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Fall ASOR Executive Committee Meeting
ASOR Offices at Boston University
656 Beacon St., 5th Floor
Sept 20, 2008


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

ABSENT: Ann Killebrew, B.W. Ruffner

  1. CTO: 8:56 AM.
  2. Approval of minutes as submitted by consensus.
  3. Approval of agenda as distributed.
  4. Treasurer’s Report—Sheldon Fox. We finished the year in a positive position. We had $120,000 in the bank at the end of the year, which is about twice what we had last year. Each NEA generates a net profit, but memberships and collections were below last year. We were able to put some unrestricted gifts into the endowment instead of operations, contrary to what we have done in past years. There is now a financial cushion in the bank, though there are already bills to be paid etc. against that sum. The Treasurer reported that he believes we should have a three month reserve.
  5. COP REPORT—Joe Green. Three issues occupy discussions at COP, namely, financial transparency in COP’s accounting, support for COP by Boston, and stability in the COP VP Position. There was a question whether we are able to cooperate with BU’s publications efforts. Tim Harrison pointed out that last year we were in disarray with resignations of editors, etc. We are now up-to-date in all publications. Joe congratulated COP for this accomplishment. As a consequence of this stability, we are now in a position to talk with BU and others about entering the electronic age.

    BE IT RESOLVED that the Board profusely thanks Joe for his interim leadership “by acclamation.” Moved by Tammi Schneider, seconded by Tim. PASSED UNANIMOUSLY.

    There was discussion about the COP editorial boards. Andy Vaughn reminded us that all members of these editorial boards must be ASOR members. COP is content to leave the process as is, that is, that COP will select their editorial boards and the EC will approve them. The wording of the By-Laws would have to be changed to reflect a decision of whether editorial boards are or are not committees of ASOR. We intend to study this further. Joe Green says that COP needs financial information so that they can make good decisions. The core question is framed in terms of academic freedom. COP has a set of Guidelines of operation to be brought into line with ASOR By-Laws. Jeff Blakely pointed out that Jeff is on the Finance Committee, and therefore COP has liaison with that committee.

    BE IT RESOLVED that the Executive Committee charges the VP of COP and the Committee on Publications to revise and update the “Guidelines for Publications” [on the COP web page at—JFS] in a timely manner and report back to the Executive Committee on the results of that exercise. Tim Harrison moved; Eric M. Meyers seconded. PASSED UNANIMOUSLY.

    The Treasurer asks that he and Jeff solve the problem of oversight of the opportunity fund. No action taken.

  6. CAMP Report--Michael Homan, Morag Kersel (distributed). There were no recommended actions. The Co-Chairs ask for nominations for the Annual Meeting Committee Chair. Registrations for the Annual Meeting are ahead of last year’s figures. We hope for more perks from the hotel, such as lowering the price of the luncheon for Junior Scholars
  7. BE IT RESOLVED that the Executive Committee expresses its thanks and appreciation to the out-going chairs of the Program Committee by acclamation. PASSED UNANIMOUSLY.

  8. CAP report—Ann Killebrew in absentia. Tim Harrison read her report. There was extensive discussion of CAP policies, particularly on the stringency of the new application process. Andy Vaughn will send out a note to previous projects. We are in the process of receiving nominations for Chair of CAP. Ann will step down as of November 2008. The new chair will revitalize CAP and help ASOR to move on. There have been no official nominations or self-nominations. Jeff Blakely is receiving nominations in his capacity as Chair of the Officers Nominating Committee.
  9. BE IT RESOLVED that the Executive Committee receive the report. Moved by Jeff Blakely and seconded by Tammi Schneider. PASSED UNANIMOUSLY

  10. Membership Committee—Tammi Schneider. There are a few new members that must be targeted. We target 94 new Institutional Members. There is no target for individual members, though one will be developed.
  11. Personnel Committee—Tim Harrison. The President reviewed where we were in the spring when he appointed this committee. The Executive Committee then charged this committee with the annual review of the Executive Director. The Personnel Committee has not addressed salary figures. Kelly Bazydlo has been hired to work full time on ASOR staff for the Annual Meeting and as assistant to the Executive Director. We have postponed hiring the person for support of publications. Partially because we may not need one, and secondly because Andy had to work with Trina on setting agendas for publications, negotiating contracts with authors, etc. This has taken more time than doing it directly. Finally, we do not yet have the money to hire another full-time staff person. The work is getting done with present staff. The President presented the Executive Committee with an Annual Review of the Executive Director. Extensive discussion ensued.

    BE IT RESOLVED that the Executive Committee accept the evaluation of the Personnel committee. They will develop a briefer, written version to communicate to the Executive Director, which includes tallies of the forms submitted by the employees. The Executive Director should sign the form. Moved by Sheldon Fox; seconded by Tammi Schneider. PASSED UNANIMOUSLY.

    BE IT RESOLVED that ASOR increase the Executive Director’s compensation to the 80% rate, but the Executive Committee will leave it to the president to negotiate with the Executive Director an improved office attendance policy, taking into account Kelly’s presence. Discussion included the idea that the Executive Committee cap the Executive Director’s travel expenses at a level to be determined as we gain more information. Moved by Sheldon Fox seconded Tammi Schneider. PASSED UNANIMOUSLY.

  12. Nominations Committee Update—Jeff Blakely. We have identified a number of people to ask people overseas whether they will serve. This is not completed. What happens when an Institutional Representative retires as IR, but he is elected as an IR Trustee? No action was taken.
  13. Development Update—Tim Harrison. The appeal letter will soon go out. Tim Harrison has not addressed the VP for Development until we have a clear vision of development within ASOR. We had a very good year in development last year. Kelly has development experience and can aid in that area.
  14. Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Near East—Eric Meyers. Damon Zucca, Director of Reference, says they want to expand and reprint the Encyclopedia and will allow us to go up to as many as seven volumes. Damon Zucca asked Eric to go through every entry and get an estimate of revisions, new subjects, etc. They will give ASOR a formal contract.
  15. Website update—Andy Vaughn. In terms of updating, the new web site will be much easier to make changes. The new one should go in around the middle of October.
  16. Discussion Items
    1. By-Law Amendments—Tim Harrison. There are rewrites needed in Management Committee, Publications, etc. here and there. He will send his mark-ups to the EC so that everyone has a chance to read them before the meeting.
    2. Policies regarding ASOR Sponsorship—Tim Harrison. The President receives solicitations that ASOR sponsor certain panels and programs, and he asks for guidance.
    3. Policies regarding Contested Cultural Property—Tim Harrison. He asks the heads of the various committees give recommendations back to the Executive Committee from their various areas about this issue.
    4. Strategic Planning Process—Tim Harrison. The President asked that Committee identify “wishes and processes” and moved them up the line to the Executive Committee. There is conversation about having strategic planning retreats in the area of publications. This process can move to other venues. It was suggested that use the second time slot in the spring slot set aside for strategic planning rather than the usual meetings. It was also suggested that the standing committees be charged with developing their own strategic plans.
    5. Legacy Club Development Initiative—Tim Harrison. “The Legacy Club” means a possible mechanism for donors to include ASOR in their wills. There are people who wish to add a codicil to their wills to benefit ASOR. These people can then be listed as members of the Legacy Club with perhaps 15-20 people who would cooperate. Sheldon points out that there are other instruments for systematic giving other than codicils, such as trusts. The opportunity is to call attention to planned giving.

      BE IT RESOLVED that the Executive Committee charges the President and EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR to pursue the establishment of a legacy club whose members will be those who have named ASOR as a beneficiary of a planned gift of at least 5k. Eric Meyers moved; Tammi Schneider seconded. PASSED UNANIMOUSLY.

  17. Chair’s report waived.
  18. Executive Director’s Report. The Executive Director looks forward to responding to the Personnel committee’s report.
  19. President’s Report—the BU lease is activating more conversations. The President of AIA has also been involved. We are into the 2nd year of a five-year lease. One concern is that the current lease was negotiated under a previous BU President and Provost who knew us and strongly approved. The new President and Provost do not know us.
  20. Old Business
    1. Archive Project—Eric Meyers. Eric reports that the NEH grant has been resubmitted revised, updated, and strengthened. He is relatively optimistic.
    2. Rachel Hallote is speaking with the PEF in London about co-publishing an archive of photos from the 19th century. Half the publication would be from our Dumas photo collection.
  21. New Business—Alex Ratzloff has resigned and moved on, and it was suggested that she be recognized at the Annual Meeting. The President said that it will happen.
  22. Adjourn at 3:40 pm.

Respectfully submitted James F. Strange, Secretary