that the EC accept the revised budget for FY2001, which allows the release of temporarily restricted monies from the Torch Campaign (designated Annual Fund gifts) into operating budget.

RESOLVED: That the Executive Committee adopt the revised budget for FY2001 which releases temporarily restricted funds from Torch Campaign into the operating budget. Seconded. PASSED UNANIMOUSLY.

The Operations Committees must put together proposals for releasing other temporarily restricted funds which they may want to tap into for their own budgetary needs.

Doug Clark suggested conversation on the budget in relation to his requests for CAMP and other Committees’ concerns.  Treasurer Wood requested that all committee chairs design budgets and submit them to the Finance Committee for consideration for the FY2002 budget by March 22, 2001.


Chairman Ritterspach circulated the updated Torch Campaign figures to date and the updated Campaign pyramid for individual pledges received and current prospects.  Also circulated was the updated information on the Annual Fund for FY2001.

Holly Hendrix indicated that this year is a special circumstance and that he has had conversations with Treasurer Wood about rolling over some of the excess in the Annual Fund this year into next year’s Annual Fund so we will not be in jeopardy of under-performing next year.

Holly announced a dinner/cultivation event for New York donor prospects for the campaign hosted by Echoing Green Foundation.

Holly Hendrix predicted that we have about $1.6million in pledges/prospects but that it will be essential to design regional cultivation events to find new waves of prospects for the remainder of the Campaign. Development is focusing on the planning of such events for the next three years in various regions of the country. Pledges do not reflect any government funding such as matching grants.  This was a decision early on so as not to pin the campaign on government grants.

Holly Hendrix and Holly Andrews have developed a Comprehensive Campaign Plan.  They have circulated it for review by the Executive Committee before presentation to the Board in April.

Holly Hendrix and Holly Andrews had a good conference call with Jim Strange and Eric Cline, who have agreed to be the project directors of new pedagogical outreach initiative. The Wabash Center grant proposal to be submitted by May 1, 2001 will be a request for $60K over two years to fund a new session at the Annual Meeting focused on the teaching of archaeology and religion and archeology using new technology and also taking part in workshops at the Wabash Center as follow-up.  The tangible product will be a CD-Rom, which is being developed by Jim Strange.


There was some discussion of the expansion of BASOR without getting further behind.

The BASOR Annual is a standing order and makes ASOR money.  The BASOR supplements are money losers.

Discussion points included termination of the NEA editors.  There was general support of a change in editorship, given the complaints of the COP.

The COP intent to use the Opportunity Fund is supported by the resolution of the minutes of the last meeting.  Ingrid points out that in the light of current budgetary shortfalls, it is prudent not to overuse the fund. Joe Seger suggests that, when a manuscript is judged ready to put into the publication process, then we approach the authors with an understanding of what it costs.  If they have no subvention, then we look at ASOR resources carefully.

Jerry Vince suggested that Ingrid Wood research the history of the designated publication fund and clarify the history of the OUP, Johns Hopkins money, and other funds perhaps designated for publications. Ingrid remembers that $30,000 of the Smith-Barney account no. 4 was restricted.

The Web Page: P.E. MacAllister appointed a committee comprised of Austin Ritterspach, Billie Jean Collins, Al Leonard, and Rudy Dornemann. He charged the committee with the task of looking into the specifics for drawing up a proposal to rework the web site – what it would take, how much it would cost, etc. and get back to the Executive Committee in April with a proposal.

There was no objection to purchasing a new computer for the Committee on Publications. 

Billie Jean Collins requests that we clarify our definition of NEA in view of applying for a grant for NEA.  Austin Ritterspach asked Publications for a proposal as to how Publications could best serve the Campaign.  Jerry suggests that we stabilize publications financially, and then enhance NEA.


David McCreery circulated a printout of the web page menu for CAP applications.  All applications are coming via this electronic means.  Harris grant proposals are also electronic now. He suggests that there be a CAP trip this year, though it may be shorter.


Plans for Boulder: There are now more than 40 sections, including a joint session. There will also be expansions: Syria and Mesopotamia. There are three major events that we need to consider: The Plenary Lecture (Larry Stager on Sakhalin and its Canaanite Neighbors). William Dever, Norman Gottwald, and Kyle McCarter have a special session without competition on Thursday evening discussing “Can a History of Ancient Israel be Written?”  This promises not to be a simple rehash of the current debate. The public program on Jerusalem takes place Saturday morning or afternoon competing with Outreach in the morning or SBL and BAR on Saturday afternoon, or Friday Evening, perhaps competing with a banquet or other event.

There will be a joint AIA-ASOR Session January 3-6, 2002.

Doug mentions that he plans to charge for the Public Lecture.  We will also receive fees for the Teacher Workshop.  He reports that there will also be Regional affiliations.  He believes that this year we can realize a total of $10,000 net.  Doug recommends that the Outreach Committee put off their “kids day” one year.

The NEH Summer Proposal has been written and submitted, connected with the Madaba Plains Project.

There was a question whether we should put Neal Bierling’s Outreach Trip on our Web Page.  The consensus was “Not if it is for-profit.”

Shall we establish a BAS/ASOR Lecture Series?  Doug will organize a committee to examine this issue and bring a report to the Board in April.

Ingrid suggests a planning session in March by Rudy Dornemann and Doug Clark on the Annual Meeting.

10. DIRECTOR’S REPORT—Rudy Dornemann (distributed)

Rudy spoke of staff time taken up in preparing meeting venues.  He recommends finding a meeting place, then letting the Board Members find their own hotel.  This proposal stirred some discussion, the sum of which was to recommend to Rudy Dornemann that he use a travel agent to prepare for the meeting.

Chairman P.E. MacAllister mentioned that the ASOR tapes sold about 25 copies, but we gave away more than that.

11. CHAIRMAN’S REPORT—P.E. MacAllister (Continued from item 1)

The Chairman suggests a structural change to ASOR, namely that we go on the offensive to engage in some strategic planning for the future, and structure the internal management so that it functions appropriately.  No other organization uses the president to make it stay on course as does ASOR. Nor do other not-for-profit organizations reflect the president as the personality of the organization. The president cannot be the sole driving factor in the organization.  He suggests that the Executive Director do the work, not the president. He further suggests that we redesign the organization so that this can happen.

Respectfully submitted,

James F. Strange, Secretary