Minutes from NAACL Board Meeting
- Date: July 31, 2017
- Location: ACL 2017 in Vancouver, Canada
- Emily Bender (Chair)
- Hal Daumé III (Past Chair)
- Graeme Hirst (ACL Representative)
- Joel Tetreault (Treasurer)
- Marie-Catherine de Marneffe (Board Member)
- Colin Cherry (Secretary)
- Philip Resnik (Board Member)
- Julia Hockenmaier (Board Member)
- Ellen Riloff (Board Member)
- Priscilla Rasmussen (ACL Business Manager)
Marilyn Walker’s Report on NAACL 2018
- Location a secret until Wednesday (New Orleans)
- Dates are established for NAACL 2018 and posted on the naacl2018.org website
- Dec 15 publication deadline
- Short papers at Jan 10
- Demo deadline same as short paper deadline
- Organizing committee to be complete within 2 weeks
- Notification for long papers is 2 weeks after short paper deadline (no option to turn it around)
- Joel’s question for Priscilla: how many projected participants?
- Answer: budgeting for 850, planning for 1,000, can handle 1,200
- Emily’s question: how is growing the team going?
- Area chairs are being put in place - PC chairs in charge of this
- NAACL, ACL, EMNLP will coordinate tutorials and workshops for 2018
- COLING will be coordinating tutorials and workshops with ACL and EMNLP?
- Emily will bring it back to Pierre Isabelle to confirm
- NAACL is most early conference
- No details on where, when and who of EMNLP
- [AI: Lyn] Can we get workshop and tutorial chairs for EMNLP early? Ask Pascal
- Priscilla says we should use the ACL member portal to help find new volunteers
- We could also tie volunteering options to conference registration
- [AI: Emily] Should I bounce this issue back to the ACL
- Lyn concerned about to what degree she’s fiscally responsible for NAACL 2018
- Is in charge of finding local sponsors
- 3M is in Austin
- Immediate action: find someone who is local-ish to Louisiana, have them work in concert with Priscilla’s sponsorship group
- Joel: who are the Regional Sponsorship Chairs?
NAACL 2018 Childcare discussion
- Day 1: 1 kid, Day 2: 2 kids, Days 3 and 4: 6-7 kids, Day 5: 1 kid
- Getting the daycare program rooms, hotel stay, parking
- $18,000 is her estimate
- Is this worth affecting so few families? Or is it just ramping up?
- Philip: SitterCity - potentially lower cost way to provide families with more control - could we provide a room, but the families hire the sitter
- Priscilla: try to vet a provider and make recommendations
- Emily: providing childcare does help everyone by allowing more and a more diverse group to attend
- Graeme: still time for uptake from drop-ins
- Priscilla: a few families were worried about language barriers for their children
- Priscilla: 40 or more people bringing families to poster dinners
- Over 150 people signing up for second or multiple tickets for social event
- There might be 80 kids, only 6 doing the childcare
- Decision: we should try it (childcare) for a few more years
- Philip: follow-up survey, try to reach not only the people who used the child care services, but also people who brought their kids without using the child care
- We need to gather data from this experiment
- Lyn: is there a child-care chair? Family chair?
- Lyn: likely to have WiNLP collocated with NAACL; could consult with them on this
- Emily: last year’s survey addresses child care
- 33 paid for by conference
- 36 out of pocket
- 17 self-organized and out of pocket
- Priscilla: we should feed CCB survey questions
- Hal: Anything about child-care should go to all attendees
- Julia: there are a few people who got their own child-care, not enough notice (3 months before conference is not early enough)
- Emily: go, no-go decision on child-care needs to be made early
- Graeme: within 6 weeks from the end of this conference we should have all the data we need to make this decision
- Philip: just saying “there will be child-care” is not enough
- Joel: 3 years worth of data will go a lot further if we can get the other conferences on board
- Emily will bring up the idea of child-care at COLING
- [AI: Graeme, Priscilla or Colin] Make sure child-care gets brought up at the ACL business meeting on Wednesday
- CCB (Chris Callison-Burch), Priscilla, Anoop, Chis Bieman, Suzanne Verbenne, Ki Sun Choi, Wanxiang Ching, Alexis
- There should be one of new North American sponsorship representative
- [AI for Board, Emily to lead:] Find 2 North American sponsorship chairs
- 2 and 3 years or
- 1 and 2 years
- Joel has a list of smaller companies that CCB has contributed to from NAACL 2015 and 2016
- Philip: sponsors could provide a lightning talk on what they do
- Connection to industrial track
NAACL 2018 Industry Track Discussion:
- Lyn: Yun Yao Li approached Lyn to pitch the idea of an Industry Track at NAACL
- Emily: ACL is interested and interested in having NAACL take the lead
- Lyn’s opinion: no harm in giving it a try
- Yun Yao Li would be the industrial track chair
- In the same spirit as ANLP
- Exhibits chair to help manage exhibits linked to sponsorships
- Philip: what problems are the industry track addressing?
- Philip’s perceived problems mostly involve students and academics understanding and interaction with industry
- Does not perceive problems with industry having a venue to publish work here
- Lyn: Yun Yao Li’s experience is that very applied papers that would get in at KDD that can’t get in here
- Emily: how can we extend the definition of a normal NAACL paper without taking away from the traditional academic publishers?
- Benefit of a track as opposed to an area is it allows access to a new group without detracting from the others
- Industry track could even have separate proceeding, like demos used to be
- Philip: a strong engineering paper should still be able to get in at NAACL
- Lyn: there is a big separate between what industry is actually doing and what is being published:
- Rule-based information extraction
- Finite state dialogue management
- In an enterprise context, automatically trained IE doesn’t serve the needs
- Joel: a lot of people have more or less given up on publishing at NAACL
- Philip: worried about papers going into the industry track that don’t need to go there
- “Industry” people would have two chances
- Hal: tricky to manage reviewers who won’t review industry papers fairly - ie: working on proprietary data might be a sticking point
- Emily: need to make sure the paper isn’t just an advertisement
- Philip: make the review criteria clear that it needs to add to the body of knowledge, provide something generalizable
- Lyn: papers that describe the nuts and bolts of how something works at scale
- Philip: not sure that meets the criteria of a paper
- Emily: we have community members who are willing to put energy into it, why not try it?
- Julia: does an industrial track detract from a graduate student’s ability to publish (raising the bar in terms of scale)
- Ellen: Possible parallel option - we could add a workshop on industry applications
- Counter-argument, one fewer workshop
- Roughly half the workshops are rejected
- Priscilla: do we want to have a recruitment lunch again?
- Could we set more time aside for interaction with industry, and this proposed track be part of it?
- Ellen: Analogy to IAAI’s relationship with AAAI; Real-world applications of NLP
- Hal: cultural difference - it’s possible to just build a big system and describe your experiences in other fields.
- Julia: can we learn from similar communities that have tried this?
- Lyn has already thought of a list of likely reviewers - available in the “response to Emily’s questions” document
- Joel: what is an example of a paper that would make it into this track that wouldn’t make it into the main conference
- Philip: didn’t write a paper about trust and credibility in an application
- Lyn: working within industrial constraints (legacy software, customer needs)
- Joel, Philip: keynotes, panels, are more easily targeted and controlled and can address industry concerns
- Emily vote:
- No change, maybe tweak some bullet points on conference papers (minimal change) - 0 votes
- Yes, as a separate track that gets mixed in with the conference - 5 votes
- Yes, as a workshop focused on industry - 4 votes
- Final decision: have a separate track
- Philip: really wants to see an industry panel
- Priscilla would build the track into one day, adding an extra room for the entire day
- Time for talks, panels, recruitment lunch
- Minneapolis, Sunday June 2 - Friday June 7
- Action items:
- Recruit a general chair
- When to announce? Decision: at the ACL business meeting
Updates from the ACL Executive Meeting
- Anti-harassment policy - we revised our (NAACL’s) policy to point to theirs
- Committee to discuss extending policy to address procedures following policy violations:
- Emily representing ACL, Julia representing NAACL
- Current idea: Separate body that is not the exec that is there to mediate and deal out consequences (provide them mediation training)
- Philip: are there national best practices for these sorts of policies?
- Julia: there are a lot of existing guidelines
- Geek Feminism wiki
- Emily: has spoken with AAAS people
- Julia: have reached out to ACM and IEEE
- Diversity and inclusion initiative in ACL
- Like a SIG, but not “special interest” so a broad interest group (BIG)
- WiNLP considered a success
- Lots of discussion about preprints and blind review
- Emily’s current strategy - just adopt whatever ACL does
- Would like a decision in place in time for NAACL
- EACL moving to an annual except for when ACL is in Europe
- Starting in 2020
- Priscilla will become more involved in local arrangements for EACL moving forward
- Priscilla: ACL exec wanted gender collected on registration form
- Questions were Female, Male, Prefer not to Answer or Other
- 1710 respondents
- 404 females; 1164 males; 42 preferred not to answer; 2 others
- under 100 with no response
- 130 people at WiNLP (not all women)
- Priscilla: back in the 90s we were closer to a 50-50 split
- Code of conduct at ACL
- Covers academic conduct, plagiarism, ethical implications of our work
- Philip: concern about the very concept of a code of conduct; we are not a licensing organization
- Historical precedent for engineering societies:
- Graeme: these other groups have codes of ethics - an important distinction
- ACL policy on political statements and actions now exists
- Julia: would be nice to publicize ACL’s new policies and statements more
- [AI Emily:] Bring this concern back to the ACL executive
- How can we do more to communicate to the public regarding the ethical implications of our work
- Invite members of the community to write up blog posts to educate society about the implications of what we do (outreach):
- What you should know before you post online
- Amanda Stent brought up several concerns regarding reviewing at conferences, Hal to forward to board over email
Treasurer’s report (Joel)
- Slides here
- NAACL 2015 has loss of 37k
- NAACL 2016 had surplus of 29k
- Philip: why do we not know our expenditures until so late?
- Philip has concerns with how contracts are being negotiated - we will take these concerns offline
- Joel always takes into account expenses and outlays that are on the way when we presents our budget to us
- Emily: video recording should be funded at the ACL level?
- Graeme: video recording definitely not in conference budget, but not clear whether NAACL is paying for video (or ACL)
- Joel still want to see more sponsorship!
- Philip: We should find out how ICML got VC sponsorship
- Julia and Joel: what can we do to help sponsorship chairs to be successful
- CCB has a good system for drumming up sponsors for ACL, try to capture his process
- Ellen: if we got a lot of money, what would we do with it?
- Joel: travel scholarships is there big obvious target
- Ellen: undergraduate scholarships?
Election report (Colin)
- Heavy lifting done by Jim Harmon@OSU (thanks Marie!)
- 198 / 956 voters = 21% voter turnout
- Also, amendment to add a new board member passed
- TODO: Check with Marie whether we can continue using OSU infrastructure to host the elections
- TODO: Work on assembling the 2018 nominating committee
Emerging Regions Fund (Joel and Marie)
- Looking for diversity in regions and diversity in institutions
- Also looking for impact factor of the fund - how many people do you impact for how much money
- Increased number of applications this year
- Joel’s impression that there are definite short-term benefits
- Philip: can we put testimonials of the benefits on the website? With pictures?
- Julia: should we distinguish between funding individuals and funding institutions?
- Joel: so far, all the funding goes to groups
- Could set aside funding for individuals
- TODO: Make a decision on how to fund ERF next year
- TODO: Look for a corporate sponsor for ERF / Latin America
- TODO: Find an ERF lead for next year
NAACL JSALT Scholarship (Julia, Philip, Colin)
- Extremely condensed schedule due to questions about funding
- Committee formed on April 30, scholarship announced May 3, Deadline May 18
- Delayed due to questions about funding
- 12 applicants, 4 scholarships
- Selection had some interesting tricky issues:
- How much CS background is enough?
- How much NLP background is too much?
- Joel: idea is to set a date where we kick all of this into gear next year (including ERF)
- Joel has had to write a lot of individual cheques - want to get back to giving Hopkins a lump sum
- Would also help limit the decisions we need to make (accomodations etc)
- TODO: Find a JSALT lead for next year.
Decisions made over email
NAACL 2018 General Chair selection and program chair selection
- Marilyn Walker selected and accepted as General Chair on April 3, 2017
- Amanda Stene and Heng Ji selected as program co-chairs on May 9, 2017
Funding of regional events (March 2017)
- Board was approached to fund the MidAtlantic Student Colloquium for Speech Language and Learning
- Without a formal vote, we discussed the funding of regional NLP events in North America, beyond those funded by the ERF
- we don’t have the funds this year
- there is no precedent of supporting regional events in well-established regions
- in the future, we plan to direct our aid to emerging regions
NAACL Outlays (March 2017)
- Motion: Approve $5k for NACLO and $3k for ERF and no further allocations at this time (though we leave open the possibility of further allocations later in the year).
- 7 votes yes, 0 no, motion passes.
NAACL JSALT Summer School Scholarship (April, 2017)
- Motion: Regrading scholarships for the JHU summer school, and in light of on-going uncertainty about our budget, should we:
(A) Provide sponsorship anyway, on the low end ($6000).
(B) Decline, letting the JHU organizers know that NAACL is facing another period of austerity, but that once we have comfortable surplusses again we will be happy to return to funding this event.
- 4 votes (A), 2 votes (B), motion passes.
- Colin, Philip and Julia recruited to issue a call and review applications.
NAACL 2018, 2019 Location selection (July, 2017)
- Selecting locations for NAACL was particularly difficult this year due to concerns about visa issues and new policies in the US. In particular,
we went back in forth on whether NAACL 2019 should be held in Canada or the United States. After much discussion, the following two votes were called:
- Motion 1: Should NAACL 2018 be held at the Hyatt Regency in New Orleans, 5/31-6/8 2018?
- 9 yes, 0 no, motion passes.
- Motion 2: Should NAACL 2019 be held at the Hyatt Regency in Minneapolis, 6/1-6/8 2019?
- 8 yes, 1 no, motion passes.
Domain names for 2018, 2019 (July, 2017)
- Domain were purchased from networksolutions.com
- naacl2018.org until July 8, 2019
- naacl2019.org until July 8, 2020
Selecting ACs and other chairs (July, 2017)
- The ACL conference handbook states that the executive board needs to approve area chairs
- A brief discussion indicated that no one could remember doing this in recent memory
- No vote called, but implicit consensus was that we would not be approving ACs this year
- Alexis Palmer agreed to be sponsorship co-chair for NAACL for 2-3 years (Juanuary 17, 2017)
- Jason Baldridge agreed to be sponsorship co-chair for NAACL for 2-3 years (September 18, 2017)
Policy on Dual Candidates (November 20, 2017)
- The NAACL nominating committee should coordinate with the ACL
nominating committee to ensure that individuals are not on both
the ACL and NAACL ballots in the same cycle. Furthermore,
individuals should not serve on both boards concurrently, except
those who are one in an ex-officio role (ACL treasurer on NAACL
board, NAACL chair on ACL board).
- In the event that someone is on both ballots concurrently, they
should be contacted and notified that they will only be able to
accept one of the positions should they be elected to both. The
NAACL board will then have the responsibility for determining how
to fill any vacancy that arises as a result. Elections in
progress should not be interrupted for this reason.
- 9 yes, 0 no, motion passes
- policy above implemented as a “soft policy” listed in the minutes but not the constitution
- Apparently we owned naacl.info, which was to expire in March 2018
- Without a formal vote, board opted to let it expire, but to renew naacl.org for 5 years
Child care at NAACL 2018 (December 20, 2017)
- Motion: NAACL shall contract with KiddieCorp to provide childcare for the full six days of the conference, committing to $10,862 even if we don’t get 12 kids per day. The suggested costs passed along to parents will be $10/hr (or $80/day) for the general rate and $5/hr (or $40/day) for students. It will be up to the GC and family-friendly program co-chairs to determine whether the charges will be per day or per hour
- 8 yes, 0 no, 1 abstain