General Meeting Leiden 2012

Minutes of the General Meeting in Leiden, The Netherlands (2012)

General Meeting of Members of the IAA
Thursday, July 19, 2012
58th Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale (RAI)
Leiden University, Lipsius Building, Hall 011, Leiden, Netherlands.
Those present were the members of the IAA Board and ca. 65 Rencontre participants, most of whom were IAA members.

1. Opening.
At 16:07 hours the President Piotr Michalowski welcomed the members of the IAA as well as other colleagues in attendance. He informed the meeting that anyone may participate in the discussion, but only members can vote.
The invitation for this General Meeting together with the agenda and relevant documentation were sent to the members on April 3, 2012.

2. Report on the previous meeting.
There are no comments.

3. Report of the Secretary.
a. Membership
The number of IAA members decreased over the last year to under 400. This has to do with the stricter policy concerning members who have not paid for more than two years. Proposals to attract more members will be discussed under 6.
b. IAA Office
The IAA will hire a person for € 600,- per year to perform administrative work in the secretariate.

4. Financial over 2011
a. Report of the treasurer
The treasurer T.J.H. Krispij npresented the general financial report over 2011 and a report on the saving accounts over the same year.
b. Recommendation by the controlling committee
The Treasurer read the confirmation of the controlling committee, consisting of D. Katz, N.J.C. Kouwenberg and M. Stol, that the report accurately reflects the current state of the IAA finances.
c. Vote of acceptance and discharge of Board and controlling committee
The members present at the general meeting voted in favor of acceptance and discharge of the Board and the controlling committee. The controlling committee members will be asked to perform the same job next year..
d. What to do with the accumulating funds of the IAA
This point on the agenda was shifted to 5, see below.

5. The Board
a. Composition of the Board
According to the by-laws the Board comprises a maximum number of 15 members divided over three categories: 4 members representing affiliated scholarly associations, 4 representing the organizing committees of RAI (the preceding, the current, and the succeeding two), and 7 officers and elected members.
At present, the Board consists of the following members:
– Three officers and four elected members: P. Michalowski (President), W.H. van Soldt (Secretary), J.C. Fincke, F. Abdallah, G. Frame, V. Matoïan and C. Wunsch (elected members).
– Four chairs of RAI organizing committees: J. Sanmartín (2010), A. Archi (2011), Th.J.H. Krispijn (2012), and K. de Graef (2013).
– Four members of affiliated scholarly associations: D. Charpin (SEPOA), J. Klein (ISAANES), H. Neumann (DOG), and J. Taylor (BISI).
b. Resigning members and new candidates
Shifts in Membership. In the category of officers and elected members W.H. van Soldt and F. Abdalla rotated off. Both stood for re-election. On April 3, the Secretary sent an invitation to the members to present candidates before July 1, but no applications were received.
Representatives of Organizing Committees.J. Sanmartín (2010) rotated off. The new representative is M. Sandowicz for the RAI in Warsaw (2014).
Representatives of Scholarly Associations. J. Taylor rotated off this year, but he stood for re-election, there were no other candidates.
c. New and re-elected Board members
The two Board members of the first category and the member of the third category were re-elected by acclamation. The General Meeting welcomed M. Sandowicz as the representative of the RAI in Warsaw.

6. Other issues
a. Declining membership.
There are two proposals to make the IAA membership more attractive. The first one is a larger discount of the RAI entrance fee for IAA members. Till this year the discount for IAA members was €20, as of 2013 it will be €30. The second proposal is to create a newsletter that can be read online by members with the help of a log-in code. There will also be an IAA weblog to stimulate contact among members. The Secretary has a possible candidate who is willing to edit the newsletter and he will discuss the matter with her. A possible membership connection with NABU as advocated by Veenhof was rejected by Charpin.
b. IAA prize: committee and regulations
The proposal for the IAA prize for first articles after the PhD was presented to the meeting and it was accepted unanimously. Candidates for this prize must be members of the IAA. The committee that will evaluate the applications will consist of M. Roaf, A. Archi, J. Tavernier, and D.R. Frayne. The regulations of the IAA Prize were slightly amended (for the final version, see the IAA website under Prizes).
c. De Gruyter prize
The De Gruyter Prize was discussed by the Board and in May a majority voted in favor of the prize. The result is shown to the meeting. The prize will be awarded for the best Assyriological dissertation. The winner will receive €1000 from De Gruyter Publishers and the dissertation will be published by them. The committee that will evaluate the applications and choose the best dissertation consists of P. Michalowski, S. Maul, and E. von Dassow. M. Roaf inquired what to do if the author refuses to publish with de Gruyter. The president answered that the prize and the publisher are linked. It might stimulate other publishers to follow the example of de Gruyter.
d. Cooperation with ICAANE
The President has had contact with members of the ICAANE Board, but there are no further initiatives.
e. Mesopotamian database
W. Sommerfeld informs the meeting that much work has been done on the database, but that a first report will be given during the next Rencontre.
D. Charpin reports that NABU is available on the SÉPOA website ( Reprints will also be announced there.
E. Stone announces the AMA-website with archeological reports (

7. Honorary Council
A proposal to appoint Prof. Claus Wilcke as a member of the honorary council was sent to the Board by A. Archi. The Board voted in favor of this proposal and the new member was announced during the meeting. After the meeting Prof. Wilcke will be invited to join the council.

8. Proceedings of past Rencontres
a. Münster 2006
The volume will appear in 2013. It will be published in the AOAT series.
b. Moscow and St. Petersburg 2007
The volume has been published by Eisenbrauns.
c. Würzburg 2008
The volume has been published by Eisenbrauns.
d. Paris 2009
The volume is scheduled for the spring of 2013.
e. Barcelona 2010
The volume is scheduled for December 2012.
f. Rome 2011
The volume is scheduled for the summer of 2013.

9. Future Rencontres
a. Ghent 2013
K. de Graef informed the meeting of the plans for the coming Rencontre in Ghent. The topic will be ‘Law and (Dis)Order in the Ancient Near East’ and the dates are July 19-23, 2013
b. Warsaw 2014
M. Sandowicz gave information about the Rencontre in Warsaw. The theme will be ‘Fortune and Misfortune’, the dates are July 21-25, 2014. The venue will be the so-called Old Library where also the Hittitology Congress took place.
c. Geneva & Bern 2015
R. Rollinger has notified the Board that he would like to postpone the Innsbruck Rencontre scheduled for 2015. A. Cavigneaux announces his plans for a Rencontre in 2015 in Geneva and Bern. A possible theme is ‘Text and Image’, the dates are to be announced. The meeting votes in favor of this venue for 2015.
d. Philadelphia 2016
G. Frame gave information about the Rencontre planned in Philadelphia. The theme will be ‘Ur’, the dates are to be announced.
e. 2017
There are two offers, one from Innsbruck and one from Marburg. A solution will be worked out in the coming months.

9. New business
K. Nemet-Nejat reminded the meeting that it is important to bring Assyriology closer to younger people. The initiative of B. Porter, presented in the workshop Taking it to the People, should be continued. A committee should work out new initiatives and teaching materials and report next year. R. Beal suggested that PR-departments of our universities could assist.

10. Closing the meeting
The President closed the meeting at 17.30h.