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Report from the SAA Board of Directors

Barbara Little

The Board met in the beautiful city of Montreal, Canada from November 5­7, 1999. Surprisingly, the meals were not the highlight of the trip (although there are many excellent, affordable restaurants). Instead the highlights are the new initiatives that make these exciting times for SAA members.

All members should be aware of our mission statement, which was modified in response to comments from various committees (presented below).

Because education and outreach are central to our mission, the Board approved a new staff position for the Society. The half-time position of manager, Education and Outreach, will begin in 2000. (SAA is doing well financially, but not quite well enough to fund a full-time position. Members will remember that the former staff position was funded entirely through soft money. When the money ran out, so did the position. We don't want to be in such an unfortunate situation again).

SAA will pay the expenses of a press officer in Philadelphia. In addition, staff will seek to employ a Public Relations intern each semester to help the Society with its public relations needs.

The Board established the position of editor of SAA Monographs who will coordinate the acquisitions, review, and acceptance of all SAA monographs. The Ethics in American Archaeology volume is in the process of being updated and reissued. A compilation of "Working Together" columns from the SAA Bulletin is in progress, as is the first reprint of a classic monograph. Also, be sure to look for the first publication in the Teaching with Archaeology series from the Public Education Committee, which is inaugurated with History Beneath the Sea: Nautical Archaeology in the Classroom.

The Board approved a proposal by the Committee on Native American Relations to organize a pilot workshop for Archaeologists and Native Americans to discuss issues of common concern outside of the issues of NAGPRA, repatriation, and 106 compliance. The pilot workshop will take place in the Southwest.

The Board looked closely at awards and the Society's committee structure, seeking to streamline and improve operations. We streamlined by combining some existing awards (effective after the 2000 Annual Meeting) into single awards whose focus will rotate annually. We also incorporated two proposed Lifetime Achievement awards and the existing Distinguished Service Award into a single Lifetime Achievement Award. We will implement a new process of giving awards at the Annual Business Meeting that should shorten the meeting and provide better publicity for award recipients. Check it out in Philadelphia and see if you agree.

We disbanded the History of Archaeology Committee (the committee's records curation function has gone to the Curation Committee, established at our last meeting in Chicago). The Board feels that a History of Archaeology Interest Group would better serve the membership and hopes that one is proposed. We approved the formation of a Public Archaeology Interest Group.

The Board discussed strategic planning, ways to improve member services through publications and workshop opportunities at the meeting, and ways to encourage new memberships.

The Board selected Montreal as the meeting site for the 2004 Annual Meeting. The city will offer an exciting venue for SAA. In addition to a new convention center, there are a number of interesting museums, including an innovative, high-tech museum of archaeology.

Please look for further information on current SAA initiatives in the president's report (p. 7) and the treasurer's report (p. 6) in this issue.

SAA Mission Statement

The mission of the Society for American Archaeology is to expand understanding and appreciation of humanity's past as achieved through systematic investigation of the archaeological record. The Society leads the archaeological community by promoting research, understanding of the practice of archaeology, stewardship of archaeological resources, and dissemination of knowledge. To serve the public interest, SAA seeks the widest possible engagement with all segments of society, including governments, educators, and indigenous peoples, in advancing knowledge and enhancing awareness of the past. ·

Barbara Little, secretary of SAA, is with the National Park Service.

 

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