Minutes from NAACL Board Meeting

  • Date: June 25, 2014
  • Location: ACL/NAACL-HLT 2014 in Baltimore, MD, USA


  • Emily Bender (Board Member) — via Skype
  • Chris Callison-Burch (Past Chair)
  • Hal Daumé III (Chair)
  • Katrin Erk (Board Member)
  • Graeme Hirst (ACL Representative)
  • Julia Hirschberg (Board Member)
  • Ed Hovy (Board Member)
  • Joel Tetreault (Treasurer)
  • Michael White (Secretary)

Reinstating two-year terms for pubs chairs: Hal for Rada

  • For better continuity, publication chairs should be co-chairs for 2 years with overlapping terms.
  • ACTION ITEM Hal will coordinate with ACL on whether continuing pubs co-chair will serve when ACL is joint with NAACL-HLT or continue the following year.

Treasurer’s Report: Joel

  • Joel led discussion of his report
  • The board agreed to the treasurer’s recommendation to continue funding the LSA Summer Institute and NACLO at $5k each and the Emerging Regions fund at up to $3k.
  • Graeme reported that it was not yet clear whether the ACL/NAACL-HLT conference would make a profit (despite record attendance) as many costs scale linearly with additional attendees and larger venues are generally more expensive.
  • Chris reported that the JHU summer workshops are unlikely to continue (for personnel reasons) and thus NAACL need not plan on supporting them going forward.
  • ACTION ITEM Emily and Katrin volunteered to be in charge of Emerging Regions initiatives.
  • Joel led discussion of his proposal to seek more sponsorship especially from start-ups, including the need to coordinate with Priscilla and the ACL sponsorship chairs.
  • ACTION ITEM Hal will talk to Rada and get attendee list from this year’s conference, then set up a shared list of potential sponsors’ contact and fiscal year info.

Overview of ACL 2014 reports: Hal

  • Conference chairs’ reports:
  • Hal led discussion of tracking reviewer quality info on START; no special role for NAACL envisioned at present.
  • Anoop plans to discuss incorporating Mark Dredze’s reviewer load balancing tool into START with Rich Gerber.
  • The board agreed that supplementary materials submitted with conference papers should be anonymized, contra the ACL decision, but that it would be better for NAACL and ACL to be in agreement on this policy.
  • ACTION ITEM Hal will go back to the ACL board to discuss revisiting this policy.

Best paper policies: Hal for Lucy Vanderwende

  • The board agreed that in the interest of fairness, there should always be awards given for best long paper, best short paper and best student paper, and that up to six runners-up for best paper awards should also be publicized. This decision is consistent with the new ACL policy, though more specific on the maximum number of runners-up.
  • It was noted that it would be very helpful to gather student status info at paper submission time.

Pre-publication policies: Hal for ACL

  • Hal led discussion of the ACL policy to allow submission of papers that have already appeared online as tech reports, arxiv.org e-prints, etc., as long as they have not already appeared as a peer-reviewed publication.
  • The board agreed to go along with the ACL policy, noting that grey areas will need to continue to be handled at the discretion of the conference program chairs.

Social media policy: Mike

  • Mike led discussion of whether NAACL should consider adopting a social media policy, e.g. to discourage unprofessional behavior in live tweeting about the conference.
  • The board agreed that there does not yet appear to be a compelling need for a social media policy per se, though social media should be covered by other policies.
  • Increased use of social media was also discussed, with the board agreeing to make announcements regularly on Twitter as well as the website, and with the use of social media during conferences left up to the organizers.

Anti-harassment policy: Hal

  • Hal and Emily reviewed reactions to the new policy, including concerns about potential for abuse and the privacy of any record keeping, as well as confusion as to why the policy had been enacted.
  • The board agreed to revise the policy to emphasize its purpose in promoting respectful scientific debate, to highlight the responsibility of the community as a whole to take part in its promotion, and to simplify the section on implementation, in particular removing provisions for record keeping.
  • A decision was also made to revise the policy immediately and include a question about it in the post-conference survey, in order to better gauge attitudes towards the policy among the larger membership.

Dietary accommodations: Julia

  • Julia noted a concern about the lack of adequate accommodations for those with dietary restrictions (e.g. kosher, halal, vegan, food allergies).
  • The board agreed that local organizers should be encouraged to include pointers to potential suppliers in the local food guide.

Elections: Mike

  • From the NAACL constitution:

Elections shall be conducted annually as follows: the Nominating Committee shall by the first of September preceding the end of a term of office nominate at least one person for each position to be filled, including any necessary new Nominating Committee member. The Secretary shall send to the Chapter Members notice of the nominations by September 15, at the same time requesting additional nominations. Additional nominations, supported by at least three Chapter Members, may be submitted by the fifteenth of October; evidence must be presented that the nominee will serve if elected. If there is more than one nominee for any position, the Secretary shall send ballots for that position to the Members. A majority vote of the ballots received by the fifteenth of December shall determine the results of such contests. Those elected shall take office on the first of January following.

  • Hal noted that the nominating committee has begun its work and that he recommends the committee suggest no more than two nominees per position.
  • Outgoing members:
    • Katrin Erk (Board Member)
    • Julia Hirschberg (Board Member)
    • Joel Tetreault (Treasurer)
  • Nominating Committee for 2014 elections:
    • David Chiang
    • Mona Diab
    • Dan Gildea
    • Rebecca Hwa
    • Christopher Manning
    • Anoop Sarkar (Chair)
    • Kristina Toutanova

Decisions made over email

October 10, 2014

The NAACL board unanimously voted to endorse a Workshop on Natural Language Processing to be held on October 21, 2014, as part of the 5th Information Systems Research Working Days (JISIC 2014), hosted by the Department of Informatics and Computer Science of the National Polytechnic School of Ecuador.

September 24, 2014

The NAACL board unanimously voted to amend the Policy on Sponsorship or Endorsement Requests to bring it more in line with a related ACL resolution.

September 16, 2014

Emily Bender and Katrin Erk reported on the Emerging Regions Fund decisions as follows.

We received six applications to the Emerging Regions Fund call and chose to fund two at (up to $1500) each:

  • NLP Hackathon in Mexico, $1500 to support the travel of 10 participants
  • $1500 to support student participation at PROPOR in Brazil

In approving $3k we have maxed out this fund for this year, and won’t be issuing another call until next time around (next summer, if approved).

Two of the other proposals were from individual students to support their own travel to conferences at which they had papers accepted. We determined that such individual support was not within the remit of the program.

May 20, 2014

The NAACL board unanimously voted to approve funding of $5000 for NACLO in 2014 as in previous years.

May 4, 2014

Rada Mihalcea agreed to serve as general chair for NAACL 2015 with Joyce Chai and Anoop Sarkar as program co-chairs.

April 29, 2014

The NAACL board unanimously voted to approve the Policy on Sponsorship or Endorsement Requests

The NAACL board unanimously voted to endorse the All Children Reading Enabling Writers Challenge

March 28, 2014

The NAACL board selected the Denver Sheraton as the venue for NAACL 2015 and either San Diego Starwood hotel for NAACL 2016, in order to co-locate with ICML in 2016 and to enable better negotiating power by going with Starwood for both years.

March 4, 2014

The NAACL board unanimously voted to approve the addition of implementation guidelines to the Anti-Harassment Policy

February 16, 2014

The NAACL chair approved the “technical sponsorship” of the IEEE SLT-2014 Workshop (with no monetary sponsorship).