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ASOR Executive Committee Meeting

Duke Divinity School, Duke University

Feb 9, 2008



PRESENT: P.E. MacAllister, Tim Harrison, Andy Vaughn, Eric Meyers, Orly Nelson, Sheldon Fox, Michael Homan, Morag Kersel, Ann Killebrew, Tammi Schneider, Jeff Blakely, Jim Strange.

ABSENT: Joe Seger, B. W. Ruffner

GUEST: Lydie Shufro

I. 8:30 am--Call to order

II. Approval of agenda.

III. Approval of minutes from November, delayed to next meeting.

IV. Action items

A. The Chair asked for a Resolution by consensus to welcome new members: Michael Homan and Morag Kersel.

B. Travel policy for ASOR officers. BE IT RESOLVED that the Executive Committee approve offering a small amount of travel to subsidize travel for officers who request it. Moved and Seconded by P.E. MacAllister and Tim Harrison. APPROVED UNANIMOUSLY. It was agreed by consensus to hold off on approving the draft travel policy until the next meeting when it could be distributed ahead of time in writing.

C. Appointment of Jeff Blakely as interim editor of NEA for Vol. 71 (2008):1-2. Ann Killebrew pointed out that COP should be consulted first. BE IT RESOLVED that the appointment for an interim editor for NEA Vol. 71 (2008):1-2 be taken to the COP committee for discussion. Moved by Ann Killebrew; seconded by Tammi Schneider. PASSED with one abstention.

D. Final Audit (FY 2007). Sheldon Fox requested approval of the Final Audit, which shows one change that we requested. BE IT RESOLVED that the Final Audit (FY 2007) be approved as changed. PASSED UNANIMOUSLY.

E. The issue of affirmation of Benjamin Saidel, Thomas E. Levy, and Yorke Rowan for a 3-year term on the editorial board of BASOR. It was agreed that this too (like the appointment of the editor of NEA) should go through COP before coming to the board or EC.

F. Appointment of an ad hoc Personnel Committee. Tim Harrison announced intent to appoint a Personnel Committee. There are many personnel matters upon which this committee will advise the Executive Director and President. The intent is that this should become a standing committee. He announced the appointment of Tammi Schneider and Orly Nelson to this ad hoc committee. The President does not need the executive committee to authorize this committee, but he asked for approval of the EC for this committee to act on behalf of the EC to conduct an annual review of the executive director (something that the by-laws specify the EC must undertake). BE IT RESOLVED that the Executive Committee authorizes the Personnel Committee to act on behalf of the Executive Committee to conduct the review of the Executive Director and to make a recommendation to the Executive Committee. PASSED UNANIMOUSLY.

G. Tim Harrison reported that the Executive Committee needs to recognize certain management, personnel, and financial matters. There is a standing Financial and Audit committee, but that the makeup is the same as the management committee. It will be reconfigured in terms of its membership by Treasurer Sheldon Fox in consultation with the President and the Board Chair. The Management Committee will no longer meet in view of the activities of the Financial and Personnel committees. BE IT RESOLVED that the Executive Committee affirms the Management Committee's decision to cease functioning, relegating its tasks to other agencies and bodies. Tim Harrison moved; Tammi Schneider seconded. PASSED UNANIMOUSLY.

H. Tim suggested that we review and re-evaluate the role of Development in terms of our new objectives and structures. BE IT RESOLVED that the Executive Committee affirms the intention to re-evaluate the role of the Development Committee before a new VP of Development is appointed. Tim Harrison moved; Jeff Blakely seconded. PASSED UNANIMOUSLY.

I. The Digital Archaeological Atlas of the Holy Land (Sten LaBianca and Tom Levy) asked whether ASOR would be a sponsor. This would entail an official action to endorse the DAAHL as a resource that will benefit members. ASOR will provide a link on our website BE IT RESOLVED that the Executive Committee endorse the DAAHL and be listed as a sponsor without financial obligations or implications. Tammi Schneider moved; Ann Killebrew seconded. PASSED UNANIMOUSLY.

J. CAMP Report. The Outreach committee has requested $500 for their program, and Regional Affiliations Committee has requested $500 for their program. BE IT RESOLVED that the Executive Committee approves the nominations as enumerated in the CAMP report. Moreover, the Executive Committee endorses the work of the Regional Affiliations Committee and the Outreach Committee and refers their request for money to the Executive Director as he prepares the budget to be presented to the Board. Morag Kersel moves Tammi Schneider seconded. PASSED UNANIMOUSLY.

V. Discussion Items

A. Discussion of the eligibility criteria for ASOR/CAP affiliation-Ann Killebrew. A list of ten questions was sent out to dig directors. Ann has compiled the responses and comments that she has found strong consensus on most items. She will circulate the report via email to Executive Committee members and others. The questions include whether ASOR will affiliate non-North Americans as directors of expeditions. Ann Killebrew will work with the President and to develop a questionnaire to put online. Considerable discussion focused on whether ASOR should expand past North Americans as PIs of projects. We already have foreign Institutional Members. It was noted that the board (Nov. 2007) requested that Ann bring a statement of pros and cons on this issue to the EC and subsequently the board.

B. Discussion of governance-Tim Harrison. Certain items have revealed a disconnect between the current by-laws and the existing guidelines from different committees. It is crucial to reevaluate the structure of committees from the time to time to increase efficiency of governance. Tim Harrison plans to establish an ad hoc Governance Committee to examine the current practices to show us what needs adjustment. We will make some changes to the by-laws in the May meeting. Suggestions for possible members of the committee ensued. It was recommended that we use a bottom-up process and more inclusive approach. The committee will make suggestions, but not enact anything. The committee will be appointed by Tim in consultation with the board chair, so EC members were encouraged to make recommendations to Tim.

C. Membership-Tammi Schneider. Tammi gave a short history of memberships, including institutional memberships. The title "Vice President of Membership" evolved as a job title from recent changes in the organization. We are more successful in communicating to membership what the kinds of membership mean and how they profit from them. We are more successful with members are paying their dues, but we still have a ways to go. We are focusing on regular membership. The Tel Hesi publications are now available to institutional member schools for the cost of postage, about $32. Membership will continue to develop membership goals. The membership meetings give members a voice, from regular members to Institutional Member Representatives. The Membership committee under the direction of Lawson Younger has been charged with surveying lapsed members to find out why they have let their membership lapse. The questions for this survey have been written, but no work has been done yet. Some only join for one year in order to read a paper. Other learned societies face the same issues. For example, we have 165 members who lapsed on Dec 31, 2007 but have yet to renew. We have sent two paper reminders, sent two email reminders, and left telephone messages on office telephones.

VI. Five items of information of actions by the management committee were read to the Executive Committee:

A. In the light of Terry Hofecker's request to resign, the Management Committee affirmed Tim Harrison's recommendation to ask Hofecker to resign effective December 31, 2007.

B. Received a report on a legal matter regarding a BU/ASOR employee. BU is the employer, so ASOR does not have a decision to make.

C. Agreed to support some continuing education costs (approximately half) of accounting assistant Selma Omerefendic.

D. Approved location and date of Fall Executive Committee meeting, September 20, 2008 at the ASOR office in Boston.

E. Voted to allot $250 per participant from the Executive Committee that requested travel help to attend the February meeting. Voted to include $350 per participant for the FY 08 budget.

F. Approved Christmas bonuses for all ASOR employees (except the Executive Director).

VII. Administrative Reports

A. Report from Treasurer Sheldon Fox. Two major areas will vary from budget. Membership/ subscription revenue was down for the first half of the fiscal year, but we have picked up revenue in the 3rd quarter. In another area, we will spend a good bit less on salaries because of the delay in replacing Holly Andrews and hiring a new staff member. The shortfall in subscription/ membership revenue will be more than offset by reduced staff salaries this fiscal year. Sheldon affirmed that everything looks on track to have a balanced budget again this year.

B. Chair's report waived.

C. President's report-Tim Harrison: Acknowledged Eric Meyers and Sheldon Fox's efforts in preparing for the meetings in Durham. He explained that he has spent more time on learning about personnel matters and financial matters. He feels very good about the overall picture. We are getting stronger by the day. There is a sense of optimism in the organization.

D. Report from Past President Eric Meyers: Thanked all present for coming.

E. Reports of Vice Presidents

i. Membership-Tammi Schneider, given earlier.

ii. Programs-Michael Homan and Morag Kersel, announced that Martha Joukowsky has promised to be the plenary speaker at the annual meeting in Boston.

iii. Archaeological Research and Policy-Ann Killebrew, given earlier.

iv. Publications-Jeff Blakely. Two issues of NEA (70/3 and 70/4) are being worked on at once, so we are catching up. No one has been inclined to take the position of VP for Publications. There should be no structural issues in COP without a VP, so Jeff is concentrating on catching up in NEA and finding and editor for NEA. The Newsletter was mailed this week. There are ads for VP of COP and editors for several series. He anticipates at least one applicant for each editorship. Two Annuals appeared last year. The BASOR editorial board adopted a more restrictive policy for reviews, namely, that books that publish remains from occupied territories will not be reviewed in BASOR. It was pointed out that this action may not cohere with the resolution of the Executive Committee one year ago, to wit: "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. PASSED UNANMOUSLY." Jeff Blakely will create a discussion in COP on this issue and bring a clarification from COP to the Executive Committee. Jim Weinstein has raised critical issues about BASOR: 1) poor quality paper, 2) no color, and 3) BASOR could be a slightly longer journal. The Committee promises to work toward improving the journal. They will secure some cost estimates to upgrade BASOR with good paper quality. The Opportunity Fund is now an investment fund. Tim Harrison suggested that COP needs to discuss how the Opportunity Fund is used. Eric suggested that Oxford U. Press would like to produce a supplementary volume for the Oxford Dictionary of Archaeology. This would produce an income stream to be paid to the Opportunity Fund. BE IT RESOLVED that the Executive Committee appoint Eric Meyers to explore an ASOR supplementary volume for the Oxford Dictionary of Archaeology. Moved by Tammi Schneider; seconded by Morag Kersel. PASSED UNANIMOUSLY.

v. Report from Executive Director: Andy Vaughn recommended that every board member recruit one Contributing member. The Boston office has hired one staff person to work on membership and subscriptions to keep numbers up. Holly has not been replaced. Instead Alex Ratsloff will work nearly full time. We will recruit someone to start in early September to work on the Annual Meeting with a view to growing the Annual Meeting.

VIII. Old Business--none

IX. New Business--none

X. Announcements--none

XI. Adjourn. 2:48 p.m.


Respectfully submitted,
James F. Strange, Secretary