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  The American Schools of Oriental Research
Executive Committee Meeting
February 13, 2005 - Washington, DC


PRESENT: P.E. MacAllister, Chairman, Larry Geraty, President, Douglas Clark, Executive Director, Larry Herr for COP, Eric Cline for CAMP, Burton MacDonald for CAP, Eric M. Meyers, David Rosenstein, B.W. Ruffner, Treasurer, Joe D. Seger, James F. Strange, Secretary, Billie Jean Collins, Publications Office, Holly Andrews, Staff, and Selma Omerefendic, Staff,

ABSENT: Ed Gilbert, Martha Sharp Joukowsky, Vice-President

1. CTO - P.E. MacAllister, 10:06 AM

2. Approval of Minutes of November 19, 2004 Executive Committee Meeting - J. Strange. Larry Herr asked that the names of Elizabeth Carter and Elizabeth Friedman be added as new members of COP. Minutes approved as corrected.

3. Report from the Chairman - P.E. MacAllister: Chair spoke of democracy and its models, including the republic. Later the Athenians elected Pericles as Archon and thus segued into a benevolent dictatorship. During the Renaissance studies of democratic forms suggested that the Romans had done it better. Public Service of aristocratic families was not paid, but was fed by civic pride. Government forums are never that in practice. They are oligarchic. The oligarchs know and select the brightest and best. Leadership means solving problems and assuring success of the whole. We are in this position, so the membership is asking us to serve in this manner. The Romans elected a leader who was primus inter pares. ASOR has done the same. We have two consuls (the President and Chairman). We are the oligarchy responsible for the success of a venerable institution, the guardians of the legacy. The two elements of the legacy are system and leadership.

4. Report from the President - L. Geraty (distributed beforehand): President Geraty reminded the Ex. Committee that Larry Geraty, Jim Strange, and others rotate off their term this December 31. He has asked Doug for an additional evaluation of staff from an ASOR perspective to determine to what degree we are all on track. (We already conduct evaluations for BU and Emory U using their instruments.)

5. Report from the Executive Director - D. Clark (distributed beforehand): Doug reports that he builds a significant development component into all trips. This has included or will include: Atlanta, Washington, San Francisco, and New York. Doug and Larry Geraty have connected with NEH. Tomorrow they will meet with a potential Board member. They also visited with CAORC. The Department of State is trying to show a different from military face in the Middle East, which may help us. The composition of the Development Committee was distributed: Chair is David Rosenstein. Members are Dick Ballou, Loren Basch, Vivian Bull, Terry Hofecker, Martha Joukowsky, Eric Meyers, and Ex officio members P.E. MacAllister, Larry Geraty, Doug Clark (nv), Billie Jean Collins (nv), and Holly Andrews (nv). David Rosenstein asked that Eric Cline and Burt MacDonald be added to the Development Committee and substitute B.J. Collins for Chris Madell.

Doug Clark turned to the Membership Committee Report, which was distributed during the meeting. Joe Seger, Membership Committee Chair, pointed out that there was a major concern to provide items for the Agenda of the Members meeting during the Annual Meeting. There was also a desire to have access to an updated members list and an email list. There was discussion of expanding the Program of the Annual Meeting and rethinking the Newsletter, perhaps making it electronic. The Institutional Membership Committee has suggested that a portion of the Members Meeting be devoted to the Institutional Representatives. There was a suggestion to move into some form of tiered membership.

The By-Laws require attention. Doug announced plans for the April Executive Committee meeting, which includes joint events with AIA and others, a visit from ACLS, a Development Workshop, a By-Laws discussion, and perhaps Conflict of Interest Forms. He also gave information on renovation of ASOR's website and other items.

6. Report on Development - D. Rosenstein (distributed beforehand). The Development Committee suggests a shift in strategy from Director of Development to Development Function. We will hire an outside firm to develop a Development Action Plan: fundraising from individual donors, private foundation grant writing, government grants, research and networking, Board training, and Executive Director and Board coaching.

BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Executive Committee authorizes the Development Committee to pursue the hiring of a development firm or firms for the development of ASOR. This is a motion and a second from a standing committee. There was discussion of the cost, which is currently projected to be covered for two years. We have funds for two years without raising more money for this purpose. David added that we will check to see how aggressive they are at the beginning and how they have done in six months. One key is to make sure that whomever we hire is competent. PASSED UNANIMOUSLY.

7. Report from the Treasurer - B.W. Ruffner (distributed). First, as previously approved by Executive Committee, we will transfer from the Endowment account to the operating account $15,403.41. We will also remove 5% from the Fellowship Fund. This year we will take almost all income from the Harris fund except the 10% that the fund requires that we reassign to investment. Second, B.W. reminded the Executive Committee that our Bylaws require us to present the budget at the spring Executive Committee meeting. Third, COP has properly removed $7,000 from the Oxford Fund to support Burton MacDonald's Tafila-Busayra Survey. The money will be replaced, if earnings allow it.

BE IT RESOLVED that the funds in the Harris Fund, which are now invested in bonds, be reinvested in the Sequoia Fund, which is a stock fund. This is a motion and a second from the Investment Committee. PASSED UNANIMOUSLY.

BE IT RESOLVED that in those years that it is allowable, we will remove 5% of the corpus of the Harris Fund. This is a motion and a second from the Investment Committee. PASSED UNANIMOUSLY.

For our information, the Nominating Committee will meet and bring forth a nomination for Treasurer, according to policy.

At present we are about $160,000 short in our budget projections this year. It was suggested that all Board members give this year at least as much as they did last year. David Rosenstein adds that we plan to have a firm hired by March 15.

Report on Investments was covered in the distributed reports.

8. Report from the Committee on Publications - L. Herr and B.J. Collins (distributed at the meeting.). Last spring at the SECSOR meeting, Chris encountered people from the Alabama museum who expect 250,000 visitors to their Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit. They think they can sell 4,000 copies of the special issue of the NEA DSS issue. This is potentially $20,000 of unplanned income. It was suggested that a membership card be inserted.

9. Report from the Committee on Annual Meeting and Programs - E. Cline. All is going smoothly. Our calls for papers are reproduced everywhere. The plenary speaker is lined up, namely, Jim Muhly on Early Bronze metals. CAMP has agreed in principle to take on the Program Book. There was some discussion of who will pay for it. The anticipated revisions to the Program could make it a kind of ASOR membership manual. No action was taken.

There was discussion of the proposal from SBL that ASOR and SBL meet together. Members pointed out that there is good opportunity to be in conversation with scholars of Hebrew Bible and New Testament, if we meet together. Furthermore, most of our academic positions are in departments of Religious Studies. Many cannot afford two meetings, especially the younger membership. A contractual affiliation would free up much time of the Boston staff, who spend so much time planning and implementing the Annual Meeting. There was some concern expressed about possible financial losses, if we join with SBL. The letter from SBL mentions that there are no guarantees. There are also liability issues, if a meeting should be cancelled. It was pointed out that we should address issues of room assignments, projection equipment, changes in room assignments, and so forth.

Larry Geraty asked for a proposal for our own hotel, own program, keeping as many books displayed as possible, access to SBL book display and papers, and joint registration. We would ask SBL to print our program in their program. The Executive Director will draft a proposal on how to respond to SBL. He will communicate with the overseas centers about our discussion. No other action was taken.

10. Report from the Committee on Archaeological Policy - B. MacDonald. Burton mentions that Bethany Walker has agreed to be a new member of CAP. He suggested that the next meeting of the Executive Committee will include a discussion of re-vitalization of CAP and the relationship with the Overseas Institutes. The CAP report should occur earlier in the meeting.

11. Old Business - Sy Gitin has proposed that we put together a lecture tour for the overseas centers etc. He asks for an official authorization, namely, that the tour be carried out under the auspices of ASOR. Authorization was ruled so by general consent, but without financial considerations or commitments.

12. New Business - none.

13. Vote to Adjourn. 1:15 pm.