Report from NAACL, June 2004
Graeme Hirst, Chair

1. Elections

The NAACL election was held electronically in the Fall of 2003.
Graeme Hirst (University of Toronto) was elected unopposed as Chair,
replacing Diane Litman (ineligible for re-election), who becomes Past
Chair.  Lillian Lee (Cornell) was elected Secretary, replacing Claire
Cardie (ineligible for re-election).  Dragomir Radev was re-elected
Treasurer.  For the two open two-year Chapter Board positions, Ellen
Riloff (University of Utah) and Janyce Wiebe (University of
Pittsburgh) were elected, replacing Owen Rambow and Lynette Hirschman,
neither of whom stood for re-election.

As Graeme Hirst was a regular member of the Board with one year left
in his term, his position became vacant upon his election as Chair.
Under the constitution, the Board must appoint a replacement, subject
to ratification by the ACL Executive, until the next election.
Robert Frederking was nominated and ratified.

Ellen Riloff has agreed to take the place of Lynette Hirschman as one
of our three representatives on the HLT Advisory Board.  (Graeme Hirst
and Dragomir Radev continue.)

2. Executive Committee Meetings

The Board met by conference call on 2004-02-21 and in person at the
HLT-NAACL conference in Boston on 2004-05-02.  The minutes of the
meetings are available on the NAACL website.

3. Shadow Account Status

See separate report by the NAACL Treasurer, Dragomir Radev.

4. HLT-NAACL 2004

The Chapter Board and the HLT Advisory Board agreed that the merged
HLT-NAACL 2003 conference in Edmonton (see Diane Litman's report in
July 2003) was enough of a success that the merged conference should
be repeated in 2004.  The conference was held in Boston, at the Park
Plaza Hotel, in the first week of May.

As in 2003, the conference style was a fusion of the (NA)ACL and HLT
styles (e.g., plenary demos, highly referred long papers,
late-breaking short papers/posters, student workshop and tutorials,
etc.), and it also spanned several previously relatively independent
subareas of human language technology.  The conference was designed
to especially encourage reports of work on synergistic combinations
of language technologies.

The conference was generally held to have been very successful.
Despite competition from a greater-than-usual number of CL, NLP, IR,
and related conferences in 2004, HLT-NAACL attracted 168 full paper
and 84 short paper submissions; 43 and 40, respectively, were
selected.  There were 22 demo submissions, of which 19 were selected.
In addition, there were 10 workshops and 6 tutorials.  There were 10
corporate or institutional sponsors for a total of $25,000.  Much of
the success of the conference can be attributed to the hard work of
the chairs, especially the general chair, program co-chairs, and
local arrangements chair.

The conference website ( contains full
details regarding the conference.  The general chair's full report is
available on the NAACL website.

The organizers were as follows:

General chair:
   Julia Hirschberg, Columbia University
Program co-chairs:
  Daniel Marcu, USC/ISI
  Salim Roukos, IBM
  Susan Dumais, Microsoft
Local arrangements chair:
   Christy Doran, Mitre
Tutorials Chairs:
   Alex Acero, Microsoft
   Jamie Callan, CMU
   Andy Kehler, UCSD
Workshops Chairs:
   Bhuvana Ramabhadran, IBM T. J. Watson Research Center
   Alan Smeaton, Dublin City University
   Richard Sproat, University of Illinois
Demo co-chairs:
   David Palmer, Virage
   Joe Polifroni, Unveil Technologies
   Deb Roy, MIT Media Lab
Publications co-chairs:
   Katrin Kirchoff, University of Washington
   Gina-Anne Levow, University of Chicago
   Miles Osborne, Edinburgh
Publicity Chairs:
   Peter Anick, Overture
   Peter Heeman, OGI
   Shri Narayanan, USC
Sponsorships and Exhibits Chairs:
   Doug Jones, MIT Lincoln Labs
   Roberto Pieraccini, IBM T. J. Watson Research Center
Student Workshop Faculty Advisors:
   Lisa Ballesteros, Mount Holyoke College
   Eric Fosler-Lussier, OSU
   Amanda Stent, Stony Brook University
Student Workshop Chairs:
   Ani Nenkova, Columbia University
   Nicola Stokes, University College Dublin
   Karen Livescu, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

5. ACL 2005

The international ACL conference will be held in North America in
2005, with NAACL as the host.  The site selected is the University of
Michigan, in Ann Arbor, MI, with local arrangements by Dragomir Radev
and Richmond Thomason.

As the ACL Exec has decided that this will not be a merged meeting
with HLT.  The Chapter Board, the HLT Advisory Board, and SIGDAT are
presently discussing the possibility of a different kind of joint

6.  NAACL 2006

A call for bids to host the chapter's 2006 conference was published
in early May.  Janyce Wiebe is the Chapter Board member responsible
for coordinating the search for a site.

7. Support for Summer Schools

2004 is the third and final year of our agreement with Johns Hopkins
University in which we sponsor students to attend their summer
courses in computational linguistics.  We received applications from
16 students, of whom 10 were selected by a sub-committee of the
Chapter Board (Dekang Lin (chair), Ellen Riloff, and Robert
Frederking).  The total cost to NAACL will be something less than
$10,000.  The number of applicants was only half of that in 2003; it
is unclear what the reason for that is.

We have been approached by the Linguistic Society of America to
sponsor or subsidize courses on computational linguistics at the LSA
summer school in Cambridge, MA, in summer 2005.  NAACL will provide
$3000 of support to the LSA provided that the LSA offers at least
three computationally-oriented courses that the NAACL exec approves
of --- in terms of instructor, topic, or both --- subject to NAACL
budget constraints.  $1000 of the $3000 must be reserved to fund a
10% tuition discount for any ACL student members who attend; any
unused portion of the discount fund will revert back to the NAACL.

8.  Debugging the NAACL Constitution

The NAACL Executive Board proposes to amend the NAACL constitution as
detailed below in order to remove a some unclarities and anomalies.
This will be put to the membership along with the elections in


Article 5.1

The administration of the Chapter shall be conducted by the Chapter
Board, which shall consist of a Chair, a Secretary, a Treasurer, the
most recent past Chair (provided he or she completed a term of duty),
and four (4) Board members. The [** DELETE: Secretary-] Treasurer of
the ACL shall ex-officio be a member of the Chapter Board.  Except for
the past Chair they shall be elected by the Chapter Members for a
two-year term of office. If vacancies occur, the Chapter Board shall
appoint replacements, subject to approval by the Association Executive
Committee, to serve until the next election.  Except for the Treasurer,
no Board member shall serve more than two (2) terms in any single [**
ADD: elected] office, [** REPLACE: and no longer than six (6)
consecutive years on the Board  WITH: and no more than three (3)
terms in any elected office]. The Treasurer may serve for a maximum
of ten (10) years in that position, subject to the satisfaction of
the Board, the Members, and the Association Executive Committee.
After the first Chair, every Chair must have served on the Board for
at least one year during the past five years.


(1)  The ACL has split the position of Secretary-Treasurer into two
positions.  The Treasurer is the more appropriate to continue ex
officio on the Chapter Board because of the very close financial
working between NAACL and ACL.

(2)  The present six-year limitation leads to anomalies.  The Past
Chair is supposed to provide experience and corporate memory, and yet
might have to step down early in his or her term if he or she had spent
six years, or nearly that as President or Board Member, only to be
replaced by an inexperienced appointee.  Similarly, the ACL Treasurer
might spend more than six years in that office and hence should be
available for more than six years as an ex officio member of the
Chapter Board.  The new wording tries to capture what is assumed to be
the intent of the original wording, a limitation on re-election, while
not restricting the terms of unelected members of the Chapter Board.

Article 5.4

To oversee the elections, there shall be a Nominating Committee
consisting of at least three members, who shall each serve a three year
term. Retiring members of the Chapter Board who are not re-elected to
positions as officers or board members become new members of the
Nominating Committee.  [** ADD:  Any member of the Nominating
Committee who is elected to the Chapter Board shall stand down from the
Committee.]  If the size of the Nominating Committee falls below
three, the requisite number of new members  shall be elected by the
Members as part of the elections of new  officers. Nominating
Committee members must be Chapter Members in good standing. The Chair
of the Nominating Committee shall be  determined by random draw from
among the members of the Nominating Committee whose terms are about
to expire. The [** REPLACE: outgoing WITH: Past] Chair of the Chapter
Board shall meet with the Nominating Committee in an ex officio
capacity to provide advice about potential nominees.

(1)  Nothing at present prevents the Nominating Committee from
nominating its own members if they are eligible.  Such a situation
might or might not be a Good Thing.  At the very least, a member of the
committee who is re-elected should stand down from the committee.

(2)  There is only a neutral "outgoing" Chair in years when the Chair's
term has expired and the incumbent is ineligible for re-election or
doesn't wish to stand for re-election.

Article 5.5

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 [** REPLACE: a WITH: any necessary] new [**
REPLACE: Nominations WITH Nominating] Committee member.

(1)  Clarification and correction of typo.