1. REPORT OF THE EDITORS, LATIN AMERICAN ANTIQUITY, HELAINE SILVERMAN AND LUIS JAIME CASTILLO
Luis Jaime Castillo will present this report at the SAA Business Meeting as Helaine Silverman cannot attend the meeting until Saturday due to obligations at the University of Illinois.
The issues that have appeared with our names on the masthead are: June-September-December 2008, March-June-September-December 2009, and March 2010.
In these eight issues a total of 52 papers were published. Of these 39 had been accepted by the previous editors.
In all, during our editorship, we received 131 new submissions. This breaks down to 46 in 2008 prior to implementation of Editorial Manager, 11 in 2008 following implementation of Editorial Manager, 60 in 2009 and 14 as of April 3 for 2010.
The results on these submitted papers are as follows:
2008 pre-EM: 12 accepted, 32 rejected, 1 revise & resubmit, 1 withdrawn
2008-EM: 4 accepted, 6 rejected, 1 revise and resubmit
Total for 2008: 16 accepted, 38 rejected, 2 revise & resubmit, 1 withdrawn
2009: 33 accepted, 20 rejected, 6 revise & resubmit, 1 withdrawn
2010: 3 accepted, 4 rejected, 7 under review right now
Editorial Manager has been a challenge for us, for many reviewers, and for some authors. We hope that the system becomes easier to use and also that it can be cleaned up so that it accurately reflects the decisions we have made and the true status of papers.
In this regard, we have turned over to the incoming editors a 66-page comprehensive, color-coded tracking document accounting fully for every paper received by the journal since we assumed the editorship. Everything is completely under control, notwithstanding how it may appear on Editorial Manager.
We indicate that we have the journal filled through the September 2011 issue and possibly December 2011 if the SAA office decides that we have compressed too many papers into the six forthcoming issues prior to December 2011, and this does not take into account the book reviews. The fact that each incoming editor inherits approximately a year and a half of accepted papers is simply a reality.
It has been a fascinating experience to work with Latin American Antiquity. We thank the entire Society for American Archaeology for giving us this opportunity. We thank John Neikirk in the SAA Office for his assistance with the journal. We are especially grateful to our incredibly dedicated and collaborative Editorial Board without whose enthusiasm and help it would have been impossible to perform our job. Kari Zobler, Helaine’s editorial assistant, undertook the challenge of Editorial Manager with grace and patience and was always outstanding in her performance. We thank Bill Isbell, the book review editor, for his superb performance and keeping his tasks separate from ours.
We are happy to be turning over the journal to the next co-editors and wish them well.
2. REPORT OF THE EDITOR, ANDREW DUFF, THE SAA ARCHAEOLOGICAL RECORD
It has been my pleasure to serve as editor of The SAA Archaeological Record for the past three years, and I thank the Society for this opportunity. I would also like to thank the Associate Editors who have worked to generate material and/or assist with its evaluation over the years and everyone who has contributed pieces for publication, either as individual articles or as part of a special or themed issue. In particular, those who helped develop, compile and prepare special issues have my sincere appreciation. This publication only works when people take the time to write something for the Archaeological Record, and I hope you will continue to submit materials to Jane Eva Baxter as the new editor. I would also like to thank the Board for their decision to make the SAA Archaeological Record more accessible and useful in its newer electronic format. Finally, John Neikirk, the SAA publications manager, remains a valuable asset to the SAA and it is in large part due to his hard work that the SAA Archaeological Record and our journals get out the door to everyone.
3. REPORT OF THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, TOBI BRIMSEK
Good evening. I am delighted to welcome you to SAA’s 75th Anniversary Meeting and St. Louis! With an attendance of more than 3,900, SAA has a few more than the approximately 75 attendees of the first annual meeting of the Society on December 29, 1935 in Phillips Hall in Andover, MA. As we approached this milestone meeting, I thought about SAA’s growth, change and evolution over these 75 years, and the fact that what we have seen is only a harbinger of what is yet to come. SAA’s president has shared some of the major new initiatives on the horizon, and in context of the first 75 years, they are exemplary of the actions of many Boards who envisioned and laid the seeds for SAA’s future. The fact is as Ralph Waldo Emerson put it, “We change whether we like it or not.” And as the proverb goes “Change is the only constant”. That being the case, I’d like to reflect on some of the more recent changes from the staff’s perspective, keeping in mind that the leadership of the Board has always been able to balance change with the constant of SAA and who we are.
We have truly put technology to work for the Society and created a denser web of connections and communications. Launched late last November by Kevin Fahey, manager, Membership and Marketing, our presence on Facebook and Twitter has grown virally. We have over 2,600 friends. With coordinator Membership and Marketing, Meghan Tyler, Kevin has also worked to revamp member communications, develop e-media kits, and the e- new member kits. For those still using the paper form, new renewal forms, cleaner, simpler will be coming for 2011. A newly designed booth is premiering here in St. Louis. Stop by and see us!
Our manager, Information Services, Divya Kadiyam has wrought even bigger change with the online submissions system. I would interject here a reminder from Arnold Bennett, the British novelist, critic, playwright and essayist, “Any change, even a change for the better, is always accompanied by drawbacks and discomforts.” Keeping that in mind, I will share with you the fact that we are looking at a new custom submission system that will smooth out the process. It will take a few years, but we are working on it at the direction of the Board. Also, in no small feat, the new SAAweb was launched to address SAA’s distinct audiences. If you’ve not visited for a while, check it out.
David Lindsay, Manager, Government Affairs has also has assumed a change-maker role. In the government affairs program, there has been a broadening of working relationships with other preservation groups. SAA has expanded its involvement in international efforts to protect archaeological resources, and SAA has expanded its electronic outreach to the membership through SAAweb and the government affairs monthly updates. If you’re not signed up for these free updates to members, please stop by the booth.
John Neikirk, manager, Publications has continued to maintain the high quality in publications production while at the same time inching toward a larger and more diverse electronic publishing program. The magazine has moved to a new e-pub version, the abstracts are now available in electronic format only, JSTOR was shifted to a two-year moving wall, and the online submission system for the journals completed its first year. This summer John will work on creating a web archive for past years’ meeting abstracts.
Maureen Malloy, manager, Education and Outreach has also helped to bring change to her program. When she began at SAA, there were five educational resources for the public, all but one available in print format only. Since then, as manager, Maureen worked with a huge team of volunteers which developed a comprehensive set of “Archaeology for the Public” web pages devoted to outreach resources for archaeologists and archaeology resources for the public. These pages are peppered with feedback buttons with requests for contributions from SAA’s many publics. Through this clearinghouse approach, we have been able to greatly increase public education and outreach resources for our members and members of the public.
Keisan Griffith-Roberts, coordinator, Financial and Administrative Services has not been immune to change in his work. Putting technology to work in this arena, including an onsite check scan system has provided for greater access to online banking information and more rapid processing which, in turn, leads to faster and more efficient response to member inquiries. This past year, we also entered the realm of cloud computing with a new accounting system. The infusion of technology into many administrative processes has proven to enhance the work of all of the program managers.
Clearly, technology has been and continues to be one of our key instruments for change. SAA is changing the way it works and broadening its relationships through the use of technology. As Benjamin Franklin observed some time ago, “When you’re finished changing, you’re finished.” Clearly, SAA is nowhere near finished changing nor finished. The past is prelude. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of this vibrant, vital organization. In closing, I can’t help but remind you (some things don’t change) that the 76th Annual Meeting will be in Sacramento, California. The Call for Submissions is on SAAweb. We dropped you a postcard on April 1 to let you know. The submissions system opens on May 3. See you in Sacramento! Thank you.
4. REPORT OF THE TREASURER
The SAA is fiscally sound. However, the nation’s financial situation continues to pose serious concerns for us, and is likely to do so for the next few years.
Last year (FY 2009)
We finished 2009 with a very slender operating surplus of $30,000, not quite 2% of our budget. That we had a surplus at all can be attributed to the fact that the expenses of the last year’s meeting in Atlanta were unusually low, and the attendance was higher than expected. We were also able to reduce administration expenses at our Washington office, but that was a one-time deal that will not happen again. So we got through 2009 ok, but the question now is “what happens next?”
This year (2010)
The meeting this year is large, and ordinarily that translates to a happy financial picture because it means lots of registration payments and dues payments. This year, however, the expenses of the meeting are higher than expected, and although the meeting is larger than last year the membership numbers are about the same as last year. Meanwhile, almost every other source of revenue is down, including ads in the journals, mailing list rentals, and institutional subscriptions to our journals. When we planned the budget for this year we expected that some of these revenues would go down, but they are going down farther and faster than we expected. This is all attributable to the national economic picture, with CRM firms starving for contracts and universities facing steep budget cuts. While these are issues to be concerned about, SAA is still in good financial shape. Over the past 15 years the Board has regularly stashed money in our Reserve (or “rainy day”) fund, which now stands at its highest point ever, about 74% of this year’s operating budget.
I also want to point to Bill Doelle and the other members of the Fundraising Committee, who over the past five years have led a campaign to increase the value of SAA’s endowments by a half-million dollars. The total value of our endowments is now $1,020,000. Last year the endowments produced $32,000, which we are allocating toward the start-up costs for the new journal that is being planned and the new Native American student scholarships.
Next year and the one beyond
We think it unlikely that the funding situation for universities is going to improve for several years, and the picture for CRM contracts may also remain depressed. Thus, SAA has to anticipate that the low revenues we are seeing this year are likely to remain low for the next couple years. In practical terms, this means that some of the ambitious plans the Board has developed may have to be implemented more slowly than we’d like. But I am confident that under the sharp eyes of the rest of the Board, the Executive Director, and our next Treasurer, Christopher Dore, SAA will continue to remain financially healthy.