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The American Schools of Oriental Research
Board of Trustees Meeting
April 29, 2001 - Warwick, RI


PRESENT: Walter Aufrecht, Jeff Blakely, Oded Borowski, John Camp, Douglas Clark, Nan Frederick, Timothy Harrison, Al Leonard, Jr. (also for COP), P.E. MacAllister, Chairman of the Board, Jodi Magness (also for AIA), Kyle McCarter, David McCreery (also for CAP), Eric Meyers, Robert Miller, Walter Rast, Martha Risser, Austin Ritterspach, Bruce Routledge, B.W. Ruffner, Thomas Schaub, Richard Scheuer (Life Trustee), Tammi Schneider, Joe Seger, President, Lydie Shufro, John Spencer, James F. Strange (Secretary), Stuart Swiny, Gerald Vincent, and Randall Younker.

STAFF:  Billie Jean Collins for Publications, Rudy Dornemann, Executive Director, Holly Andrews, Assistant Director.

ABSENT: William Dever, Øystein LaBianca, C.C. Lamberg-Karlovsky, George Landes, Charles Harris

1. CTO 9:00 AM

RESOLVED that the minutes of the previous meeting be corrected as follows:  Robert Miller was PRESENT, moved by Kyle McCarter.  Seconded.  PASSED unanimously.

2. Chairman of the Board--no report

3. AIAR Board Report--Jodi Magness.  The program at the Albright Institute continues with some modifications.  Israelis and Palestinians meet there on a friendly basis. The Challenge Grant has been completed.  Sean Dever’s death was noted with sorrow, and a Dever memorial has been established.

4. CAARI Report—Rudy Dorneman distributed a report.

5. Report from the President—Joe Seger (distributed)

The President called for a moment of silence in memory of Becky MacAllister, Sean Dever, and Cyrus Gordon.

Walter Rast has agreed to chair the officers’ Search Committee and will work with Randy Younker and the committee named in the report.  The Trustees of 2001, namely, Andrea Berlin and Kent Birmingham rotating off the board after three years with appreciation. Welcome to new Trustee Martha Risser from Trinity College at Hartford.

One of the major developments in the wings since late fall is an effort to organize a retreat to allow the ASOR constituency to take a long look at the future, as shown in appendix C.  In the late 1970s there was an assembly of the membership at a retreat at Stony Point Conference Center in NY under Ted Campbell to set the pace of what has been going on in ASOR in the last 30 years.  Interim activity includes a meeting at Duke U. in the early 90s to look at governance. This is an opportunity to look out at what kind of strategic initiatives and opportunities ASOR may look at in the future, not to make structural changes.  Participation is by invitation.  The meeting will take place September 7-9 in Atlanta at the Emory Conference Center.  The costs look high, but the costs include all food.  Joe Seger asks that the Centers be particularly attentive to that invitation. Some ideas have been brought forward for brainstorming at the meeting. Ideas are welcome.   A question was raised why it is happening now with a new President coming in soon.  Joe pointed out that the planning is for three to five years.

Joe Seger presented the resolution from the Executive Committee that institutional Membership dues be increased.  The dues have not kept up with inflation.  There is an inequity between those who simply subscribe to the publications and those who pay membership dues.

RESOLVED, that the Annual Dues for Institutional Membership be increased beginning in fiscal 2002 in accordance with Scheme A presented in the President’s report, to wit, that we raise rates for the 2002 and 2003 fiscal years by $100 each (to be $800 in fiscal year 2003; and by $50 each of the succeeding four years (2004, 2005, 2006, 2007) to stand at $1000 per year in 2007 and following.  Moved by Joe D. Seger, seconded by Austin Ritterspach. Discussion ensued as to why there are fewer institutional members than before.  There has been some follow-through and some institutions have returned to the fold. Walter asked what it costs to belong to the American School of Classical Studies in Rome and the benefits that schools realize.  Jerry Vincent suggested market research.  Joe points out that the institutions are getting a cost break if they pay institutional dues.  See AMENDMENT below.

Eric Meyers asked for information from this group whether it might be better to use a larger increment rather than increase by $50.  Tammi Schneider raised the question of what institutional members received over publications.  She asked why not publicize the list, even write a one page article on each school in NEA as a way of giving something to the institutional members. Jerry Vincent asked why not put a letter with the renewal invoice.  The letter can highlight what ASOR does. Kyle McCarter asked about creating another category without advertisement that permits institutions that have the officers involved pay a much higher rate. ARCE does this as supporting institutional memberships. Tom Schaub said that we sent out a questionnaire to find out if Institutional Members would respond positively to a tiered membership. It was received favorably by some and less so by others.  There was some concern than institutional members not feel like second-class citizens. Lydie Shufro asks how much of a response was there for the Special Centennial Memberships.  Joe Seger answered that there were eight.  The same opportunity is available for individual members, and it is advertised up front. Eric Meyers suggested that Tammy’s idea of publicizing the consortium would provide a way to market Kyle McCarter’s idea.  Rudy Dornemann asked whether the emphasis on the questionnaire was not to establish a lower tiered institutional membership. 

Randy Younker AMENDS the motion so that the increase goes to $1000 effective 2003. Doug Clark seconds.  PASSED with one no vote. The motion PASSED with one no vote and one abstention.

The consensus was to refer the question of tiered institutional memberships to the ad hoc committee of John Spencer. The Chairman so ruled.  Eric Meyers asked that they also consider how this can be best advertised, whether in NEA or otherwise.  Randy Younker also pointed out that this communication is critical.

Joe Seger raised the question of whether we wish to make a more formal linkage to the regional groups.  For example SECSOR (the SE Regional Group) asked for a formal relationship so that they can join the group comprised of AAR and SBL at the same rank.  Joe asked that we engage in some deliberate study of this question, examine whether there is a pattern in how the regional societies work, etc. Rudy Dornemann pointed out that we might not have the money for formal sponsorship.  However, there are expenses generated by regional societies that benefit ASOR. Tammy Schneider reported that she has been turned down on this once.  Now Bible and Archaeology are presented under SBL in California, and ASOR is out of the loop. A donor may wish to help expand ASOR into regional meetings. Doug Clark informed all that the CAMP report includes a request for money for regional meetings.  This could be on the order of $300 for each society.  B.W. Ruffner indicated that there is a SE ASOR that published a newsletter.  Oded pointed out that SE Regional communicated with ASOR whether it was OK to integrate with SECSOR.  Joe Seger suggested that we need to study this issue, as it is a Development and Outreach issue as well as a scholarly issue. Rudy Dornemann informed the body that the ASOR office really has no clear information about the regional societies.  Jerry Vincent advised that we open up a section on the website for schedules of religion groups, officers, newsworthy items, etc. BW Ruffner suggested that ASOR link with the SECSOR website. Rudy Dornemann suggested that Committee Chairs garner some support from within the committees so that they do not have to do all the work. Joe Seger, President, asked that CAMP take on this study. Rudy Dornemann suggested that the regional officers coordinate ASOR lectures etc. to give visibility to the regional societies.

Joe Seger spoke of Ingrid Wood’s special and careful work to get the ASOR budgets and related systems in place in preparation for the Audit.  Shortly after the audit was produced, she was made aware that there were old dig accounts still in effect with ASOR’s tax-free numbers.  Previous auditors had concluded that these were immaterial and did not fall under ASOR’s audit. Ingrid Wood is very involved in the financial world with experiences that are different from those of most Board members, so she was intensely aware of the new scrutiny of non-profits. She felt that ASOR may be out of line in not reporting these accounts, and that the IRS and others might hold ASOR liable, so she resigned.  The principals that have been involved in these accounts, namely, Tell el-Hesi and the Expedition to the Dead Sea Plains Project, have been very cooperative and pointed out that there is no gap in records.  What is missing is that these records have not been integrated into ASOR’s records.  The auditors are re-casting last year’s audit in terms of these new accounts.  Secondly, ASOR had to show due diligence and have opened two lines of inquiry.  One asks all dig directors and overseas directions whether they have ever used the ASOR tax number. Only one dig had done so, and that is now corrected.  A more formal and legal inquiry will be made by Arnold & Porter to inquire at Banks that are related to our constituency whether the ASOR number appears anywhere else. This is necessary in case questions should arise from tax considerations, so that we can show that we have acted in full faith and in full form and that we are comporting with the law in so doing.  The only jeopardy is to the excavation projects in a minor way for not having filed 1099 forms for payments to individuals for very small amounts of money. Ingrid wood’s sense is that no negative consequences should arise from this situation. We hope to have this all settled by June 30.  Nan Frederick asked if we are searching for a new Treasurer so that we have a new Treasurer as soon as possible.  The answer is yes.

RESOLVED, that the ASOR Executive Committee and Board of Trustees record the acceptance with regret of Ingrid Wood’s resignation as ASOR Treasurer effective April 6, 2001, and that Chairman MacAllister send to her a warm letter of appreciation, thanking her for her excellent service and for the many contributions she made to the financial well being of the organization during her two years of work on ASOR’s behalf. Moved by Richard Scheuer, seconded by Jodi Magness.  Rudy Dornemann pointed out that there would be auditing costs incurred from the new audit. He also appealed to everyone to check his or her records for more than two years.  PASSED unanimously.

RESOLVED, that ASOR-sponsored (“Sponsored”) excavation and/or publication projects be only those that are formally authorized and recognized as Sponsored by resolution of the ASOR Board of Trustees which agree to comply fully with the oversight, budget, accounting, and audit procedures otherwise established for ASOR program activities within the ASOR Executive office.  Such ASOR-Sponsored projects should not be confused with excavation and publications projects operating outside of and independent from ASOR that are approved as ASOR-affiliated (“Affiliated”) projects by virtue of their application to the Committee on Archaeological Policy (CAP) and which receive accreditation through peer review for compliance with the Statement of Professional Standards and Ethics promoted by CAP for ASOR members. Moved by Joe Seger.  Seconded by Austin Ritterspach. PASSED unanimously. Tammi Schneider asked if we have ASOR-sponsored excavations.  Yes, Qarqur.  Others have been on the books in the past. Joe Seger pointed out that in the era when there were NEH grant applications through the ASOR office and Smithsonian Projects in like manner, these were ASOR-Sponsored. Rudy Dornemann indicated that the processes have not been consistent, but all final reports are in.  The problem has been whether any of these accounts have been open and continue to be used, and then this use is not reflected on ASOR’s books. When things moved to Baltimore, instructions were issued which do not conform with ASOR’s current practices. Lydie Shufro asked about the current status of the Mozan expedition.  Rudy Dornemann responded they are closed out and all accounts finalized. This expedition used another federal ID number. PASSED unanimously.

Joe pointed out that now that these two resolutions are in place it will be necessary to negotiate with the two digs to find out what they want their status to be.  The general sense of the EC was, if they welcome ASOR Sponsorship, we are prepared to offer it. We will require both projects to close out those accounts that bear the ASOR federal tax number.  Jerry Vincent mentioned that we do not wish to interfere with the auditors and ASOR Counsel, if they are working on this issue.  Joe Seger thought we need to instruct the two digs to close these accounts so that there is no ambiguity.  Tom Schaub thought that such a move might be premature, given that the Dead Sea Plains Project may have grant money coming in in the near future.  Joe Seger withdrew his previous comment. 

RESOLVED, that ASOR ask the two projects to consider an application from the two projects to continue ASOR-Sponsored status under the new definition.  Moved by Joe Seger, seconded by Richard Scheuer.  Tammi Schneider asked who oversees a sponsored project. We may wish to come up with very strict criteria for sponsoring projects. John asked whether this is not a technical question to get things on track, and the answer was “yes.” Then he asked whether we might not want to have a discussion in the future about whether ASOR wants to have Sponsored Projects at all. The minutes in the past do not reflect any resolution about sponsorship. Tom Schaub pointed out that these projects are already on the books. Randy Dornemann asked whether we might affirm their continuance after passing this motion.

SUBSTITUTE MOTION by David McCreery, RESOLVED, that ASOR invites the Tell el-Hesi and the Dead Sea Plains Projects to continue association with ASOR as a “Sponsored” project in accordance with the definitions of an ASOR Sponsored project, as adopted at the ASOR Board meeting this date.  PASSED with one abstention.

Tammi Schneider suggested that the President and officers draw up criteria for ASOR-Sponsored and ASOR-Affiliated projects.

 6. ACOR Report--Nan Frederick reported that ACOR has been notified that the United States Agency for International Development has granted $2 million to ACOR. Joe Seger added that this is an outright grant from the Federal Operations budget for the ACOR Endowment.  There is hope that this may also occur for the Albright and for CAARI.  ACOR had congressional support at the right time.

7. Financial Report--Rudy Dornemann (Distributed).  There are two important points, namely the two columns on the right “Revised 2000/01 Budget” and “Proposed 2001/02 Budget.” Rudy noted that it is important to track subscriptions as to which budgetary year they belong to, as subscriptions that come in after the fiscal year (FY) cannot be counted against expenses incurred in the previous FY.  Allocations from the Torch Campaign were distributed before the meeting. Those in this year’s budget are in hand.  Those for next year were voted on at the previous EC meeting. There were adjustments, corrections, and additions in a few places.

RESOLVED, that the Board accept the report of the Finance Committee as represented in six spread sheets which show the 200-01 figures and the budget for next year.  PASSED unanimously.

8. Nominating Committee -- Randy Younkers.  The Nominating Committee brought forth the name of Dr. Brigitte Warning Watkins as Trustee for Class 2004.  He distributed her CV, which shows that she has a Ph.D. in Syrio-Palestinian archaeology for the University of Chicago.  The nomination was approved unanimously.

The committee also brought forward the name of Jerry Vincent for three more years.  The nomination was approved unanimously for the Class of 2004.

President Joe Seger reminded the Board that nominations could be received from the membership for the Class of 2005.  There will also need to be nominations for Chair of the COP committee, since Albert Leonard is rotating off after two terms as chair.

Walter Rast reported for the Officer’s Nominating Committee.  The committee is of nine, John Camp, B.W. Ruffner, Eric Meyers, John Spencer, Øystein LaBianca, Larry Herr, and Nancy Serwint. Five of them met last night.  Five names have been proposed for the Presidency.  Four positions are also up for renewal, three of whom have agreed to serve:  PE MacAllister, Tom Schaub, and Jim Strange.  That only leaves the Presidency. The Committee plans to meet with these five and discuss how they perceive the Presidency of ASOR.


9. Pass the Torch Campaign -- Austin Ritterspach.  We have passed the $1 million dollar mark as of today, most of which is pledged from the board members. Austin underscores that we have passed a balanced budget, which means that we have our finances in order.  Those who have waited to pledge until this has happened are now urged to pledge.  The Annual Fund and the Endowment are not identical.  The Annual Fund is a yearly effort.  The Endowment or Passing the Torch Campaign is different.  In your pledge to the Campaign you can actually designate a portion to the Annual Fund. Austin asked for suggestions for corporations, foundations, and individuals who would donate. He asked for help with the cultivation events that are scheduled for NY, Denver, Arizona, and so forth. Jim Strange asked what printed materials are available to help approach individuals etc.  The Torch Campaign brochure is available and there are plans to produce a brochure introducing ASOR itself.

10. COP Report — Billie Jean Collins.  On the issue of Lost Inventory, Kent Richards has been very helpful.  Billie Jean guesses that we may recover $20k to $40k.  The book sale is going very well. The fourth quarter in book sales should be the best ever.  David Brown bookseller is advancing steadily as people find that they are the ones selling ASOR publications.  The editors of NEA have resigned. Ted Lewis has agreed to take over the editorship of NEA.  COP anticipates that he should do a good job. The NEA issue has been mailed. It is a new look with color throughout.  This is not the planned look, but they seek feedback.  The next issue on Ugarit will be in the same format.  PE MacAllister has adopted the Ugarit issue, which should be out by the end of this year. The queue of BASOR is so long that COP is considering moving some of these articles to the Annual. The book queue may slow down.  The website is being redesigned by BU for free.

PE MacAllister had to leave at 12:09PM.  The Chairmanship of the meeting passed to Joe D. Seger.

RESOLVED, pending Auditors approval, COP will use the unit cost basis for calculating deferral of monies in the publications budget. Moved by Austin Ritterspach. Seconded by Jodi Magness. DEFEATED.

11. CAP — David McCreery (distributed by mail prior to the meeting).  Since the November meeting CAP has email applications from two new projects to a total of 64, which is an increase from 57 affiliated projects last year.  Eight field projects have been approved for Israel, but cancellations may change that number.  Glitches in computer transmission have complicated matters, but the solution is to keep applications on the CAP website and access them by password.  Five Harris grants were awarded.  All were treated electronically. In the future CAP will award about $9000 with help from Passing the Torch fund.  CAP has guidelines developed by the committee for Harris grants.  The CAP portion of the website reflects updates approved last year.  The CAP trip is scheduled for late May and early June.  Any Trustee is invited to travel.

12. CAMP —Doug Clark (distributed).  The most recent NEA contains a page ad on the Annual Meeting. There are special events for the evenings in the report. Doug has been in contact with Hershel Shanks about a joint Lecture Bureau.  BAR will give free advertisements for this venture.  CAMP has requested $300 in the CAMP budget for a few ASOR Regional societies so that ASOR appears in regional names. Nan Frederick opined out that sponsoring such activities might open up a series of requests from regional affiliates for funds that we do not have. Doug Clark responded that the idea is to be supportive, but in a token way. Nan Frederick noted that there are many such organizations who will seek funding. Eric Meyers said that we are supporting our own groups.  Tammi Schneider suggested that we systematize it so that everyone has access to the same opportunities. Joe Seger suggested that Doug Clark go forward with Tammi Schneider and his committee to regularize this effort.  Doug would like to get the regional officers together in November.

Doug Clark asked for Board response to using the Marriott in Toronto.  Response was noncommittal or positive.

Doug has asked all hotels whether we can bring our own LCD projectors. They have agreed.

The question for Atlanta in 2003 is whether we wish to be in a rural or urban setting. Joe Seger pointed out that the EC will be at the Emory Center in the fall for the special program, so we will know what this venue is like.

13. Executive Director’s Report --Rudy Dornemann.  (distributed)

Additional comments:  Austin asked that all remember their pledges to the Annual Fund and to the Campaign.  Nan Frederick announced that the Policy Manual is in the Final Draft, but will be worked out by mail.  It will be at the retreat in September and for the Board in the fall.

Adjourned, 1:03 PM.

Respectfully Submitted,

James F. Strange, Secretary