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ASOR Board of Trustees Meeting

May 6, 2006 – Boston, MA


PRESENT: P.E. MacAllister, Chair, Martha Joukowsky, Vice President, Andy Vaughn for COP, Eric Meyers, Larry Geraty, President Joe Seger, Rachel Hallote for CAMP, Eric Cline, Ann Killebrew, Tammi Schneider, Carol Meyers, Gary Arbino, Jennie Ebeling, Stuart Swiny, Orly Nelson, Randy Younker, Holly Andrews, Assistant Director, Selma Omerefendic, Accountant, and Britt Hartenberger, Interim Publications Manager

ABSENT: Dick Scheuer, James Strange, Sten LaBianca, Sidnie Crawford, Burton MacDonald, Elizabeth Bloch-Smith, Oded Borowski, Gus Feissel, Barry Gittlen, Jimmy Hardin, Melody Knowles, Beth Nakhai, Nader Rastegar, Austin Ritterspach, Susan Sheridan, Lydie Shufro, Jane Waldbaum, Bethany Walker

VISITORS: Vivan Bull, Sy Gitin

1. Call To Order           8:35am

2. Approval of the Minutes of the November 19, 2005 Trustees Meeting

BE IT RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting of November 19, 2005 be approved with one amendment - that the Board of Trustees rescind the resolution made under #11 on the Board agenda from November 19, 2005 that gave the Executive Committee full power to override any financial decision made by any other committee. The resolution is unnecessary given ASOR’s By-laws. It was moved by Andy Vaughn and seconded by Tammi Schneider that the rescinding occur and that the amended motion be approved. PASSED UNANIMOUSLY

3. President’s Report – Larry Geraty

Larry thanked the Interim Management Committee (IMC) for their good work over the past few months.

Two institutions were then voted in as members by unanimous vote: George Washington University and University of Arkansas.

4. Report from the Chairman – P.E. MacAllister

P.E. discussed three particular areas he would like to focus on in the coming year:

  • Membership – P.E. would like to see the Individual or Sustaining Membership provided in the Bylaws be effectuated as a way of gaining broader, personal support for archaeology.

BE IT RESOLVED that a new membership category called “Contributing Member” be established. The membership fee will $125.00 per year and will include voting rights. It was moved by Joe Seger and seconded by Andy Vaughn. PASSED UNANIMOUSLY

  • Creating new grants for digs – P.E. proposed that ASOR develop a second membership designated for digging scholarships at the rate of $2500 per year. He wants ASOR to support more work in the field. Nan Frederick suggests we call it “adopt an archaeologist”.  Motion to institute the $2500 member passed.
  • Board development - P.E. next suggested that 3 new lay (business/professional) trustees be brought on board over the next year, and three more the year after. He recommended that 3 of the new board members be from the Boston area. He has already made contact with 2 Boston individuals that may be good prospects.  He also presented to Randy Younker the candidacy of Jack Sahlman from Tampa, FL to the board.  Jack is a successful businessman and has strong interest in archaeology/antiquities. Randy Younker placed his name in Nomination.  Stuart Swiny then asked P.E. if he knows if Sahlman is an active collector today? We will need to find out if he has any illegal artifacts in his collection. His nomination was approved with the understanding that he is not an unlawful collector.

5. Board Vote on New Slate of Officers:

Chairman of the Board—Joe Seger

Past President—Larry Geraty

President—Eric Meyers

Vice President—Eric Cline

Vice President—Tammi Schneider

Secretary—Jim Strange

Treasurer— P.E. MacAllister

Be it resolved that the new slate of officers be affirmed and that the terms begin on May 6, 2006 and go for 18 months (though December 2007). There will now be a Past President office and co-Vice Presidents. Eric Cline will serve as Vice President for Governance and Tammi Schneider will serve as Vice President for Membership. It was moved by P.E. MacAllister and seconded by Martha Joukowsky. PASSED UNANIMOUSLY

Joe Seger then distributed a by-laws revision proposed by the Executive Committee that seeks to create a new office of Past President. Andy Vaughn moved that the rule in By-Laws Article X, Section 7 requiring a ten-day advance notice to the board for a by-law change be suspended. The motion was seconded by Nan Frederic. It was determined that a quorom of the voting members of the Board as defined in Article III Section 7 of the By-Laws was present. The motion to suspend the rules was voted and PASSED UNANIMOUSLY The main motion from the Executive Committee was then brought to the floor

BE IT RESOLVED that the new office of Past President be added to the list of officers in the ASOR By-laws as indicted in the distributed copy. It was moved by Joe Seger and seconded by Eric Meyers. PASSED UNANIMOUSLY

6. Report from the Treasurer – B.W. Ruffner

B.W. pointed out that we had budgeted $125,000 for the Annual Fund this year, and so far we have raised $225,000! This is almost double. We have an additional pledge of $75,000 by the end of May – so we will for the first time in years, be in the black at the end of year.

Cash Flow Report – Our deficit has gone from $311,429 in February, to $8,905 today.  Larry Geraty reported a gift to the operation adequate to make up the deficit.  This is remarkable considering that at the same time we have accomplished this, we have also managed to set aside $90,000 to produce the 2006 NEAs. This procedure must continue if we are going to remain in the black.

B.W. then asked the Board members to consider coming on the Finance or Investment Committees.

Budget Report – Our budget for FY2007 is about $600,000. This is only possible if we do not have an Executive Director. Our current budget is about $750,000 for the year.  Next year’s budget only projects $100,000 in Annual Fund, and we will have raised about $300,000 at the end of this year. Hopefully, we can begin to use additional income for new projects and fellowships as we go into the future. B.W. says that we must keep the financial reporting absolutely clear so that the first sign of backsliding is apparent. Martha Joukowsky reiterated that we need to get the word out that ASOR is now on firm financial footing.

7. Report on Investments – B.W. Ruffner for Austin Ritterspach

We have about $1,000,000 in the endowments and overall we are doing well. The unrestricted endowment fund is about $300,000. We should never let it drop below this figure. In the beginning of the year, we could only take out about $8,000 from the spending release since earnings have not generated any more, but the market has picked up since then and we will be able to take out about another $8,000, helping us to break even this year. Our Temporarily Restricted account is doing well and is very liquid. This account is mostly in money markets.

8. New Business

  • Vote on Management Committee

BE IT RESOLVED that P.E. MacAllister appoint a Management Committee (MC) that will assign responsibility of overall management of operations and staff. B. W. Ruffner will serve as Chair with Andy Vaughn, Eric Meyers, and P.E. MacAllister as members. The MC will be empowered to act as required to manage the operation. The MC will make regular reports to the other officers who will in turn communicate these reports to the appropriate ASOR constituencies. The MC will report to the Executive Committee at its next meeting. At the November meeting its continuing status will be re-visited. It was moved by P.E. MacAllister for the Executive Committee and seconded by Eric Cline. PASSED UNANIMOUSLY

  • Ethics of Publishing Materials from Unprovenanced Contexts

A modified ASOR policy statement on unprovenanced artifacts was distributed. Discussion ensued. ASOR is working on revising its statement to address this issue. A Committee on Unprovenanced Artifacts will be established to come up with a new statement that will be vetted by membership. There was a unanimous vote to receive the report and take further action on it later.

9. Report on Development – Ann Killebrew (interim chair)

Ann reported that development has focused much effort on raising money to get NEA caught up. We have raise about $23,000 from individuals so far. We also received a $25,000 challenge grant from Notre Dame. We have about $10,000 toward the challenge and will need another $15,000 by year’s end to get totally caught up on NEA issues. Andy Vaughn asked Board members to please ask their institutions to consider a contribution. Another focus has been institutional memberships. We have 7 new members on board so far and have a goal of 10 by year’s end. We also need to get lapsed members back on board and get the number of institutional members back up to 100. The Institutional Membership Committee recently came up with some new perks for members, the biggest being new travel grants for members’ students to attend the Annual Meeting. Tammi Schneider urged people to look at the new benefits on the website.

Our donations to operating have really picked up this year. In particular we received three very large and generous gifts from: P.E. MacAllister. Artemis and Martha Joukowsky, and Dick Scheuer.

The Development efforts since the Annual Meeting have been somewhat scaled down. We have been holding off on a contract with Schultz and Williams because we needed to do things that didn’t cost us money. This will be revisited in the coming months.

Eric Meyers then mentioned the proposal for an ASOR history exhibit with a firm called Exhibitour. We already have interested investors who are willing to support ASOR fully if we pursue this. It would be a great thing for ASOR. We will be constituting an Advisory Committee to help make plans for this exhibit.

10. Report from Nominations Committee – Randy Younker

Nominations have already been addressed.

11. Report on ASOR Support for the Overseas Centers – Eric Meyers

A document was distributed that explained in what ways ASOR supports and serves the centers with dollar figures attached to these services.

Sy Gitin wanted to note that the Albright did give ASOR $3,000 last year for shipping costs of the journals the Boston office sends to Israel.

12. Report from AIAR – Sy Gitin

Sy reported that the Albright had another successful year with over 85 programs. The AIAR Board has been very supportive. The ASOR lecture exchange is going well and he hopes it continues. Three to four lectures are scheduled for the rest of the year with the ARCE and CAARI directors. It is important for ASOR and the ORC’s to maintain a high profile. They have two new American excavations this year directed by Steve Ortiz and Susan Cohen.

Things are returning to normal for excavations in Israel – more and more projects are getting back on track.

Albright is working with ASOR to bring two Palestinians over for the Annual Meeting in November. The funding is coming from Kress, private donors and Albright. As for fundraising, the AIAR has received a large number of small grants as well as a $55,000 grant from the Packard Foundation for additional space for the library. They are also working on updating the hostel, they have already made the Albright wi-fi with a gift from Norma Kershaw and they are working on a joint project with CAORC and PARC to put materials on-line. This fall they will begin a campaign to start an Eric and Carol Meyers Fellowship.

13. Report from ACOR – Martha Joukowsky

Barbara Porter has taken over as Director of ACOR and Chris Tuttle is now her assistant through November. In December 12 Iraqi librarians came to ACOR for training. In January, the Harvard University Society of Arab Students visited and were shown around.  In February ACOR hosted a conservation symposium of the Petra Archaeological Park with the U. S. Department of State. In March Barbara Porter moved in. In April several senators visited and were shown around – Martha says “they were very impressed”. And, in May there is the opening of a show featuring the scrolls from Petra, as well as the elephant head capitals and other artifacts. June 7 – 9 there will be a major event to say farewell to Pierre and Patricia Bikai and thank them for their 15 years of service and achievements.

ACOR’s endowment is now at $5,000,000, in 1991 when the Bikais arrived, it was much less. The library has about 30,000 volumes and has an endowment for publications. The facilities are wireless and very comfortable.

14. Report from CAARI – Stuart Swiny

CAARI is operating as usual. Director Tom Davis has been involved in the exchange lecture series. He is doing a great job as director despite the difficult political times they are in. They received a $500,000 gift from the Harris Foundation and a $500,000 matching grant from NEH to refurbish the building and expand the library. They will be organizing a CAARI workshop in the summer, bringing together many archaeologists. There are several new projects on the island, some of which are European. Excavations continue.

15. Report from PublicationsAndy Vaughn

There are several items in the Publications report that seek approval:

  • Motion to approve the search for a new Publications manager and the search Committee as proposed. ACCEPTED
  • Motion to extend the contract of Sandra Scham for three years. ACCEPTED
  • Motion to make the Newsletter largely electronic. ACCEPTED
  • Motion to raise the price of BASOR to $70.00 for individuals. ACCEPTED
  • Motion to increase the international mailing fees to $13.00 for mail in the U.S. and $25.00 for international mail. ACCEPTED

Carol Meyers mentioned the quality of the material and editing in NEA has been disappointing. Andy assured everyone that this would be addressed.

Billie Jean Collins will conclude her contract with ASOR with the next issue, 68:4.

There is debate currently over whether to bring these services in house, or outsource.

Andy thanked Britt for all her hard work. The first billing from the Boston office went out this week. He noted that we brought in 101 new members this year, but we lost more than that. He wants to start calling people to ask them to re-join. Subscription income is up by about $20,000 and Membership income is down by about $8,000.

  • Review of NEA

There is some sentiment in the Executive Committee to see NEA become a high class BAR. Should NEA be semi-popular or semi-scholarly? Should it be “dummed” down to a college level? It definitely needs to be written so that lay people can also understand it. Some think NEA now is basically a BASOR with nice pictures. Eric Cline commented that we should have professional journalists working for NEA, but we do not have that kind of money. Andy said that he would like to see NEA stop being themed, and have groupings of articles instead. Rachel Hallote suggested that maybe we should think about contributing articles to magazines such as the New Yorker or Reader’s Digest, and try and get journalists who write for them to do the articles for us.

Tammi Schneider has got the Sacred History Society to join ASOR as a member. They will be giving us a gratis full page space in their magazine. Half the page will be an advertisement and the other half will be an article of our choosing. It is sold in many places, including airports and now, Wal Mart. The distribution is expected to be about 150,000. COP will oversee this.

16. Report from CAP – Burton MacDonald (circulated)

17. Report from CAMP – Rachel Hallote

The funding for the lecture series ($2,000) was put back into the budget for FY2007. Holding lectures in different parts of the country is a vehicle for potential new friends and members, having funding to do more will help ASOR. Our plenary speaker for the Annual Meeting is Matthew Bogdanos who will be a big draw. The Meeting is looking really good, we will introduce 5 new sessions in the program.

18. Old Business

P.E. gave Larry Geraty a special Past President ASOR pin and expressed sincere gratitude to Larry for his service to ASOR in what were sometimes difficult circumstances. Larry thanked P.E. likewise for his tremendous support and leadership as Chairman of the Board for many years.

19. Vote to adjourn      12:00pm

Respectfully submitted,

Holly Andrews, Assistant Director (for James Strange, Secretary)