2012 AAS-SAU Research Station Board of Advisors Meeting

The research territories of the 12 Arkansas Archeological Survey Research Stations.

I just returned today from my annual Board of Advisors meeting in Washington, Arkansas.  I think one of the interesting aspects of my job with the Arkansas Archeological Survey is that we actually have a mechanism that makes us responsible to our constituency—the Arkansas public…especially those interested in Arkansas archeology and state heritage.

Each of the AAS Research Stations has a “Board of Advisors”—a group of three people who review our performance every year and make recommendations on future work.  Sometimes these recommendations are suggesting something we should do for the Arkansas Archeological Society (the volunteer organization that lobbied us into existence in the 1960s), sometimes they suggest something that our host institution (in this case Southern Arkansas University) should do for us, sometimes they let our Coordinating Office in Fayetteville know what we need out here in the hinterlands…the BOA acts like a regulatory mechanism between the Survey, the Society and our host institutions…making us reflexive every year and reminding us if we neglect a portion of our mission.  All of the BOAs for the Research Stations also periodically get together and act in the same capacity on a state-wide scale…in short, we are accountable to the public on a very regular basis…

Who are the members of the BOAs?  Well, this year mine includes Bob Campbell, a retired mill-worker from DeQueen (Sevier County); Mia Brewer, a nurse from Ashdown (Little River County), and Peggy Lloyd, the Archival Manager at the Southwest Arkansas Regional Archivesin Washington (Hempstead County).  This year Mia will be rotating off and replaced (we hope…if he agrees to serve) by Don Hall, a heating & cooling guy from El Dorado (Union County).  These are folks are from all walks of life, and (hopefully) from all over my 11 county research territory.  What they have in common is that they interact with the Arkansas Archeological Survey on a regular basis…so they are in a good position to tell us what we are doing right and what we need to improve on.  Some of my BOA members are active field volunteers and members of the Arkansas Archeological Society (like Bob and Don), some are folks in other agencies and organizations that interact with my Research  Station regularly (like Peggy)…They are all members of the Arkansas public at large and stakeholders in what it is I do.

The 11 counties in the AAS-SAU Research Station territory–my stomping grounds.

Some people dread their yearly evaluation…I look forward to mine…and take pride that as a public institution (and a part of the University of Arkansas System), that the Arkansas Archeological Survey has a built-in mechanism that keeps us on track…

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Categories: archeology, post

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