2009Q3 Reports: Secretary

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                        ACL Secretary report
                           Dragomir Radev


- The annual elections took place in the Fall of 2008. A total of 458 people voted (a 24% drop). Kevin Knight (ISI, USA) will be the new vice-president-elect Lori Levin (CMU, USA) will be the new member from the Americas region

- Giorgio Satta (Padua, Italy) is an ex-officio member of the exec by virtue of being elected as president of EACL.

- They replace Mark Steedman (current past president), Claire Cardie (North American member), and Alex Lascarides (chair of EACL, the European Chapter of ACL) whose terms ended. The exec wants to thank them for their leadership and for the hard work they devoted to ACL during their terms.

- Our 2008 president, Bonnie Dorr, will stay on the board as past president for a year. We welcome our current vice-president Steven Bird to the position of ACL president for 2009.

- Last year Kam-Fai Wong was elected AFNLP representative to the ACL executive board.

- Hwee Tou Ng will replace Mark Steedman as ACL's representative to AFNLP.

- The nominating cmte (Jun'ichi Tsujii, Mark Steedman, and Bonnie Dorr) nominated the following people for positions on the exec: Rajeev Sangal, Cecile Paris - for vp-elect, Paola Merlo, Alex Koller - for member. These names will be announced at the 2008 conference. The membership will then have one month to come up with other suggestions. The vote will take place in the Fall.


- From January 1st 2009, the Journal of Computational Linguistics has been open access and electronic only

- A new winner of the LTA award was selected using the new procedure. The winner will give a speech in Singapore.

- The site for ACL 2011 was selected (Ido Dagan was the chair of the site selection committee). The site will be announced in Singapore.

- Eric Fosler-Lussier did an amazing job of updating the archives - lease visit them here: http://www.aclweb.org/archive However, Eric suggested to move these documents to the Wiki and to do away with the position of archivist.

- Ali Hakim has been very helpful with updates to the ACL site.

- The ACL Wiki has grown a lot since it was inaugurated last year. It currently includes (http://www.aclweb.org/aclwiki/index.php?title=Main_Page) 1,302 pages and 267 articles.


- http://www.aclweb.org/policies/resolutions.html

- July 7, 2009: (PASSED) The ACL exec approved the creation of the SIGFSM special interest group on finite-state methods (Ido Dagan).

- March 11, 2009: (PASSED) The ACL exec approved the creation of the SIGMT special interest group on machine translation (Ido Dagan).

- September 3, 2008: (PASSED) A Proposal for an ACL Member Portal (Robert Dale). This document proposes that we put in place an ACL Member Portal on the web by 1st January 2009.

- August 2008: (PASSED) The ACL exec approved the creation of the SIGBIOMED special interest group on biomedical NLP (Steven Bird).

- June 10, 2008: (PASSED) Shadow Account Practices, Eduard Hovy, Donia Scott, Kathy McCoy, Mike Rosner, Diane Litman (reconstructed by Kathy McCoy 2/3/04). The full text of this resolution is here: http://www.aclweb.org/policies/resolutions.html


I was personally involved in the following two activities of interest to ACL:

- The ACL Anthology Network (http://belobog.si.umich.edu/clair/anthology/). This is a manually curated citation and collaboration database. It includes degree, pagerank, h-index, collaboration centrality, and other bibliometric values (http://belobog.si.umich.edu/clair/anthology/rankings.html).

- The English-language Computational Linguistics Olympiad (http://www.naclo.cs.cmu.edu).


- The exec approved a resolution to mark the 50th anniversary of ATALA with a special certificate of recognition. Eduard Hovy presented the certificate to ATALA.

- A new committee was formed that includes representatives of ACL, ELRA, ICCL, AFNLP, EACL, and NAACL. The goal of this committee is to find a solution of the "NLP conference sudoku" problem which causes the number of major NLP conferences to fluctuate from 2-3 to 5-6 from year to year. It seems appropriate that NLP conferences should be spread around more evenly.

- A new contract was signed with Priscilla and ARCS to continue providing services to ACL.

- Min Yen Kan has asked for permission to delegate some Anthology-related, Web-intensive tasks to Ali. We need to discuss that issue.

- Future ACL conference budgets should have a $10k line item for student travel.

- A web site was created by Ali under Bonnie Dorr's instructions for publisher disounts for ACL members.

- CICLING asked for ACL endorsement and obtained it.

- A list of prior conference chairs has been compiled here: http://aclweb.org/aclwiki/index.php?title=Additional_conference_chairs

- New Admin wiki for reports, conference handbook, calendar, etc; any ACL officer is welcome to have write access.

- It was decided to drop joint memberships which allowed a family (according to some definition of this term) to get a discount on ACL membership.


Here is the list of todo items remaining from the last 3 exec meetings (in June, January, and March). I am going to code them below as follows: X DONE/OBSOLETE, ! URGENT, (space) PENDING.

  • JUNE 2008

(Note from 20090715: Except for item 52, this list is accurate as of July 7, 2009. Revisions will be posted shortly.).

X 1. Don't put in your reports any sensitive info. Redact reports/minutes if necessary before posting.

2. Change guidelines to say that the newest member will join the cc for the next conference (e.g., person after Hwee Tou, that is Lori Levin should be on 2011cc) (DRAGO?)

3. Decide whether to encourage bids from organizations not affiliated with universities (cf Puerto Rico's recent bid, EMNLP in Hawaii)

4. For local bids - check if VAT has to be paid, don't confuse ACL office staff with local staff, don't hire a huge local staff, justify any rebudgetings, go to the treasurer if going over budget)

X5. Bonnie: add to conference handbook - before an area chair changes a reviewer - they should ask first.

6. Keep w/s attendance figures on wiki

(IN PROGRESS) 7. start publications cmtes - short journal papers, more diverse paper types, consider changing the proportion of posters, short paper track, etc. Consider the model used by Bioinformatics/IMDB.

8. line up all conference chairs by end of previous summer

9. authorize the sponsorship cmte to design a procedure to hire sponsorship chairs who would get commissions

10. follow up on last two years' membership proposals - possible get more proposals

11. request less detail of preliminary site bids

12. Kam Fai: discuss conference liability

13. Graeme: auditing ACL

13. Ido: involve dancing

14. Ask authors to update their reference lists at the time of publication.

15. Opinion: global sponsorship is a bad idea

16. very few submissions in IR/speech

X17. avoid conflict of poster session and exec++ dinner (Drago)

18. determine cost for "facebook" application (Robert)

19. Drago: consider its relationship with AAN: http://belobog.si.umich.edu/clair/anthology/index.cgi

20. post papers online as soon as they are ready (and not on the first day of the conference) (CONF CHAIR)

  • JANUARY 2009

21. offer fire-sale of proceedings older than 3 years during 2009 (for $5 + S&H) (Priscilla)

22. consider other possible office locations (Priscilla)

23. the need to sell off steel shelving (Priscilla)

24. chase up Microsoft and Yahoo; liaise with sponsorship committee (Priscilla)

25. make sure conference coordination committee ("sudoku") is functioning; report at next teleconference (Drago)

26. AFNLP representative in this committee (Kam-Fai)

X27. Post common fares from major cities to Singapore, to give people an idea of what costs are like (hopefully lower than they might assume) (Hwee Tou or Kam-Fai to put this idea to ACL09 coordination committee)

28. Check whether our Wachovia CDs are insured... (Graeme, Priscilla)

29. Check insurance of European accounts (Graeme, with Mike Rosner)

30. explore idea of streaming video of conference talks integrated with Portal (Robert, Steven)

31. ask AAAI about their plans for dealing with the recession (Priscilla)

32. summarize discussion of proposed SIGDAT advisory board back to the exec-2009 mailing list (Owen)

33. request new budget for 2009 conference (Bonnie)

X34. communicate name of our proposed ACL rep to AFNLP (Hwee Tou) to the AFNLP (Kam-Fai)

35. admin committee to have call with ACL/IJCNLP committee (Bonnie)

X36. plan for a quarterly conference call and the possibility of reducing the July/August exec meeting to half a day (Steven)

  • MARCH 2009

X37. collate outstanding action items and circulate [Drago]

38. Revive discussion on Sudoku list [Owen]

39. Respond to discussion on Sudoku list [Nicoletta wearng ELRA hat, Giorgio, Drago]

40. Drago send update on results of last round of ACL member initiatives so we can decide whether to do it again at ACL-2009 [Drago]

41. authentication issue re publisher discount page to resolve [Drago, Bonnie, Priscilla, ...]

42. revised budget for ACL-2009 to go to Graeme and Kam-Fai [Priscilla]

43. revise the estimated ratio between full and discounted tickets for the banquet based on data from recent conferences [Priscilla]

44. send info about ACL bid process to EACL and NAACL in case they want to revise their processes [Ido]

45. write up concerns about divergence between ACL and NAACL approach to posters [Drago]

46. delay decision for a few days; members to raise further issues on the email thread [All]

47. issue of replacement of elected officers who step down to be resolved offline [Ido]

48. Action: issue of declaring single nominee elected; procedures could go into SIG constitution template -- resolve offline [Ido]

X49. forward conference discussion materials to Owen, Giorgio, Nicoletta, Steven [Ido]

X50. Ido and Steven to discuss priorities in bringing these issues back to the board during the proposed May call [Ido, Steven]

X51. Publications committee (Robert, Drago, Ido, Hwee-Tou?) -- set up [Ido]

52. Finalize the discussion about the algorithm for the 3-pack sponsorship

53. identify coordinators for proposed workshops in the 2010 conferences, incl large workshops [Steven]