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Report from the SAA Executive Board

Lynne Sebastian

The SAA Executive Board met on Wednesday and Saturday during the annual meeting in Nashville. President Bill Lipe and Board Members Cathy Cameron and Barbara Stark completed their terms; Jeff Altschul joined the board as treasurer-elect, and Deborah Pearsall and Bonnie Whatley Styles began their terms as new board members.

Budget--The board approved a budget for 1998 that will return a minimum of $70,000 to our depleted reserve funds. Executive Director Tobi Brimsek and her staff are to be commended for developing a budget that meets the board goal of replenishing the reserves while maintaining a high level of member services. The main change that members are likely to notice as a result of the budget-cutting effort is a shift to every-other-year publication of the SAA member directory, with a periodically updated version of the directory being available on SAAweb.

Fund Raising--The board decided to establish a fund-raising committee to provide oversight for SAA committees wishing to raise funds and to carry out general fund-raising efforts on behalf of the society. The board also authorized the executive director to develop a planned-giving program to be promoted among members of the society in the next year.

Register of Professional Archaeologists--The board strongly endorsed a resolution that the society become a sponsor of ROPA, a proposal that will be put to a vote of the membership this fall. The Society for Historical Archaeology will be voting on this proposal at the same time; the SOPA membership has already approved the formation of ROPA.

Task Forces--The Board approved the reports of three important task forces: Archaeological Law Enforcement, Consulting Archaeology, and Renewing Our National Archaeology Program. The board asked the Law Enforcement and Renewing task forces and the new Consulting Archaeology advisory committee to take the steps necessary to implement many of their recommendations and to continue developing action plans to implement other recommendations.

Government Affairs--Government Affairs Manager Donald Craib and Committee Chair Judy Bense gave the board a report on last year's legislative efforts and outlined issues that they will be watching in the next year. These include amendments to NAGPRA and issues having to do with unaffiliated remains and with establishing affiliation for the purposes of repatriation, reauthorization of ISTEA and of deposits to the Historic Preservation Fund, and possible oversight hearings on Section 106. The board authorized partial funding to permit the society to be represented at meetings of the NAGPRA Review Committee.

Publications--The board complimented the editors of American Antiquity and Latin American Antiquity and Publications Manager Janet Walker for the return of the journals to timely publication schedules. The board approved a transition policy for editors, and reappointed Mark Aldenderfer to a second term as editor of the SAA Bulletin and Lynne Goldstein to a second, shorter than normal term as editor of American Antiquity. Editors of the three major society publications will now have staggered terms so that the Publications Committee will need to carry out a search for only one editor or editorial team each year. The board is looking at placing Archaeology and Public Education on the SAAweb as a means of making it accessible to an even wider spectrum of teachers.

Committees--The board met with the chairs of many of the SAA committees, explained to them what the Executive Board's procedures are, and thanked them for the extraordinary amount of work and dedication represented in the efforts of the society's many committees. The board approved formal charges and membership parameters for all the committees, and Executive Director Brimsek distributed copies of our new handbook for board and committee members.

Native American Scholarships--The board established a program of Native American scholarships to support training in archaeological methods for enrolled students or tribal cultural preservation specialists. The board recommended that a second scholarship program to support graduate training be established as soon as sufficient funds are available. The Native American Scholarships Committee is developing a fund-raising plan. The board suggested that this program be named the Arthur C. Parker Scholarships in honor of the first president of the society, who was a Native American.

Bylaw Changes--The board approved a series of proposed changes to the bylaws of the society, and these proposals will be submitted to a vote of the membership this fall. Many of the changes are minor housekeeping matters, but a few are more substantial. These include:

Lynne Sebastian is the New Mexico state historic preservation officer and secretary of the SAA.

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