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The American Schools of Oriental Research
Board of Trustees Meeting
April 27, 2002 - Cambridge, MA


PRESENT: Andrews, Blakely, Borowski, Chavalas, Clark, Collins, Crawford, Detrich, Dornemann, Frederick, Frerichs, Gilbert, LaBianca, Leonard, MacAllister, Magness, Meyers, Risser, A. Ritterspach, Schaub, Scheuer, Schneider, Seger, Shufro, Spencer, Swiny,
VISITORS: Geraty, Gitin, Herr, N. Ritterspach,
ABSENT: Aufrecht, Camp, Dever, Harrison, McCarter, McCreery, Miller, Ross, Routledge, Ruffner, Schmidt, Strange, Vincent, Younker

Call to order: P.E. MacAllister.

Approval of Minutes:  The minutes of the previous meeting in Broomfield , CO on November 24, 2001 were approved without emendation.

I. Report of the Chairman.  P.E. MacAllister noted the six year tenure of outgoing president Joe Seger and thanked Joe for his distinguished service.  Particular note was made of the successful effort by  Joe to introduce technologies of communication, e.g. email, fax, and conference calls.  Communication within our organization has been greatly enhanced.  We have also greatly expanded participation in the organization with the involvement of new people in all areas.  ASOR has been able to change and adapt because of its strong leaders.  “My role,” said our chairman, “is to fantasize and to dream of what ASOR might be in the future.”

      P.E. examined the field of archaeology, noting that it is on the decline in universities and seminaries with few teaching positions in archaeology and less attention to the discipline in curricula.  Yet at the same time archaeology is enormously popular in the rest of society with strong interest being shown in programs on TV, magazine articles, and popular books.  Herein lie great opportunities for ASOR to grow and introduce its vision to larger audiences.

      We should be bold and think large.  With a campaign to raise three million dollars, perhaps we should make that 10 million.  We need to reach out to major players for support of ASOR and envision new areas of endeavor.  After a century of monitoring and overseeing excavations perhaps we should be directly involved in field projects.  As we have in the past, ASOR will continue to adapt and thrive in ever-changing environments.

II.    ACOR Report.  Sten LaBianca

      Sten LaBianca reviewed recent developments at ACOR, noting that nine projects will be in the field this summer as well as several of ACOR itself.  The Blue Chapel restoration at Petra has been completed.  In spite of tensions in the Middle East business at the hostel is close to normal levels and includes several parties of government notables from the U.S.   Grants and publications are doing well, and an additional floor will be added to the ACOR building.  Two new vans have been purchased for touring and excavation support.  The Mosaics volume sells very well and donations to ACOR stand at $76,000 for this year (compared to $80,000 in last fiscal year).  Twenty new fellowships have been awarded for next year.  Doug Clark, who has been on sabbatical in Amman this semester, added comments on attitudes toward America and Americans in Jordan .  Finally Doug and Sten noted that ACOR’s status vis-à-vis the Jordanian government had finally been fully documented.  In terms of ACOR, what is just being signed (on 1 May) is a Memorandum of Understanding between ACOR and the government of Jordan (via the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities) that recognizes ACOR as a legal entity in the country with certain rights and responsibilities, including the involvement in and dissemination of research into Jordan's heritage and tax-exempt status for ACOR.  The memorandum will be signed by HRH Prince Raad, HE Taleb Rifai, Minister of Tourism and Antiquities, and Pierre Bikai, Director of ACOR.

III.   AIAR Report. Sidnie White Crawford.  see attachment

      Sidnie White Crawford, president of AIAR, began her report by noting the extremely difficult conditions under which the Albright exists on a daily basis.  Even so, the institute is fully operational, the staff is able to discharge its duties, and a full contingent (50 fellows) of fellows carries on research and teaching.  We have increased the number of NEH fellows and NEH has commended the Albright on its implementation of these fellowships.  Crawford was in Jerusalem for the Trude Dothan Lectures this year and spoke movingly of  the presence at her reception table of  Palestinians, Israelis, Americans and Europeans – a testimony to the Albright’s continuing success in bridging cultures and maintaining communication.

      Sy Gitin, Albright director, was in from Jerusalem (thanks to the generosity of an AIAR board member) and added comments to Sidnie’s report.  Sy agreed with Sidnie that the Albright has managed to stay open and function “normally.”  Gitin emphasized that the Albright is a strictly research organization; no discussions of religion or politics are allowed.  Testimony to its research mission is the healthy progress on publications in all areas.  For example, Miqne field reports are nearing conclusion as is the Centennial volume from 2000.  Work on the ceramics of ancient Israel publication is well under way and a new project on the history, archaeology, and environment of Gaza has been begun in cooperation with the antiquities authority in Gaza .

      Crawford added a personal note:  Frank Cross, long time ASOR member, has had by-pass surgery this week, and she will visit him.  MacAllister organized the signing of get well cards by all present.

IV. CAARI Report. David Detrich

      Detrich reported that at CAARI the search for a replacement for Robert  Merrillees is well under way with a large number of applicants.  Robert’s term ends in 2003.  Much attention has been focused recently on the property across the street from the Institute.  The site has extensive archaeological material from all periods – Chalcolithic to Byzantine.  Nevertheless the Cypriot parliament has considered developing the site and voted to build a new facility there, supposedly “around” the archaeological materials.  Other proposals to develop areas adjacent to the Institute have added to the confusion and uncertainty.

V. Nominating Committee

      Jeff Blakely moved the renewal of board terms for Eric Meyers, Lydie Shufro, and the nomination of Kent Bermingham who would be returning to the board.  Vote was unanimous.  Tom Schaub, ASOR vice president, has completed his term and will be leaving the board.  The committee in consultation with incoming President Larry Geraty nominates Martha Joukowsky as Schaub’s replacement.  Unanimous vote.

VI. Report of the President.  Joe Seger.  see attachment

      Joe Seger began his review of highlights of his report by staying with the subject of nominations.  He asked Larry Geraty  to comment on our search for a new treasurer.  Larry presented the name of Ed Lugenbeal who has a Ph.D. in archaeology and currently teaches business at Atlantic Union College in Lancaster, MA.  His wife is controller at Mass. General Hospital in Boston.  Motion to place Dr. Lugenbeal on the board as our new treasurer was seconded by Eric Meyers and voted on unanimously by the body.   Although Ingrid Wood has left the board she continues to assist Rudy on accounting matters in the office and has been asked by P.E. MacAllister to monitor ASOR investment accounts.

      Seger called for a moment of silence in memory of members of the ASOR family recently deceased:

         Emily (Mrs. G. Ernest) Wright – early March, 2002
         Dr. Douglas Tushingham  –  Feb. 27, 2002
         Dr. Ken Mull – April 1, 2002

      Seger presented a new member of the family of academic institutions:  the Palestinian-American Research Center , whose mission is the study of social and cultural aspects of Palestinian society.  Its board has been organized and the Palestinian Director, Mouin Rabbani, has his offices in Ramallah.  Eight or nine institutions are members of its consortium.

      A significant development from the Atlanta Strategic Initiatives retreat has been the creation of a Leadership Task Force.  Seger discussed its purpose and listed its members; reporting to the Task Force are five sub-committees: Publications, Leadership, Development, Membership, and Strategic Planning.  Notably in its first several months, the task force has generated extensive communications among its members including conference calls, emails, and one meeting in January.  One decision that was taken is to ask for resignations of appointed chairs of committees and of the members at large of the Executive Committee, effective Dec. 31, 2002 , so that new president Larry Geraty can meaningfully review and evaluate his leadership needs as he begins a new term.  Most of those letters have been secured.

      A major issue that the task force has begun to consider is occasioned by the planned retirement of Executive Director Rudy Dornemann.  Dornemann plans to retire in 2004, and Seger noted that this is an opportunity to review carefully what our needs are for this position, how the entire staff configuration in the Boston office should be organized,  and what the prospect are that the publications operation can be included. (see COP report)

      Upon question from Detrich, Seger noted that discussions have begun in the Committee on Publications regarding separating subscriptions to journals from membership in the society.  Society of Biblical Literature has done this as well as Archaeological Institute of America (AIA).  Magness commented that the AIA was not at all comparable to our situation.

      Seger noted with approval the introduction at ASOR web site of a “trustinfo” window where everything trustees need to know about and ALL answers to our questions can be found.  Everyone please USE it.  This is the result of a recommendation of the strategic initiatives retreat and was made possible by the fine work of Britt Hartenberger, Boston office.

      “Fund the Flow” -  Seger urged that all board members do what they can to contribute to improving our cash flow.  While we have a balanced budget, nevertheless we do live “hand to mouth” with very little margin.  We avoided emptying our bank accounts only through the gracious intervention of board chair, P.E. MacAllister, who agreed to make his Torch contribution fungible for operations.  A letter of appeal will go out to all members May 1.

      Seger paid special tribute to Al Leonard, who completes his term as COP chair.  Seconded by “hearty applause” of the body.  Wally Aufrecht and Jeff Blakely also complete terms as board members and will leave the board.  John Camp has indicated that he must resign from the board due to family obligations and professional commitments.  Aufrecht, Blakely, and Camp, as well as Leonard and Schaub (see above) were thanked for their many contributions and major support.

      Finally President Joe Seger expressed his appreciation to officers, trustees, and staff  for “the deliberate and good work” of all “in the noble cause we are involved in.”  Senior board member Eric Meyers made a motion that the board stands in great appreciation for Joe’s  devoted and excellent services.  By commendation.

VII – Financial Reports.  Rudy Dornemann.  see attachments

      Rudy reviewed budget matters, noting that we now have systems in place for accrual accounting and that two audited statements have been approved: 1999-2000 and 2001-2002.  This has been a long process made possible through the hard work of many including Ingrid Wood, Jerry Vincent, and the staff in the national office.  Rudy went on to review the proposed budget for the new fiscal year; a motion to approve this budget (2002-2003) was approved unanimously.  It was also moved by Nan Frederick and seconded by Al Leonard that we continue with Brown and Brown as our auditing firm; this passed unanimously.

      Dornemann referred the board to Ingrid Wood’s report on our investments, which he noted are “solid” and doing as well or better than major indices.

      Liability insurance for board, officers and staff for ASOR’s publication exposure has been under study by the Boston office for some time; it was undertaken initially by Jerry Vincent.   As an example Dornemann noted that liability coverage for directors and officers (not including the committee for publications) would cost an additional $5000.00 for 1 million in coverage.   No decision was taken on this matter.

      Martha Risser asked if we could get financial reports prior to board meetings.  Rudy said that it has been very difficult to do while we were reworking our financial procedures but it is something we intend to do in the future.

VIII.  Development Committee. Austin Ritterspach. See attachment

      Austin Ritterspach, chair of development, reported on various initiatives of the campaign.  A new brochure presenting ASOR in a comprehensive way was distributed to board members and will go out to all members shortly.  This document allows us to do presentations for fund-raising to individuals, foundations, and corporations.  Since our Annual Meeting last November there have been three cultivation events and fund-raisers in Denver, Atlanta, Indianapolis with another one upcoming on May 4.  He noted that while the cultivation events are important we must also focus on actual fund-raisers.  This fall such an event will be held in California honoring Larry Geraty, our new President.  The committee is also considering an event at the Annual Meeting in Toronto in conjunction with the Plenary by David Stronach, whose talk on Afghanistan will attract attention from the public.

      With audited statements in hand we are better able to approach foundations, some of which require these financial statements.  Foundation applications are being submitted this spring and summer to prospective foundations that Andrews and Holland Hendrix have identified.  These foundations include ones in Denver, Atlanta, and of special interest the Hagop Kevorkian Trust in New York; the latter’s institute at NYU is a member of ASOR and has recently renewed its dues. 

      Ritterspach’s proposal that we officially require new board members to make an annual contribution of $5000.00 to ASOR was discussed.  Joe Seger noted that we currently do have a process whereby new board members are informed of contribution expectations; the amount varies depending on whether a board member is from academia or the business world.  No additional action was taken.

      Motion was made by Ritterspach and seconded by Seger that the Passing the Torch campaign be extended for two additional years beyond 2003.  This is warranted by the state of the economy and limitations on fund-raising endeavors.  Motion passed unanimously.

IX. Committee on Publications.  Al Leonard, Larry Herr, Billie Jean Collins. See attachment.

       Leonard spoke briefly handing off his position to new chair Larry Herr.  Herr and Collins, Director of Publications, reported.  Collins noted that the current year is a “milestone year” as we put in place a fully accrued system of accounting.  FY 03 may be the first year in our history that we have full transparency in publications.  This is partly due to a new basis for reckoning book publication whereby the costs of production are reckoned on a cost of goods sold basis.  A small deficit exists in the current third quarter.  Currently NEA is four issues behind and has gone through a major transition with both a new editor and a new art editor.  These individuals are functioning very well.  If we can get caught up on issues, then the subscription monies related to these issues can be accessed as revenues.  See attachments for details on the proposed budget for 2002-2003.

      Larry continued COP’s report by noting that the committee had been working very hard this week with a marathon meeting at ASOR offices, including those members not in Cambridge via teleconference.  In this seven hour meeting, major issues were addressed and the following motions come to the board:

      1.  Eliminate discounted membership for associates (thereby simplifying categories) and reduce associate membership from $60.00 to $50.00.  Passed unanimously

      2. Increase institutional subscription price for BASOR from $110 to $120.  Passed unanimously.

      3. Currently COP is using a fulfillment center, Academic Services, to process memberships, subscriptions, etc.  Cost is about $25,000/year.  Herr and Collins noted that we have been very badly served by this company.  It will be much better if  these services can be done in-house by Collins’s own staff and Chris Madell is very capable of doing this.  Motion to cancel the services of Academic Services was passed unanimously.  Sten LaBianca urged that we be sure to obtain the lapsed subscriber list from AS.

      Herr devoted much of his report to the new draft of Guidelines and Procedures for the Committee on Publications.  Prior to our meetings in Cambridge Herr had submitted these materials to the committee for evaluation; more work was done on the document at the Cambridge meeting; in addition to the committee’s help he noted that Frederick and Seger had made many useful suggestions.  Herr reviewed recent changes made by the committee and submitted this document to the Board as a “first reading” for its review.  A vote to adopt will not be taken until November.    

      Herr noted that a new sub-committee on development has been established with Gloria London as chair; this committee will work closely with the board’s development committee and will focus on development initiatives of benefit to publications.

      Finally Herr discussed the question of whether COP offices should stay in Atlanta or move to Boston .  This was discussed by his committee and it was decided to continue discussions in the context of the TWIG’s deliberations on leadership and management.  No decision will be made until after the retirement of Rudy Dornemann and a new executive director is in place in 2004.

      New editors were announced:

Annual: Nancy Serwint.
Book Series: Brian Schmidt will begin in September 2003, Swiny will be interim editor.
Archaeological Report Series: Joe Greene.
Editors for BASOR, JCS and NEA remain the same.

X. Committee on Archaeological Policy – by proxy for Dave McCreery.  See attachment.

      Austin Ritterspach moved acceptance of the report; seconded by Eric Meyers.  Passed unanimously.

XI. Committee on Annual Meeting and Program – Doug  Clark.  See attachment.

      Doug Clark reported that our program is very full this year with some sections waiting to be scheduled.  One scheduling problem is that business meetings need to be at times that do not conflict with programs that officers either must attend or want to attend.  There has been discussion of  holding business meetings earlier in the week or on the Sunday after our program has finished.

      Clark pointed out that each year we have outstanding programs and yet the public remains largely unaware and unable to attend.  We need professional advice on publicity and public outreach.  This might even involve hiring a staff person in this area.

      Clark announced a new chair for the Honors and Awards committee, trustee Martha Risser.  The newly formed Lecture Series committee has begun with some exciting plans and expectations, and has some great potential.  In a survey at the Broomfield meetings Clark and his committee captured the opinions of 100 respondents on the quality of the meetings:  (scale if from 1 to 10, 10 being highest)

Overall Quality           7.89
Hotel                         8.23
Location                    < 5
Session Quality           7.81

      Joe Seger observed that with data such as this it is time to seriously look into our priorities.  Clark noted that the rating for overall quality was quite good.  From the booksellers point of view it was a banner year, according to Collins.

      The issue of meeting with SBL was discussed and two votes were taken.  Initially the body approved a motion that for the three years after 2004 we would continue to meet in the same city and that we would meet from Wednesday through Sat. noon just before SBL.  Lively discussion continued with Eric Meyers urging that we seek to compress meetings to fewer days.  The length of the meetings and their occurrence at this time in the academic semester is very onerous for younger faculty.  Tammi Schneider noted that we need to structure the final day of meetings to serve the interests of those who may stay on.  A second motion passed that simply stated we would meet in the same city and just before SBL meetings, leaving decision about the precise schedule until later.

      Motion was made by Clark and seconded by Schneider to continue with Academy International Travel through 2004.  Passed unanimously.  In concluding Clark noted the special significance of regional ASOR societies and urged that we invigorate and support them as much as possible.

XII. Report of the Executive Director – Rudolph Dornemann.  see attachment.

      Rudy Dornemann thanked our behind the scenes crew: Phil Dawicki for his unstinting assistance with the audit, Holly Andrews for her efficient help and support in development, and Britt Hartenberger whose computer skills have greatly augmented our web site.   Finally an important development in Saudi Arabia:  Dave Graf, chair of ASOR’s Saudi Arabia committee, has just returned from a brief epigraphic survey and survey of archaeological sites in Saudi Arabia.  He has received preliminary approval of a Fulbright Fellowship in Saudi Arabia next academic year and plans to accept that for early in 2003. He hopes to have the opportunity to assess possibilities for future epigraphic surveys and excavations while he is there, and thinks March of 2003 would be a good time for ASOR members who are interested in following up on the ASOR Saudi initiative to accompany him on a visit to museums and possible sites for investigation, and also to meet with Saudi scholars and officials.  The ASOR committee on Mesopotamian Studies has a new chair – Richard Zettler.

XII. Concluding Comments

      Joe Seger urged that Geraty appoint a standing committee on publicity (see Clark’s report above).  He went on to thank Tom Schaub for his wonderful support of the organization both as chair of COP and as interim vice-president.

Meeting was adjourned by unanimous vote at approximately 1:00 pm.

Respectfully Submitted,

Austin Ritterspach, pro tem