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American Schools of Oriental Research

Executive Committee Meeting

Duke Divinity School

Durham, NC

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Draft Minutes


Present:  P.E. MacAllister, Chairman of the Board, Eric Meyers, President, Eric Cline, VP for governance, Sheldon Fox, Treasurer, Rachel Halotte, VP for programs, Orly Nelson, Chris Rollston interim VP for publications, Tammi Schneider VP for membership, Joe Seger, Jim Strange, Secretary, and Andrew Vaughn, Interim Executive Director

Absent: Ann Killebrew, VP for development; Burton MacDonald, VP for archaeological research and policy.

  1. CTO 9:00 am.
  2. Minutes had not been distributed, so were not approved.
  3. Agenda was approved as distributed.
  1. Baghdad Committee Report—Andy Vaughn reported that the BC has a proposal for spending the earnings from the Nies Trust (NB: the Executive Committee needs to approve this proposal to meet requirements for the trust because ASOR must allocate the funds), to wit:

For Fiscal Year 07

$15k for monograph subvention for JCS monograph (revenue to go to future vols), $8.5k for Mesopotamian Fellowship (includes money for annual meeting participation)

$250 for TAARI dues

$1,655 speaker for ASOR Annual Meeting

$5,595 Goetze Awards

$7k for JCS 2007 (NB: $7,500 already allocated for JCS 2006).

For Fiscal Year 08:

(Approximately $18k available)

$250 for TAQARI dues

$1,655 speaker for ASOR Annual Meeting

$16,095 for Mesopotamian Fellowship and/or Goetze Awards

BE IT RESOLVED that this report be approved. Tammi Schneider moved and Eric Cline seconded.  PASSED UNANIMOUSLY.

  1. Development Committee—Ann Killebrew (distributed beforehand). The detailed report spoke of the nearly $100,000 to be raised for operations. Letters have gone out to the membership and Trustees soliciting donations.  Ann highlighted the current campaign to increase institutional membership as vital to ASOR’s financial health. A second focus should be increasing professional, student and lay memberships in ASOR. A third focus will be increasing professional, student and lay memberships in ASOR. A fourth focus, in coordination with Joe Seger and Chair of CAMP, will be the recruitment of additional donors to the Heritage Initiative.  A fifth important focus for ASOR is the archival project. (See attached report.). Finally, Ann announced her decision to step down as VP for development effective June 30, 2007.

BE IT RESOLVED that the Executive Committee endorses this report, acknowledges the work of the Development Committee members and congratulates them for it, and recommends the plan Ann Killebrew has presented. In further discussion it was noted that everyone on this committee has their term expire at the same time.  In light of the resignation of Ann Killebrew effective June 30, 2007, new nominations will be sought for a VP for Development. PASSED UNANIMOUSLY.

  1. ASOR discovered a bequest by a Mrs. Platt of $270k.  The restricted amount of the Platt Fellowship fund is $20k.  She left instructions that this fellowship be combined with Barton Fellowship funds, but these funds have already been expended (they were transferred to AIAR). ASOR’s Counsel, Arnold and Porter affirms the interpretation of the will of Mrs. Platt and the Probate Court’s ruling (that the funds have become the property of ASOR).

BE IT RESOLVED that the Executive Committee endorse the interpretation of Arnold and Porter of the Platt Fellowship.  For the first year, the income would allow ASOR to spend about $10.5k for fellowships.. Tammi Moved and Jim Strange seconded. PASSED UNANIMOUSLY. The Management committee asked Andy Vaughn to write guidelines for awarding Heritage Fellowships.  We have six Heritage Members. This summer $12k will be awarded. Harris would have six $2k Heritage awards and seven Platt awards. 

It was suggested that ASOR needs to broaden its definition of 1) ASOR affiliation and 2) ASOR Scholars.  A third category might be “Scholars at Risk” to bring scholars to present papers at the Annual Meeting. The committee to be convened will set up the guidelines so that we may not need three different committees for research and fellowship awards. 

BE IT RESOLVED that ASOR establish a grants and fellowships committee to oversee the distribution of all ASOR funds for grants and fellowships. The first job would be to draw up guidelines. Moved by Joe Seger and seconded by Tammi Schneider, but tabled to later discussion of CAP. (See below.)

  1. Treasurer report—Sheldon Fox. ASOR has traditionally released funds from the endowment in January. However, the release has been based on an estimate of what the endowment will be in 6 month rather than on past performance.  The Investment committee thus recommends that we move the timing of the release of funds to a date after the fiscal year so that the amount released can be based on performance rather than an estimate. The Treasurer does not believe that we need $15k in the budget to break even for this year, but we cannot be sure of that until later in the fiscal year.


BE IT RESOLVED that ASOR change its policy this fiscal year (if such a change is possible while maintaining a balanced budget this fiscal year) to release funds at the end of the fiscal year rather than at the beginning or Jan 1. Moved by Sheldon Fox and seconded by Joe Seger. PASSED UNANIMOUSLY.


9. (Andy Vaughn recused himself from the following discussion).  Eric Meyers reported Andy Vaughn was appointed Interim Executive Director through June 1, 2007. He is on leave from a tenured position at Gustavus Adolphus College 


BE IT RESOLVED that ASOR extend Andy Vaughn’s position for an additional six months to Dec 31, 2007 as before and establish a search committee mechanism between now and May of 2007 to deliberate on the future of this position.  Moved by Eric Meyers and seconded. PASSED UNANIMOUSLY.

  1. COP report--Chris Rollston. (Distributed)

BE IT RESOLVED that Chris Rollston continue in the interim position as VP for Publications through Dec 31, 2007. Joe Seger moved and Eric Meyers seconded. PASSED UNANIMOUSLY.

  1. Rachel Hallotte resigned as VP for Programs effective Feb 10, 2007. According to our new by-laws, the president and chair of the board must appoint the successor as an interim. Eric Cline (already a vice president) has agreed to serve as VP for Programs.

BE IT RESOLVED that Eric Meyers and P.E. MacAllister appoint Eric Cline as Interim VP for Programs. Moved by Tammi Schneider and seconded by Jim Strange.  PASSED UNANIMOUSLY.

  1. Nominations Committee - Andy reported that we need an ad hoc committee, as provided for in the By-Laws, to nominate a slate of officers, namely, a President and four VPs. Transparency, breadth, and inclusively are required.  According to the By Laws, the members of the ad hoc committee must be trustees.  It was mentioned that all trustees are expected to be donors.  The chairman of the board is to appoint this committee. Chairman P.E. MacAllister announced that he will name board member Jeff Blakely as chair of this ad hoc committee, and that he will receive nominations for the other members of the ad hoc Nomination Committee by telephone or email. The charge for the committee will follow.  There shall also be a call for nominees to the membership.
  1. Discussion of the Management Committee:  P.E. MacAllister called for constructive criticisms. It was suggested to send out an email once a month to the EC and perhaps to others of the actions and deliberations of the Management Committee.

BE IT RESOLVED that Sheldon Fox, Treasurer, be placed on the Management Committee. Tammi Schneider moved and Eric Meyers seconded. PASSED UNANIMOUSLY.

  1. ASOR Publications from politically contested areas - Chris Rollston introduced a discussion whether ASOR will publish anything from politically contested areas. The consensus was that ASOR allow publication of book reviews of work in politically contested areas and book reviews of publication of unprovenienced artifacts. 

BE IT RESOLVED that the editors of ASOR’s publications and the head of publication shall add a demurer to book reviews of books that treat material from politically contested areas and unprovenienced artifacts, that publication of this review does not represent endorsement of excavation or survey in disputed areas or publication of unprovenienced artifacts. Moved by Eric Meyers and seconded by Tammi Schneider. PASSED UNANMOUSLY.

BE IT RESOLVED that Chris Rollston chair an ad hoc committee to consider publication policy of ASOR with respect to excavation and survey in disputed areas or to unprovenienced artifacts, and Chris Rollston as Chair will work with Eric Cline and Eric Meyers to develop a list of prospective members. Moved by Eric Meyers and seconded by Tammi Schneider. PASSED UNANMOUSLY.

  1. Committee for Annual Meeting Report—Rachel Hallotte.  Rachel asked Andy Vaughn to address how the Annual Meeting is doing financially.  Andy reported that, if one counts staff time, then the Annual Meeting has a loss of up to $60k.  So far allocation for staff travel has been booked separately. The Management Committee is considering cutting one or more coffee breaks, the Presidential reception, and the Members Breakfast.  We must meet the hotel’s food demands, but we only need the opening reception to accomplish this for 2007. 

There was a proposal from Jeff Blakely to have a session at the Annual Meeting to deal with issues such as directions in which ASOR can move, the future of ASOR publications in the electronic world, attracting the public, and the nature of the Annual Meeting. These discussions would help inform the membership.

BE IT RESOLVED that the Program Committee be charged with the framework of the Annual Program and that the Boston office handle the final organization of the convention schedule in consultation with the VP for Programs and the co-chairs of the Program Committee. Moved by Eric Cline and seconded by Tammi Schneider. PASSED UNANMOUSLY.

  1. Committee on Archaeological Policy—Carol Meyers and Eric Cline. There was discussion of making ASOR more inclusive, perhaps by striking “American” from the criteria for those wishing to affiliate.  It was suggested to make the Platt money available to ASOR scholars on ASOR affiliated digs.

Remove from table item 6, to wit, that ASOR establish an ad hoc Grants and Fellowships Committee (Joe Seger, Orlyn Nelson, and Andy Vaughn were appointed to this committee and charged to name other members) to oversee the distribution of all ASOR funds for grants and fellowships, the first job of which would be to draw up guidelines, continuing administration of the Harris Grants according to its own past practice, that it will administer the distribution of the Heritage Membership funds in accordance with the description active for those funds, and will administer the distribution of the Platt fellowships and the Meyers-Wright fund in accordance with their own history and in accordance with the guidelines which the Grants and Fellowships Committee will develop in this fiscal year. Moved by Joe Seger and seconded by Tammi Schneider. PASSED UNANIMOUSLY.

BE IT RESOLVED that the new VP for the Committee for Archaeological Policy re-envision CAP’s mission and its operating procedures; the new VP will be charged with holding a retreat or intensive meeting to carry out the said envisioning and to report no later than the November meeting. Eric Cline moved, and Tammi Schneider seconded. PASSED UNANIMOUSLY.

  1. Eric Meyers recommended that we formalize Rachel Hallotte as Chair of the ASOR Archives InitiativeThe Chairman of the Board forthwith appointed her. Eric Meyers asked whether ASOR needs a professional assessment of the archives in Jerusalem. We have a person who will be in Jerusalem for a semester who could do it. No action taken. Eric Meyers recommended that we hire a professional grant writer to aid in the NEH grant submission. No action was taken.
  1. Treasurer’s Report—Sheldon Fox.  Sheldon distributed a sheet to show that we are reasonably on target with our budget. Our investment performance is strong. Our investment accounts are up 9-10% (a little better than the overall market). Andy Vaughn added that we are not sure about income from memberships and subscriptions for the coming year.

BE IT RESOLVED that the Treasurer’s Report be accepted.  Sheldon Fox moved and Tammi Schneider seconded. PASSED UNANIMOUSLY.


17. CAMP—Rachel Halotte.  Rachel reported that Jody Magness has agreed to be the featured speaker for the Annual Meeting.