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The American Schools of Oriental Research
Executive Committee Meeting
March 8, 2002 - Atlanta


PRESENT: P.E. MacAllister, Joe Seger, Tom Schaub, Austin Ritterspach.
VISITING: Larry Herr. STAFF: Billie Jean Collins, Rudy Dornemann, Holly Andrews.
ABSENT: Eric Meyers, James Strange, Nan Frederick, Ingrid Wood, Doug Clark, David McCreery, Al Leonard, Dick Scheuer

1. The meeting was called to order at 1:10pm .

2. Two issues were raised in relation to the minutes of the Executive Committee from the meeting November 16, 2001 .

a.  B.W. Ruffner pointed out that he was not present at the Executive Committee meeting on November 16, 2001 and that his name should be deleted from the names of those who were present.

b. In relation to the discussion on the Temple World cruise, Austin Ritterspach moved that because Rudy Dornemann had indicated that he “could not in good conscience administer such a trip”, he withdrew his motion that the “Executive Committee reaffirm the support of the cruise and instruct COP to proceed with the project and advertise the project.”

APPROVED: The minutes of the Executive Committee from the meeting November 16, 2001.

3. Report from the President – J. Seger (distributed)

RESOLVED, that the Cotsen Institute of Archaeology at UCLA be accepted as a new ASOR institutional member.  PASSED UNANIMOUSLY. Dr. Seger indicated that Dr. Julia J. Sanchez will be the institutional representative.

Saudi Arabia initiative – The Saudis have approved several foreign projects. David Graf sent a report of his submission of a proposal to conduct an epigraphic survey in the area of Meda’in Salah and will be in Saudi Arabia the week of March 8-18 to undertake his work.

RESOLVED, that ASOR accept this report and fully support this project. PASSED UNANIMOUSLY.

4. Financial Reports – R. Dornemann

The audits, conducted by Brown & Brown, for the fiscal years 2000 and 2001 were circulated. These financial reports are finally accurate after a long arduous process and thanks goes out to all who worked so hard to complete them.

The Profit and Loss for July through December 2001 was circulated. Rudy indicated that the figures were not an accurate portrayal of where we stand financially due to accruals.  The pledges from the Torch Campaign are not included in this report because they were included in the reports last year, therefore this report only reflects expenses, not income. Rudy indicated he is working with Phil Dawicki from Brown & Brown to reflect this in the financial reports.

The procedure for financial reporting is close to being final, however, the issue with Publications remains that we cannot get an accurate portrayal of income until the billing and income for outstanding journals is completed.

The Budget to Actual for July through December 2001 was circulated.

Rudy Dornemann indicated that Selma Omerefendic, the ASOR accountant, has done an excellent job for us and has worked very hard to understand the new financial reporting process. At the advisement of Ingrid Wood and Phil Dawicki, it would be in ASOR’s best interest to have her take a couple courses to improve her understanding of accounting. Rudy asked the Executive Committee to consider increasing her work hours and he plans to get a motion of this nature to the table by the April Board meeting.

P.E. MacAllister asked Rudy if he recommends that we continue with the services of Brown & Brown. Rudy indicated that he is not yet prepared to make that recommendation until he receives additional information from Brown & Brown.

Billie Jean Collins pointed out that the negative numbers in the Publications budget for the first half of the year reflect a deferment of $110,000.00 in expenses from last year’s budget which they are now absorbing.  Publications is operating 3 NEA’s and several books behind schedule and they have had to write these off.

P.E. MacAllister asked if Academic Services is serving us well and fulfilling their commitments to us in a manner that is adequate and efficient. Rudy and Billie Jean answered that we are not receiving all that we are supposed to, for example, we receive updated membership lists sporadically and they are usually inaccurate. There was some brief discussion on whether it would be better for ASOR to move membership services in house… these and other issues will be further discussed at the COP meeting in April.

Rudy indicated that he has not been able to achieve a budget for FY02 that comes out $50,000.000 in the black without using funds from the gift from PE which was originally meant for the Torch Campaign (endowment).  Rudy commented that the budget started out in the red this year so we were starting behind.

5. Report on the Development Committee – A. Ritterspach (distributed)

Despite some significant accomplishments, we are down in our targets for the Torch Campaign.  Given the current climate in which we are operating, Austin , on advice of Holland Hendrix, suggested the best thing for the success of the Torch Campaign would be to extend it to 2005.

RESOLVED, that the Torch Campaign be extended from three years to five years. PASSED UNANIMOUSLY.

We have produced a new capability brochure designed by Robert Dweck Designs in NYC (circulated for the first time at this meeting) which has been badly needed for some time. We were able to cut costs on printing by using a printing company in Indianapolis . We will use this brochure for PR and informational purposes.

A cultivation event is taking place on March 9 at the Fernbank Museum of Natural History in Atlanta . The evening will include a private showing of the exhibit, “ Syria : Land of Ancient Civilizations ,” a lecture by Ted Lewis and a reception. Development has worked hard at identifying and inviting business people, theologians, scholars and lay people in the Atlanta community who may have an interest in ASOR and may become possible members or Board members.

Holland Hendrix will be finishing his current consultancy this month after he decided to accelerate it for the year, ending in March instead of June. Austin strongly urged the Committee to adopt a motion that ASOR continue the consultancy of Holland Hendrix in FY2003.

Discussion ensued as to whether that was still the best thing for the organization at this point given our financial constraints and the change in leadership and if the consultancy had been successful.  The organization needs to re-evaluate its development and funding raising strategies vis a vis the newly formed Task Force. Joe Seger suggested the motion be tabled until the spring meeting.

RESOLVED, that the Executive Committee table this motion until the April meeting so that we can strategize on how we want to proceed with the Development effort and so we can include the advice and ideas of the new incoming administration, Holland Hendrix, and the Task Force. PASSED UNANIMOUSLY.

Austin wanted to offer a motion regarding Board dues (members donate $5,000 to the organization per year), however Joe indicated that mandatory dues already exist. The Board dues had previously been set at $500 for academics and $5,000 for those with other vocations.

6. Report on Publications – B.J. Collins (distributed)

Larry Herr (new COP Chair beginning July 1, 2002) informed the Committee that COP will be holding an 8 hour session in Boston on April 25 to discuss COP’s current guidelines and on-going issues.  Larry invited all ASOR officers to attend the meeting.

Billie Jean reviewed the current status of production schedule for publication of journals and books.  She pointed out that the cause of the slow production of NEAs was the lack of quality of manuscripts recently submitted. Ted Lewis has been working diligently on this problem.

Inventory update – Publications has been writing off expenses for production of the inventory as books are sold. Discussion with the auditor is ongoing to determine at what point they will be able to write off the expenses for left over inventory.  Purchase of books is now available over the internet. A report detailing how well books are selling as a result will soon be produced on a monthly basis.

Journals are currently available electronically over the web through a variety of vendors and ASOR receives a portion of the proceeds.

The ASOR Mosaic History volume is complete and now available!

Publications is in the process of redesigning their web page with the assistance of the new NEA art director, Monica McLeod.

ETANA project update – ETANA plans to do DigBase for ASOR, which is a place on the website which would hold a database for raw data from the field. They are also interested in implementing DigField for us which would make equipment available on site to record data directly from the field.

Temple World tours update – The legitimacy of the tours as business related income was given a favorable report from Jim Joseph, ASOR’s attorney, who consulted the IRS to make his recommendation.

7. Report on Archaeological Policy – D. McCreery absent (report distributed by R. Dornemann)

There will be no CAP tour this summer.

Some ASOR scholars and dig directors have recently questioned the need for CAP affiliation and peer review.  It was agreed among the Executive Committee that ASOR must insist on continuing to maintain the quality and integrity of projects as it has always done.

8. Report on Annual Meeting and Programs – D. Clark absent (report distributed by R. Dornemann)

No discussion.

9. Report from the Executive Director – R. Dornemann (distributed)

Rudy briefly pointed out the ongoing work in the Boston office, including the work with Selma and Phil Dawicki to complete the audit, strategic planning initiative on the future of ASOR and the work of Holly Andrews and Britt Hartenberger on Development and meeting planning among things. Rudy attended the AIA meeting in Philadelphia in January and gave papers at a conference in Germany in February on Tell Hadidi and Tell Qarqur.

Austin Ritterspach suggested we commend Rudy for all the hard work he has put into getting the financial reporting procedure in shape.

RESOLVED, that Rudy Dornemann be commended for his hard work and deliberative efforts in getting the financial reports completed. PASSED UNANIMOUSLY.

Move to Adjourn 4:45pm .  PASSED UNANIMOUSLY.

Respectfully submitted,

Holly Andrews (for James Strange)