• Date: June 20, 2012
  • Location: NAACL-HLT 2012 in Montreal, Canada


  • Chris Callison-Burch (Chair)
  • Chris Manning (Treasurer)
  • Anoop Sarkar (Secretary)
  • Rebecca Hwa (Past Chair) – on the phone
  • Dan Gildea (Board member)
  • Emily Bender (Board member)
  • Mona Diab (Board member)

Treasurer’s Report: Chris Manning

  • Link to Treasurer’s report
  • There was a previous committment for a donation to NAACL from AT&T Interactive. But due to change of personnel involved at the organization, the money has not been forthcoming. It was decided to write off this outstanding donation from AT&T Interactive and not pursue it any more.
  • There was a discussion about the following points:
    • Our agreeing to a submission deadline a week before ACL’s was a huge mistake, which undermined submissions to NAACL and strained the viability of the conference. Reviewing load during the break is the only concern. The difference in time in the submission deadlines should be at least the same as the dates of the conference. This point of view was strongly put forward by many members of the board.
    • We need to be clearer and stricter about the option to cancel tutorials and workshops that do not look like they can be run at a surplus. Graeme Hirst pointed out that this needs to be done early in the schedule. Rooms for the tutorials are usually not charged separately but there are people costs that would be incurred as a result of cancellation of a tutorial. The optimal number of tutorials seems to be 6 not 8 since historically the total number of attendees is usually 250. While cancelling poorly attended tutorials is a good idea it is very difficult to say in advance which tutorial is the one that will under-perform in registration. Priscilla suggested that the minimum number of pre-registered attendees for a tutorial should be around 12 or we should cancel the tutorial. This point should be raised with next years’ general chair and tutorial chair.
      • DECISION: For NAACL, number of tutorials is set to be at most 6. Voted and passed unanimously.
      • DECISION: For NAACL, we need at least 10 early registrants at the end of early registration to go ahead. Priscilla will communicate this information to the general chair and tutorial chairs. Voted and passed unanimously.
    • The banquet has always run at a loss, despite the ever-higher banquet fees. We should at least consider abandoning it for NAACL and replacing it with some cheaper option (e.g., a pub night).
      • Chris Manning suggested a dinner at the poster evening as a replacement for a formal banquet. Rebecca Hwa asked if we can have a banquet sometimes but not others, depending on the venue.
      • DECISION: Ask the community at the business meeting about whether we should upgrade the poster session and get rid of the banquet which has always run at a loss.
    • We should notice that workshops are a huge part of this NAACL, and we should consider doing things to develop that side of things more (e.g., we could have workshops over more than 2 days by one of several variant means).
      • DECISION: Single-day workshops that overlap with the tutorial could be a possibility for next year. Chris Callison-Burch will tell the general chair and workshop chairs of the next NAACL. The tutorial chair and the workshop chair should work together to schedule the day before the conference.
    • We should notice the reversal that has occurred: previously ACLs were financially dubious, whereas NAACLs always did fine, but lately ACLs have done well, but NAACLs have been much less solid financially. Of course, the number of sample points is small, but Chris Manning wants the board to pay attention to that in the long term.
      • It is not clear why NAACL is flat in submission rate, but ACL is growing by leaps and bounds. From all indication both ACL and NAACL should have the same impact factor so the difference in submission rate might be due to ACL being the flagship conference of the field and being more international.
    • We should consider ways to get more sponsorship coming to NAACL event. It should be one of the most appealing language technology events to sponsor.
      • ACL this year has sponsorship of ~35K while NAACL has ~30K. So sponsorship is doing well for NAACL.
      • Mona Diab pointed out that we can explore sponsorship from other places such as Qatar. She will attempt to pursue leads in this matter.
      • On a tangential point, we should be more pro-active in advertising to the local community to appear in local news, etc.
      • DECISION: To get the publicity chair to issue press releases, and engage the local community at the next NAACL.
      • Chris Manning: There is a danger to NAACL that new communities which are consumers of computational linguistics like text analytics, etc. are bypassing NAACL and ACL.

Finalize Chairs for NAACL 2013

  • Lucy Vanderwende is the general chair.
  • The board considered several candidates who are willing to be considered for PC co-chair.
  • Usually 3 chairs for NLP, speech and IR. This time, drop IR as per previous recommendations.
    • The NAACL board then discussed various names who could be potential PC co-chairs. In subsequent email discussions (after this meeting) the PC co-chairs were finalized.

Funding projects

  • Projects that would receive NAACL donations in the coming year: JHU Summer School, NACLO, LSA Summer Institute
    • DECISION: Continue to fund the above 3 initiatives
    • DECISION: In an email vote subsequent to the board meeting (on Aug 1, 2012) the board decided that the amount of funding to be sent to the LSA will be $10,000 as it was last year, with 5 votes to keep funding at $10,000 and 3 votes for reduced funding at $5000.
  • Emily Bender raised the issue of the relation of NAACL and NASSLLI
    • DECISION: Emily will be the contact person between NAACL and NASSLLI. We can consider future collaborations or sponsorships on a case by case basis.
  • Regional workshops
    • Last year the budget was $6K and was under-spent.
  • The board discussed the creation and hosting of video recordings of the NAACL talks.
    • Chris Callison-Burch mentioned the quotes he has collected indicate that the cost would be $10K per conference if we out-source the whole job to a company that specializes in this. The question is whether we pay for it all through NAACL funds (registration, etc.) or do we do it ourselves with student volunteers?
    • Anoop Sarkar suggested asking for sponsorship of the video lectures.
  • Encourage more open-source software associated with papers. The board discussed a cash prize for best software distributed with a NAACL paper.
    • DECISION: Defer decision until we find someone to do it.

Submission dates for NAACL 2013

  • Discussion of tentative dates for NAACL 2013. The dates that seem like it would work well:
    • Dec 10 for NAACL
    • Feb 25 for ACL

Other Business

  • Anoop Sarkar presented an update on the nominating committee for the new NAACL election to be held in December 2012.
    • The nominating committee was formed a few weeks before NAACL 2012 was held in Montreal.
    • The full nominating committee is as follows:
      • Hal Daume (chair) 2010-2012
      • Owen Rambow 2010-2012
      • Bill Dolan 2010-2012
      • Suzanne Stevenson 2010-2012
      • Chris Brew 2011-2013
      • Ted Pedersen 2011-2013
      • Kristina Toutanova 2012-2014
  • Anoop Sarkar presented a demo of the new NAACL website and there was some discussion on how to handle legacy information from the current naacl.org web site
    • DECISION: Keep as much legacy information as possible from the older website. The original files from the previous web site will be passed down to the next Secretary.

Post meeting decisions over email

Nov 7, 2012

Chris Callison-Burch called for a vote on hiring Weyond to do video recordings of the tutorial and the main conference at NAACL 2013. The estimated budget for this would approximately $12K.

The vote was taken by email and the following members voted YES.

  • Chris Manning
  • Anoop Sarkar
  • Dan Gildea
  • Mona Diab
  • Emily Bender
  • Graeme Hirst
  • Chris Callison-Burch

There were no abstentions or NO votes, so NAACL is going to implement this motion. NAACL hopes to find industry sponsors for this activity for this pilot and going forward. There was some discussion on how soon (live or a few weeks after the conference) the videos should be available online. There was also discussion on generating revenue using ads, or tracking popularity using other means.