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ASOR Executive Committee Meeting

September 9, 2006 – Indianapolis, IN


Location: Holiday Inn Airport, Indianapolis, IN
EC Members present: P.E. MacAllister (chair), Eric Cline, Ann Killebrew, Eric Meyers, Burton MacDonald, B.W. Ruffner, Tammi Schneider, Joe Seger, Andy Vaughn.
EC Members absent: Larry Geraty, Rachel Hallote, Jim Strange (secretary)

  1. Meeting called to order at 8:32am by Chair P.E. MacAllister. Agenda was distributed and approved.
  2. Secretary: Jim Strange was not present due to illness, it was decided by general consent that Andy Vaughn would take the minutes for this meeting.
  3. Minutes: Approval of minutes of the May 5th meeting were waived because they were not available. They will be considered at the next meeting.
  4. President’s report.
    1. Eric Meyers described his June visit to the Boston office, joined by Andy Vaughn and Rachel Hallote.
    2. Eric Meyers described a planned NEH grant for archives. He felt that this was an important project that will need significant time and planning. He suggested that ASOR needs to think about who will be the PI for this grant. Another issue is that some Albright Institute trustees feel that they have a claim to the pre-1967 archives. ASOR has notified them that ASOR considers all files from the pre-1967 archives to belong to ASOR whether they describe the Jerusalem School or other activities of ASOR.

                                                               i.      P.E. asked how we planned to handle the grant proposal—should we have a committee coordinate the proposal or have the president head up the NEH grant?

         ii.      Motion: Eric Cline moved that we establish an ad hoc committee to further explore the possibility of a NEH grant for archives and report back to the EC at the November meeting. The committee will be chaired by Rachel Hallote, committee members will include Tammi Schneider and Eric Meyers. Andy Vaughn will help out as needed. Seconded by Tammi Schneider. Approved unanimously.

    1. Eric Meyers reported that the Management Committee (MacAllister, Meyers, Ruffner, Vaughn) met for two days in Montreat, NC in late July to discuss planning initiatives. The proposals on the by-laws and the SBL proposal arose out of these meetings (see below in minutes).
    2. Eric Meyers reported that the Boston University lease has not yet been resolved. Jim Wiseman of BU is working hard on this matter and has been very encouraging. Eric Meyers hopes to have more on this topic within a month. He will make another report to the EC at the November meeting, as well as keep the Management Committee informed.
    3. Exhibition project.  Tim Chester (Exhibitor) reported to Eric Meyers that things are still moving ahead but a little slower than planned. He (Chester) hopes to have a total financial commitment within the next two months. Tammi asked if the Exhibitor could pay for part of the archives work that needs to be done. Joe raised the concern that we need to make sure that Exhibitor should not drive our priorities with the archives collection.
  1. SBL proposal for a new relationship with ASOR at the annual meetings was examined.
    1. Eric Meyers began the discussion by calling Rachel Hallote (CAMP chair) on the phone to get her input. She previously reported (via email) her support of the proposal, and she confirmed her approval on the phone.
    2. Tammi asked if we “make money” on the annual meeting.  Various responses were given. All of the responses thought that ASOR earned a small profit, but Meyers and Vaughn noted that such assessments did not include staff time and some other office expenses associated with staff.
    3. Exhibits at annual meeting:  Tammi asked about clustering of book exhibits.
    4. Ann Killebrew said that we need to be able to continue to attract members who do not care about biblical studies and related specialties.
    5. Motion: Ann Killebrew moved the following (seconded by Tammi Schneider). Be it resolved that Andy Vaughn and Eric Meyers are charged to negotiate a joint meeting arrangement with the SBL so long as the following concerns be taken into account: 1) AV costs; 2) Keeping a separate hotel and identity; 3) maintaining programming that is controlled by ASOR; 4) having a convention name that is congenial to ASOR’s aims and objectives. The Executive Committee expressed its enthusiastic support of a joint meeting if these issues could be worked out. Eric and Andy will present a detailed proposal that addresses these concerns to the EC at the November meeting. Assuming that the above concerns are resolved, the EC expects to present this proposal to the full Board of Trustees for its endorsement at the November 18, 2006 meeting. Passed unanimously.
    6. Past negotiations for annual meeting hotel contracts: Eric Meyers expressed his disappointment that many of the contract details of the annual meeting were negotiated without the Executive Committee being involved. There was a general agreement with his expression of disappointment.
  2. Motion: MSP by general consent the following motion: Be it resolved that ASOR notify the 3 schools that the suites at the annual meeting are a major perk of the meeting and provide a value to the schools of between $3,000 and $4,000 if they are used for 6 nights. We request (but do not require) that the overseas research centers hold a reception during the ASOR annual meeting at the ASOR hotel for 2006 to help defray ASOR's food minimum. Further, the issues of suites and complimentary room allocations for future years (i.e., 2007 and beyond) and who receives them will be taken up by CAMP with Eric Cline serving as the liaison between CAMP and the EC. Approved unanimously.
  3. Development Committee (Ann Killebrew):  Ann Killebrew commented on her written report. Comments noted that it was advisable to revise the pledge card. Ann further described the method for follow-up on the appeal.  Trustees are asked to either give or pledge for the FY before the annual meeting. Ann suggested a goal of $200,000 for this year for the annual fund. This goal is $100,000 more than the budget, but the larger amount will allow ASOR to achieve other goals (e.g., more support of annual meeting, better support of publications, hiring an executive director, rescuing our archives, etc.).  Ann and Andy will revise the appeal letter accordingly and send it out next week.
  4. Development (new memberships):
    1. Contributing Memberships: P.E. distributed the brochure for the new contributing membership. He has printed 200 copies for now.  Every trustee is encouraged to recruit at least one new member. These members pay $125 per year ($100 is tax-deductible).
    2. Heritage Memberships: Joe Seger passed out information for a new Heritage Membership.  $500 of the $2,500 fee would go to ASOR for an administrative fee, and $2,000 would go to provide a scholarship toward an excavation or allow the donor to go on the excavation. The entire $2,500 fee will be tax deductible.
  5. Motion: MSP by general agreement. Date of next executive committee meeting:  February 9-11, 2007.  Tammi Schneider, Eric Meyers, and Joe Seger will look into options in their respective locations, and we to hope announce the location to the EC within a month.
  6. Spring Board meeting.  Motion: Moved by Joe Seger and seconded by Burton McDonald. Be it is resolved that ASOR meet with AIA this year provided that the finances can be worked out advantageously.  Passed unanimously with one abstention.
  7. Financial report:  B.W. Ruffner passed out financial spreadsheets. He answered questions and opined that we are in a strong position to have a balanced budget this year and meet our cash flow needs.
  8. Executive Director. Several members of the EC expressed the opinion that we could not operate for a long time without an executive director. The committee discussed various needs of ASOR.  Andy Vaughn’s name was mentioned as a possible candidate. Andy excused himself from the room and discussion continued. There was enthusiastic support for Andy to serve as an interim, part-time executive director for the period January 1, 2007 through June 30, 2007.
    1. Motion: Tammi Schneider moved: “Be it resolved that the MC be empowered and authorized to work out an interim management arrangement from January 1 – June 30, 2007 with Andy Vaughn. Salary and details to be worked out by the management committee and Andy.” Motion seconded by B.W. Ruffner. Discussion continued. Unanimously passed with one abstention (Andy Vaughn did not vote and was not in the room for the motion).
    2. Status of Andy as COP chair: It was suggested that Andy should resign temporarily as chair of COP effective January 1, 2007 if he were to become interim executive director. Andy agreed and said that he would resign if he did become interim executive director. Eric Meyers expressed the desire for Andy to be able to return to chair of COP after 6 months if it were possible. Andy requested that we postpone that discussion until members of COP can be consulted.
  9. CAMP report (Eric Cline for Rachel Hallote).
    1. Eric Cline referred to the written report from Rachel.
    2. Motion: At Rachel’s request in the written report, Eric Cline moved that the $500 that had been allocated to the lecture committee be given to the regional affiliations committee. Ann Killebrew seconded.  Unanimous approval.
  10. CAP (Burton MacDonald):  Distributed written report, provided explanations and interpretations, and answered questions.  Burton stressed that ASOR needed to think about the role of CAP and how we wanted the committee to continue. We need to give CAP more to do.  There was a general sentiment that CAP would be more effective if there were more money to distribute for scholarships or for support of excavations. It was also stressed that priority be given in publishing site reports with ASOR to those digs that affiliate with ASOR. Burton expressed thanks to P.E. for paying for the travel expenses for the CAP tour.
  11. COP (Andy Vaughn):  A written report was distributed ahead of time. Andy Vaughn answered questions.
    1. Andy reported that we might need to hire graduate students who were not work study students. This may mean that ASOR would have to pay a higher rate for the work, but we have no choice if we do not receive applications from work study students. Andy also reported that we are doubling our efforts to recruit work study students.
    2. NEA status. Ann Killebrew distributed (sent out ahead by email as well) a statement written by her and Sandra Scham.  The possibilities presented in this joint letter are the following: 1) expanding the website in place of the print NEA; 2) enhance BASOR in place of NEA as a print version; 3) outsourcing much of the production of NEA and fulfillment services of all journals. The EC expressed strong support of continuing print versions of NEA, but also expressed support for pursuing outsourcing options (including web-based). Andy was charged to investigate possibilities for outsourcing and report back in November.  Eric Meyers will follow up on possibilities of enhancing our website and report back in November.
  12. By-Laws (Eric Cline). Eric Cline outlined the changes that had been proposed.
    1. The EC went through suggested changes to the by-laws. The EC made changes as necessary.
    2. Motion. Eric Meyers moved and Tammi Schneider seconded: Be it resolved that the EC approve the changes made in the by-laws and charged Eric Cline to circulate a new copy when the many additions and revisions made during the meeting were entered and a clean copy was available. After the EC approves the clean copy of the proposed amended by-laws by email, the amended by-laws will be presented to the entire Board of Trustees for a vote at the November meeting. The amended by-laws will also be posted on the web for all ASOR members to read. The executive committee notes that the entire board must have 20 days notice for the document to be considered at the next board meeting. Passed unanimously.
  13. Andy Vaughn moved to adjourn. Seconded by B.W. Ruffner. Passed unanimously. Meeting Adjourned at 5:03 PM.

Minutes submitted by Andy Vaughn.