April 15, 2020

Dear Valued MAC, Inc. Member,


The recent COVID-19 pandemic has turned our world upside down in so many ways, personally, socially, and economically. I hope that you, your family, friends, and colleagues are surviving this crisis safely and are successfully adjusting to the ongoing social distancing efforts occurring throughout the country. In the [modernized] words of Thomas Paine, ‘These are the times that try men’s [and women’s] souls.”


The most important action you can take right now to help MAC, Inc. is to renew your membership (https://www.midwestarchaeology.org/MAC-membership). Many of you have already done so and the MAC Board joins me in expressing our gratitude as your dues are a critical contribution towards the ongoing publication of MCJA and arranging high quality future Annual Meetings.


In light of the crisis and the uncertainties regarding the future course of the pandemic, and in particular given the constraints of signed contracts, the MAC Board recently met online with the organizers of the upcoming Annual Meetings--Jodie O’Gorman (East Lansing, MI) and Connie Arzigian (La Crosse, WI)--to discuss the effect of the crisis on the 2020 Annual Meeting. The Board has decided to cancel the 2020 Annual Meeting due to concern for the safety of all attendees. We discussed delaying a decision but doing so would have put the organization at significant financial risk as we discovered that even now there are few viable rescheduling options that align with our contractual obligations.


Looking to the future, we will shift one year: the next Annual Meeting now will be held in East Lansing Oct. 7-9, 2021 with Jodie O’Gorman as local host and organizer. Similarly, the 2022 Annual Meeting now will occur in La Crosse Oct. 13-15 with Connie Arzigian as local host and organizer. FYI, Dave Pollack and colleagues are looking into WKU hosting in 2023!


So, what does this mean for the normal events that occur at the Annual Meeting?

  • Nominations for the Distinguished Career Award are being accepted for 2020. The recipient(s) will receive their award this year and be recognized through an online ceremony accessible by the membership. The 2020 recipients will also be recognized in-person along with 2021 awardees at the 2021 Annual Meeting during the Annual Business meeting. Please go to https://www.midwestarchaeology.org/about-us/distinguished-career-award for more information on nominating a deserving colleague.

  • Elections to the Board of Directors will continue to be held for 2020. One position – Executive Officer – is open for this year’s elections. Look to email for upcoming information about voting online later this summer.

  • The Anti-Harassment Task Force had planned a training session at the 2020 Annual Meeting to widely educate the membership and to discuss further plans to eliminate harassment in all forms within our professional environments. While anticipated bylaws changes to support anti-harassment efforts must wait to 2021 for formal vote when the required quorum of members can be assembled, the Task Force anticipates hosting a free webinar for the membership (format to be determined) this fall.

  • The print production of the MCJA has been delayed due to the current crisis. We apologize for this delay, but members can still access current articles as usual through the MAC website through your membership login at https://www.midwestarchaeology.org/MAC-membership.

  • The Student Paper Competition for this year is cancelled but students who graduate in the spring of 2020 will remain eligible to participate in the 2021 competition. So please keep your paper topics in mind for the 2021 Student Paper Competition.

  • Similarly the Sponsored Symposium is also cancelled. For everyone who was considering submitting a proposal, please keep your ideas in mind for 2021.

  • The Student Sponsored Session Committee has been actively pulling together an exciting workshop on 3D modeling. This Committee will move forward with their workshop topic for the 2021 Annual Meeting.

  • The Board of Directors will have an online meeting in the fall to formally pass the leadership mantles to the next president (Jan Brashler), Secretary (Sean Dunham), and Treasurer (Anne Lee) and recognize the newly elected Executive Officer.


The Board regrets the need to make this momentous cancellation decision for the 2020 Annual Meeting but agree that our highest priority is the safety of all MAC members.


Stay well,


John Doershuk
President, Midwest Archaeological Conference, Inc.