EXCERPTS FROM THE NAACL EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEETING MINUTES
JUNE 2, 2001, PITTSBURGH
Date: Saturday, June 2, 2001
Place: Rangos 1, University Center, CMU
Attendees: Claire Cardie, Ralph Grishman, Graeme Hirst, Daniel
Jurafsky, Diane Litman, Martha Palmer, Janyce Wiebe, Kathy McCoy.
Invited Visitors: Eduard Hovy, Alon Lavie, Lori Levin, Priscilla
(1) WELCOME TO NEW MEMBERS
Diane welcomed Graeme Hirst and Daniel Jurafsky to the NAACL executive
(2) NAACL OFFICER REPORTS (The full, written reports on which these
oral reports were based are also available.)
CHAIR'S REPORT. Diane led us through the main points of her written
report. In particular, she summarized her primary NAACL activities
over the past year, which included NAACL'01 planning and monitoring; a
site visit to the proposed conference and banquet locations during
July of 2000; and leading various policy changes for the newly-created
chapter and NAACL conference.
Diane next provided summaries of the ACL exec meetings that she
attended in October 2000 and January 2001. The main points we
discussed w.r.t. the Hong Kong meeting (October) were the following:
Joint COLING/ACL-NAACL conferences.
- The ACL exec addressed a number of issues regarding the merging of
COLING with the ACL conference. Discussions are still ongoing and
there will be further meetings on this topic at ACL this summer.
- COLING-2004 will be in North America. Will we want to co-locate
with them and they with us? No one has contacted Diane yet about
- Diane asked whether we might co-host NAACL with HLT instead of
COLING for that year.
Other ACL decisions. Diane then quickly went through other decisions
made by the ACL exec.
Status of ACL conferences vs. chapter conferences.
- W.r.t. the current NAACL conference, Diane asked whether we liked
the staggered deadline? Everbody said: yes, yes, yes. It allows for
the submission of work when it's ready. The coordination of
notification/submission deadlines should be thought out though. The
1-week difference between notification from one conference and
submission to another might not be enough; maybe strive for a 2-week
difference so that there's more time for re-writing. Inconsistent
reviewing means that it makes sense for people to be able to
re-submit. NAACL could even have an earlier submission date than
this past year's November submission.
The ACL conference handbook.
- ACL is creating a handbook of its policies (Sandee is putting this
together). It will that will cover all kinds of conference issues
among other things. The idea is that, once written, the chapters
should contact ACL when they're doing something against the ACL
The main issues discussed w.r.t. the ACL exec meeting in New Jersey
are listed below:
ACL workshop policies.
- Diane said that ACL will create a policy that requires workshop
participants to have agreed before their names are associated with
it. Everyone agreed that this will be a policy that we also want to
maintain. Martha noted that workshops wanting more control than ACL
policies might allow can be organized under one of the SIG's.
SECRETARY'S REPORT. Claire walked through the main points of her
written report. Particular issues that were discussed were the
NAACL mailing list manager.
- Claire described some of the current problems in maintaining and
accessing the mail list. Kathy suggested that we get a volunteer to
go through the existing mail list, find and fix errors, and update
the list every couple of months by contacting Priscilla for new
members. For his/her efforts, the student would receive free
registration to the NAACL conference. We will also need someone from
the exec to supervise the student. A proposal was made to announce
the mailing list manager position at the business meeting. As of
June 12th, we do have a mailing list manager, Pablo Duboue from
Columbia. Work on updating the mailing list will commence in August
- Diane noted that she has a larger list of jobs for which we need
volunteers. We'll discuss them later in the day.
- Should we adopt ACL'S policies for running the student workshop? We
will need to get a copy of the policy from Donia. One issue in the
ACL policy is that a student can attend only once. The exec asked
Diane to suggest to the ACL that they include the poster session as
part of their policy.
***Policy***: At Diane's suggestion we decided to provide to the next
student workshop organizers the ACL policy as a starting point. If
they want to do something different than the ACL scheme, we can
discuss it and contact the ACL exec as necessary.
NAACL survey results. It was decided that it would be ok to post the
counts and comments from last year's survey to the NAACL web site.
NAACL logo. Martha offered to ask a digital arts student to design us
Canada funding agencies. Claire had contacted various U.S. funding
agencies to tell them of the existence of the NAACL since, e.g., we
might be a good source of names for reviewing proposals. She wanted
advice on whether or not to contact in Canada for the same sort of
thing given that the federal funding works so differently in Canada.
Graeme said that the differences in funding make it not worth
contacting Canadian funding agents.
Web site. Claire could use help with the web site if it is to be much
expanded from its current form. It was agreed to also try get student
volunteer for web site maintenance.
TREASURER'S REPORT. Barbara could not make the meeting, but Kathy
provided a treasurer's report.
ANLP/NAACL2000 financial results. Kathy indicated via her handout that
last year's conference is coming in at -$222.
Shadow account policies.
- Each chapter will have a separate shadow account, seeded by ACL (if
the chapter has no money). The ACL policy is that the chapter can
spend the money only on things that ACL can, e.g. NOT student
travel. Once the policies are written down it will be easier to
know, and follow, them...
NOMINATING COMMITTEE REPORT. Diane and Claire discussed the process
for last year's elections and possible changes for this year's election.
***POLICY***: Both the candidates and the nominating committee should
provide statements. The nominating committee statement should contain
a high-level description as to why the candidate was nominated
(e.g. region balance). The candidate statement should describe why
they want to run or anything that he or she thinks is relevant. The
statements will be included in the elections mailing to NAACL
members. (Passed unanimously.)
Claire will contact Andy to get started on new elections.
(3) POLICY ISSUES
- Overview of ACL policies and handbooks. Diane described ACL's plan
to write up all of the ACL policies. Sandee is doing this.
- NAACL policy issues. Claire summarized all of the NAACL policy
issues decided during the last year. These are listed below. More
explanation for each is provided in the secretary's full report.
INVOLVEMENT of NAACL EXECUTIVE BOARD in NAACL and ACL
CONFERENCES. We are covered under the ACL policy.
REIMBURSEMENT for DELIVERING NAACL TUTORIALS and
INVITED TALKS. Policy: Use the ACL policy.
CONFERENCE FREQUENCY. The following 7-year tentative schedule for
ACL, NAACL, EACL, and COLING conferences was adopted.
North America Europe Asia
2000 naacl/anlp coling acl
2001 naacl acl/eacl -
2002 acl/naacl - coling
2003 naacl eacl acl
2004 coling(/naacl?) acl/eacl -
2005 acl/naacl eacl -
2006 naacl coling acl
JOINT NAACL/ACL CONFERENCES. Here, the amount of required ACL
vs. NAACL input for each "joint" conference is the issue. Policy:
The NAACL chair will voice the executive committee's opinions to
the ACL exec since he/she sits on that committee.
NAACL EXEC VETO POWER. Policy: Use Ed's detailed conference
schedule to determine which decisions require NAACL Exec approval.
TRAVEL SUPPORT. Policy: The treasurer will make travel support
NAACL SENIOR PROGRAM COMMITTEE LUNCH. Policy: Make this lunch a
tradition, adding it to the conference budget.
ROLE of the EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE in the EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
ELECTION PROCESS. Policy: The executive committee cannot override
any of the nominations by the nominating committee. Self-
nominations are ok. The nominating committee also cannot filter
(4) JOB DESCRIPTIONS FOR YEAR 1 AND YEAR 2 EXEC BOARD MEMBERS. There
are a number of jobs that Diane would like to assign to board
members. She explained each and it was decided who should take on
- ACL/NAACL joint conference representation. In addition to the chair,
secretary, and treasurer, we need one more member from the board to
help with ACL/NAACL joint conference monitoring, approvals,
etc. Graeme agreed to take on this job.
- HLT committee. We also need a board member to put together a call
for bids for the next NAACL conference to be held jointly with HLT
(in 2003). Jan agreed to do this.
- Compiling reports. Next year's new member to the board will be
responsible for compiling all of the end-of-year reports from NAACL
officers and NAACL conference organizers for the NAACL exec meeting.
- E-mail volunteer supervisor. Ralph agreed to supervise the mailing
list maintenance volunteer.
- Web site volunteer. In his absence, Philip was volunteered to
supervise the web site manager volunteer, should we ever find one...
- Site visit for NAACL/HLT-2003. Dan agreed to represent the NAACL
exec for the site visit for the 2003 NAACL/HLT conference.
Diane also discussed some new initiatives for the NAACL exec. These
were discussed separately later in the day. (See below.)
(5) NAACL03/HLT (See attachment: Memo of Understanding). (Ed Hovy and
Priscilla Rasmussen attended this part of the meeting.)
- Diane provided some background on the NAACL and HLT conferences by
way of motivating a discussion on possibly merging the two
conferences. Briefly, part of last year's exec vision for the NAACL
conferences included outreach to the speech, IR, NLP applications
communities; and an effort to allow a mechanism for reporting on
preliminary as well as polished work, etc. Although we were
somewhat successful on those fronts, combining our conference with
the newly revived HLT conference might allow us to do better
outreach. It would also mean that there's less competition for
- Ed then presented the Memo of Understanding drawn up by
representatives from ACL, NAACL, DARPA, and NSF.
- Main options available. In short, Ed believes that there are 3
alternatives for what to do w.r.t. HLT conferences:
1- do nothing; hold separate conferences.
2- co-locate NAACL and HLT conferences.
3- merge the two conferences.
A number of open issues were then discussed including: program
committee issues, reviewing issues, conference format and
organizational structure, issues for ACL, timing of the joint
conference, fee structure.
(6) NAACL-2001 REPORTS (See attachment: NAACL01 reports from
Lori. Lori Levin, Alon Lavie, Kevin Knight, and Priscilla Rasmussen
attended this portion of the meeting.)
- General Chair Report: Lori.
Lori acknowledged all of the people who worked on the conference and
listed contents of conference...all of the workshops, etc. Some key
principles that guided a number of decisions in organizing the
conference were (1) to hold the conference on CMU campus, (2) to
attract as many people to the conference as possible because of its
closeness in time to ACL, (3) to encourage diversity in submissions,
and (4) to hold an exhibits session. They assumed that the
conference would be fairly small because of ACL.
There were lots of worries about money and about a low number of
submissions. As noted above, Lori thought that attendance would be
low, but it's not. The reasons for that might be (1) lots of demos
accepted, (2) Pittsburgh has a lot of local CL/NLP people that are
coming to the conference, (3) the workshops, tutorials, and EMNLP
are bringing in additional attendees, and (4) the location is
She then presented summaries of reports from subchairs.
Publications. The companion volume was done late; so was the CD-ROM, but
it came out well.
On-line Registration. On-line registration was only available for
late registration, which was a big problem. Alon noted that ACL
should get an easily adaptable package to handle conference
registrations. Kathy said that ACL could definitely pay someone,
say a student for the summer, to create the software.
Sponsorships. There were different levels of sponsorship "packages"
made available. $35000 had been committed in January, but 3 big
sponsors withdrew because of the downturn in the tech economy. We
ended up with $15000 in sponsorships. Cornell's IISI gave $6000 to
EMNLP, and $5000 to the main conference, which really helped. The
remaining sponsors each gave $1000. The School of CS at CMU will
help out if money is needed in the end and they've organized the
opening reception. WhizBang is sponsoring an EMNLP reception.
Student research workshop. 6 papers were accepted; only 15
submissions were received. A poster session featuring the student
papers was held during the main conference. They also held a career
panel for the students at the workshop.
Workshops. 5 proposals were submitted and accepted; 2 were merged
into one. One issue that came up was that it is not possible to
register just for a workshop. Martha suggested that, in the future,
we provide workshops with budget guidelines, guidelines for number
of pages in their proceedings, etc. Priscilla wanted to mention how
good it was to work with Lillian as the workshop organizer.
Tutorials. 11 submitted; 4 accepted.
Demos. Ronnie smith was a really enthusiastic demo chair. He
established a rigorous submission procedure (abstract and demo
script). In the end, he accepted all 29 submissions. They will be
held in 9 sessions; 4 per session; 75 minutes per session. Some
suggestions for the next demo chair: he/she should stay in close
touch with local arrangements chair; locate the demos near the main
session; have large monitors available; have internet connections
Exhibits. This conference used different fees depending on
sponsorship level. Priscilla said to encourage the exhibits and
sponsorship chairs to stay in touch with her so that she can collect
the right amount of money. Kathy noted that Lyn did a really good
job with the exhibits --- there are many more than usual. Some
problems that came up: (1) again, the economy; (2) exhibitors didn't
really want to meet us as much as we wanted to meet them presumably
because NAACL didn't have what they were looking for (e.g. press
coverage, customer base, VC). Priscilla suggested that we might want
to officially have a way for companies to recruit our students.
Publicity. Lori listed the means used for publicity including
e-mail, newsgroups, the web page, brochures, etc. One suggestion for
the next conference: get higher resolution logos from sponsors.
Local Arrangements and Treasurer Report: Alon.
The key local arrangements decision was to hold the conference on
the CMU campus.
Alon is using CMU's conference support services, and contacted them
very early in the planning. (Kathy noted the difference between
university conference service vs. a professional one.) The written
report lists the advantages of doing this (e.g. liasoned with
catering, housing, hotel, A/V). There were also financial advantages
in that conference services set up an internal account and put
pre-charges there; tax-free.
Diane made a site visit to CMU in July. Many decisions were
finalized in early fall. Alon assembled local arrangements team of
volunteers and students by early fall. (The report lists the
Alon sent out a call for student volunteers for the conference.
Priscilla appreciated the way that the student volunteers were
organized, e.g. registration desk run by some "repeat" volunteers.
Alon obtained cd-rom-related code from David Yarowsky.
His crew held regular meetings.
Late-breaking help was obtained from School of CS development office
(e.g. in organizing the opening reception when problems came up
w.r.t. original plans at LTI).
Priscilla thought that the regular meetings with the local crew were
critical for the success; also breaking down the tasks small enough
so that the volunteers could really handle them was important. Alon
pointed out that having such a large group of people to draw from
- Assign some tasks earlier, especially the on-line registration
- Using conference services was good overall, but the 2-person
office was overwhelmed in the last weeks before the conference,
causing a number of problems (including problems producing the name
- It was very difficult to estimate how many people would come.
Program Chair Report: Kevin.
NAACL-2001 had 110 submissions; 31 accepted for a 28% accecptance
rate. NAACL-2000 had 166 submissions; 43 accepted for a 24%
73% of submission came from North America; Asia 10%; Europe/Africa
17%. Acceptance rates were the following: North America 22/80;
Europe/Africa 8/19; Asia 1/11. These numbers were based on the
submitting author for each paper. Diane asked how the application
papers or non-traditional papers fare? Kevin didn't really know, but
noted that there were some papers on really new topics that fared
Reviewing process. Kevin implemented a blind review process. The
chair sent papers to a broad senior PC; they choose the PC members
to whom to send each paper. Highlights of the reviewing process
included (1) authors' notification to submit was done
electronically; (2) the chair manually identified conflicts at
submission time; (3) the senior program committee assigned 4
reviewers per paper, using chart sent by chair (Kevin provided 4
suggested reviewers); (4) chair smoothed assignments (down to 3 per
paper) and sent out hardcopy to reviewers.
Kevin then thanked lots of people.
Advantages of the reviewing process. Overall, it was a smooth
process. Worked bubbled up to top. No deadlines were missed in spite
of the holidays. SPC/PC worked well. Hardcopy worked well --- it let
the reviewers review rather than worry about downloading papers,
etc. Resulted in a set of excellent papers.
Disadvantages of the reviewing process. The very early deadline
(Nov 9) was a problem for some people. Maybe the early deadline
needed more promotion? He ended up with too many reviewers; some
were put on standby. There was a lot of e-mail for the SPC, who had
to coordinate e-mail discussions and coordinate reviews (since
reviews went to SPC).
ACL Office Report: Priscilla.
Total number of registrations (as of today/Saturday): 451 (313
regular; 138 students). [***Numbers will be replaced with the final
numbers after we get them from Priscilla.***]
Main conference: 444 Tutorials: 26 Help; 93 Open QA; 56 SIGDAT; 11
Workshops: Summarization 57; MT 17; Dialogue 55; Wordnet 99.
Banquet: 147 regular; 68 students.
Preregistrations: USA 337, 24 Canada, 56 Europe, 34
Asia/PacRim. Graeme noted that the Canada numbers might be lower
than one might expect since we're competing with the Canadian AI
conference this week.
(7) NAACL02/ACL02 (attachment: Joint Conference Policy from ACL, ACL02 report)
Local Arrangements Report: Martha.
NAACL02/ACL02 will be held July 7-12. Accommodations will be at
the Inn at Penn ($119) and the Sheraton ($99 doubles). Tutorials
will be held on July 7; the main conference will be a 3-day
meeting, July 8-10; workshops will run July 11-12.
The conference sites are all located on Perelman Quad. They plan
to have parallel sessions (Houston Hall) and an exhibit hall (Logan
Hall). Plenary sessions will be held in Irvine Auditorium. The
opening reception will be in the upstairs of Houston Hall.
Room costs seem reasonable: $125/room/day (similar to the CMU
costs). Right now they're thinking about where to hold the
banquet. Some possibilities include the Franklin Institute; the
Hard Rock Cafe ($4000 for the night).
IRCS staff will be helping to organize.
Diane noted that Martha will have to not go up for re-election this
fall unless ACL exempts the local arrangements chair from
involvement in joint conference organization.
Joint conference policy and impact for Philadelphia. (Diane)
Diane ask whether the joint conference statement from ACL was ok with
us and with the Penn folks organizing next year's joint
conference. Martha suggested that ACL consult the conference
organizers in their selection of the general chair.
(8) NAACL CONSTITUTION (attachment: EACL constitution)
Claire reviewed last year's changes to the constitution. Diane
suggested that we consider adopting all of the recent EACL
constitution changes to our constitution.
***Proposed constitution change.*** Claire described one place where
the constitution has to change because of changes in the ACL exec
structure. Our constitution states that the ACL secretary-treasurer be
an ex-officio member of the NAACL exec. Now that there are two
separate offices, secretary and treasurer, we need to decide which of
the two should be on our exec.
It was proposed that both the ACL secretary and treasurer be
ex-officio members of the NAACL exec. The proposal was approved
unanimously. Claire will write up the change and send it to the ACL
for approval before submitting the change to a vote by the membership.
(9) NEW INITIATIVES (Diane) (attachment: survey, Donia Scott on Latin America)
A number of possible new initiatives for NAACL were discussed
including: running a contest like the AAAI robot competition at a
future NAACL conference; starting a summer school in NLP/CL similar to
those done for LSA or the Hopkins or IRSC workshops; options for Latin
America outreach and the possibility of including a representative
from there as an unofficial member of the NAACL exec; offering
copy-editing for international submissions to NAACL conferences.
(10) NEXT NAACL MEETINGS (Diane)
We then briefly discussed what should be covered during the very short
business meeting during the conference and what topics might be
discussed, if any, at the thank-you lunch.
The next NAACL executive committee meeting will be at
NAACL-2002. Holding the meeting on the tutorials day won't work,
though, because the ACL exec meeting will be held then.
The meeting was adjorned at some unknown time...maybe 7:00p.m.