Minutes of NAACL Board Meeting at NAACL HLT 2010, LA Present: Chris Brew (board member), Chris-Callison Burch (board member), Graeme Hirst (ACL treasurer), Rebecca Hwa (chair), Chris Manning (treasurer), Ted Pedersen (board member), Owen Rambow (past chair), Priscilla Rasmussen (ACL business manager), Anoop Sarkar (secretary), Kristina Toutanova (board member) Minutes taken by the NAACL secretary (Anoop Sarkar) The following agenda items were discussed in the meeting (in chronological order): 1. NAACL HLT 2012 2. Debrief of NAACL HLT 2010. See attached NAACL Treasurer's report by Chris Manning 3. Latin American Fund activities from the last year and future funding plans 4. Relations between NAACL and the language technology industry 5. Nomination committee reform 6. Regional conference funding plans (related to Section 3) 7. Outreach programs (JHU Summer School, NACLO). See attached report by Ted Pedersen. 8. Summary of planned expenses 1. NAACL HLT 2012 The location of NAACL HLT 2012 was discussed. There was discussion of the different bids that have been made for hosting NAACL HLT 2012. No final decision was reached. Future committee members can contact the board members for details on the various locations that were under consideration for 2012 and discussion about possible future locations for the NAACL HLT conference. 2. Debrief of NAACL HLT 2010 and expenses between May 1, 2009 and Apr 30, 2010 While the board meeting was a day before the conference started, various aspects of the conference organization were discussed. 2.1 NAACL Treasurer's report by Chris Manning (attached to the minutes) 2.2 NAACL HLT 2010 participation statistics were provided by Priscilla Rasmussen. There were 601 pre-registrations for the main conference. There were 62 Tutorial/Workshop-only registrations including 5 Tutorial only registrations. The industry panel lunch attracted about 130 participants of which 118 had pre-registered. 2.3 Discussion of NAACL HLT 2010 workshops by Priscilla Rasmussen. There seems to be an increase in non-traditional formats for workshops in NAACL HLT 2010. 8 out of 16 workshops included a poster/demo session as part of their program. One workshop (WS3: Computational Approaches to Linguistic Creativity: CALC-10) was more focused on posters than the usual talk format. One workshop in particular (WS13: Speech and Language Processing for Assistive Technologies) had an innovative idea to support their plans to do a poster/demo session that was held at lunch time and included lunch for the participants. They were able to get funding for the lunch session by attracting 4 industrial exhibitors to this session and the funding from the exhibition fees were used to cover the lunch expenses. 2.4 This year the short paper submission deadline to NAACL HLT 2010 was on the same date as the long paper deadline. There was discussion about whether it might be a good idea to go back to the situation where the short paper deadline is staggered with respect to the long paper with the opportunity for long papers to be re-submitted as short papers. The consensus view was that short and long papers should be kept as independent streams and a short paper should not simply be a rejected long paper submission. Thus having the same submission and reviewing deadlines for short and long papers was considered to be appropriate, and NAACL HLT should continue this policy. This also enables the NAACL HLT submission deadlines to be set to a reasonable date given that the ACL submission deadline usually follows the NAACL HLT decision date. Owen Rambow suggested that the overall deadline date (even with joint short and long paper submission dates) might be too conservatively set. The length of time between paper submission deadline and the conference date can be shortened to allow a better (i.e. later) submission deadline for NAACL while still retaining the spacing with the ACL deadline when this is an issue. 2.5 There was discussion of the policy this year of allowing, in the camera ready version of a paper published in NAACL HLT 2010, one extra page to address reviewer comments, and any number of pages for bibliographic references. There was some discussion of the pros and cons of this approach, but all members agreed that, since print proceedings are now no longer produced for NAACL HLT, these two policies were a good idea and should continue. However, there was no consensus about changing the rules regarding extending the length of submissions to NAACL HLT. 2.6 Chris Callison-Burch raised the issue of re-submissions to ACL conferences within the same year that now occurs routinely due to the staggered submission dates. CCB also raised the possibility that the online START system could be configured to have reviews from previous conferences in the same year. Authors could also comment on changes made to previously submitted work. This might make the reviewing of repeat submissions easier. However, there was no decision made to officially pursue this idea at this time. 2.7 Early public release of the NAACL HLT proceedings to the ACL Anthology. Rebecca Hwa raised the issue that the public release to the ACL Anthology should ideally be done on the same date as the camera ready due date. Historically the public release date has been on the conference start date, and the community needs to be made aware that the new release date is going to be earlier from now on. This way any patent or other legal issues can be resolved earlier by authors who submit to NAACL HLT. This year the early release to the Anthology was delayed due to some patent concerns and no clear policy to the community about when the final proceedings is made public. It was resolved that NAACL should widely publicize to the community the new norm that the release date to the Anthology will be as soon as the publications chairs have created the final proceedings. 2.8 Chris Manning raised the issue that NAACL has a built-in ACL membership fee when registering for a NAACL HLT conference. Currently Priscilla keeps track of members and the difference in their registration fees for NAACL. At ACL, in contrast, there are two rates: a member and non-member rate (usually the non-member rate is more expensive). Having two rates allows a frequent traveler to ACL conferences to be an ACL member just once a year and pay the member rate. Due to co-location of NAACL with other conferences, this matter is moot for the next two years. So the board decided to table this issue for later, but it should be resolved before NAACL HLT 2013. 2.9 Chris Manning suggested that NAACL should do more to make sponsorship of the NAACL conferences more attractive for potential industry sponsors. The sponsor logos could appear on the front page of the proceedings -- this would encourage sponsorship and make NAACL more open to industrial sponsorship. 2.10 The NAACL board signed the statement of yearly expenses between the dates of May 1, 2009 and Apr 30, 2010. 2.11 The NAACL Student Travel Fund was discussed. The committee comprised of Chris Callison-Burch (main contact person), Chris Manning and Kristina Toutanova. There were 3 awards given last year out of 7 applications. 1 went to a U.S. student, and 2 to European students to attend the NAACL HLT conference. 2.12 The issue of whether the nominees for best paper award should be made public was discussed. The board agreed that the nominees could be made public either on the conference webpage or during the business meeting. For NAACL some authors knew that their papers had been in the short-list and subsequently mentioned this fact in their CV and others did not. Potentially an honorable mention category could be introduced instead of announcing all short-listed nominees. 3. Latin American Fund 3.1 The main contact person and overall point person for the Latin American fund is Ted Pedersen. A replacement for Ted will have to be chosen after he leaves the board in 2011. 3.2 Creating a single CFP model for applications for support needs to be put in place. Tentatively having two deadlines (Sept 1 and Mar 1) per year for applications would lead to more fair allocation and less work for the board members involved. 3.3 Already committed support this year: PROPOR (held in Brazil in April 2010) - funded on Mar 16 for $1,000. The post-event report should be obtained and put up on the NAACL website. ELiC (held in July in Argentina) - funded on Mar 9 for $1,500. Post-event report should be obtained and put up on the NAACL website. NAACL-HLT 2010 Young Investigator Workshop (held at NAACL HLT 2010) - funded for $1,000. STIL 2009 (post-event report has been posted on the NAACL website). Not funded: NLP in Psychology (Argentina) - notified Feb 27. 3.4 The board discussed moving to a single model of funding for all regional workshops (in North and Latin America). Create a single CFP model. Chris Manning reported that the joint fund would be $6000. Anoop raised the issue that travel to NAACL could be made a priority. Chris Manning pointed out there is an additional $4000 for the Student Travel fund. 4. Relations between NAACL and the language technology industry 4.1 Kristina Toutanova is the main point person on the NAACL board for industrial contacts and advocacy. 4.2 Kristina Toutanova gave an update on the industrial panel that was to be held at NAACL HLT 2010. There were 5 speakers on the panel this year from various industrial research labs and companies, which included researchers and commercial entities. Future involvement with industry should be considered in light of the experience of the industry panel this year. Perhaps more commercial involvement could be considered, including a sales component. Kristina will provide some additional feedback after the industry panel and after discussion with the panelists who participated this year. 5. Nomination committee reform 5.1 Members of the NAACL nominating committee have provided detailed feedback on some serious problems with the current nomination process to the NAACL board. The current rules for forming the nomination committee can be summarized as follows: all departing NAACL executive board members sit on the nominating committee for 3 years after their term on the board expires. These current rules create a situation in which the nominating committee is too large and thus unfocused, and in addition these rules create a situation in which the pool for chair candidates is too small. A separate issue about the nominating committee membership is that board members are not typically aware of this extra responsibility when they agree to run for election to join the NAACL board. Owen Rambow pointed out that, unlike NAACL, the ACL creates a nominating committee entirely from past presidents of ACL. The discussion on this matter led to the following proposals (5.2 - 5.4). 5.2 It was proposed that there should be a 2-3 year term for exiting (leaving) NAACL board members on the nomination committee. Members serving on the nomination committee can leave after 2 years if there are at least 3 members in the committee. 5.3 The job descriptions for NAACL board members should explicitly state that board members serve on the nomination committee after they leave the NAACL board. 5.4 During this discussion, the board realised that explicit definitions of majority and plurarity need to be included in the NAACL constitution to avoid any problems with interpretation of how the nomination committee should work. Owen Rambow will draft a change to the constitution with these explicit definitions. 6. Regional conference funding plans (related to Section 3) 6.1 Chris Manning is the point person for this fund. There was $2000 allocated towards the sponsorship of multi-instituion regional events. 6.2 The Northwest NLP Conference (a multi-institution regional workshop/conference held at the Microsoft Research campus in Redmond) received $1000 from this fund. The exit report for this conference has been received from the organizers. 6.3 Related to the dicussion of the Latin American fund in Section 3, it was decided to merge these funds and create a single CFP for all regional event sponsorships by NAACL. There can be two deadlines for such a CFP per year. 7. Outreach programs 7.1 JHU Summer School student scholarships sponsored by NAACL. The current point person is Ted Pedersen, and Chris Callison-Burch will take over as point person in 2011. 7 students out of 25 applicants were funded by NAACL to attend the JHU summer school, with full scholarships for travel, registration and lodging. One local student got a registration only scholarship. A detailed report is attached to these minutes, written by Ted Pedersen. 7.2 NAACL also provided $1500 in funds to create videos of the lectures at the JHU summer school. As of Feb 21, Chris Callison-Burch has begun to upload videos from the 2009 JHU summer school to videolectures.net. Also CCB has taken over from Jason Eisner as the contact person at JHU for this effort. 7.3 In the future, CCB will investigate if more students than those who receive NAACL scholarships can be accomodated at future JHU summer schools. However, there are likely to be issues with space and other local arrangements. 7.4 The North American Computational Linguistics Olympiad (NACLO) was discussed. NAACL has supported this effort by providing $5000 for the past few years. The organizers themselves have dealt the promotion of the event with CL/NLP people and encouraging hosting of NACLO at their institution and outreach to high school students. It was decided to continue this support of $5000 per year for NACLO. 7.5 Chris Brew discussed outreach to the BioNLP community. It was considered important to keep the communication lines open between the NAACL community and growing BioNLP community. 7.6 Sponsorship of the LSA Linguistic Institute in 2011 at UC Boulder was discussed. As per the program chair for LSA 2011, Martha Palmer, there is an effort to make computational linguistics a more integral part of the LSA program in 2011. After some discussion, Owen Rambow called for a vote on the proposal that NAACL should provide $10,000 in sponsorship funds to LSA 2011 as "platinum" sponsors (since $3500 currently is a gold sponsorship level). This sponsorship would fund the Keynote Lecture at LSA 2011, the reception, and 3 computational linguistics courses at LSA 2011. NAACL should also receive all the sponsorship privileges in terms of advertising, etc. that are given to the Gold sponsors. The vote passed unanimously, counting all board members who voted. Rebecca Hwa had a conflict of interest since she is an invited instructor at LSA 2011, and so she abstained from the vote. 8. Summary of planned expenses The following expenses are planned for the coming year: 8.1 $6000 for funding for regional multi-institution events in North and Latin America with a mandate to encourage computational linguistics in Latin America. These sponsorship funds will be to provide student funding for these events. 8.2 $4000 for student travel scholarships to the NAACL HLT or ACL conference held in North America. 8.3 $10,000 for NAACL student scholarships to attend the JHU Summer School. 8.4 $5000 for NAACL sponsorship of NACLO. 8.5 $10,000 for NAACL sponsorship of LSA 2011.