American Schools of Oriental Research
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
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
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
Sy Gitin, Albright director, was
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 –
Seger presented a new member of
the family of academic institutions: the
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
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,
“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
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
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
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
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 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
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.
Austin Ritterspach, pro tem