2008Q1 Reports: LTA Procedure

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Dear ACL Exec,

At the 'phone conference Saturday we somehow didn't get to this matter.
It is becoming too urgent to leave till another 'phone call.

There are two issues:  one is what procedure to follow for LTA and the
other is deciding the LTA recipient for this year. We are
trying to resolve these two issues in parallel but it is the latter
that is most urgent.   

Here is the procedure that we have come up with.  It isn't clear how
much of it we can conform to this year but its maybe something to aim

You will see that we are proposing fairly radically that a nominating
committee be charged with coming up with a nomination.  This is not an
attempt to preempt the powers of Exec, but rather to ensure reliable
convergence.  We ask you to note that ACL Exec still has complete
power over the final decision.


Bonnie Dorr, Mark Steeedman


The purpose of the these Principles and Procedure is to ensure a) due
diligence; b) continuity; and c) confidentiality.


The ACL Lifetime Achievement award is, as its name indicates, a
recognition for widely recognized, sustained, and enduring
contributions to our field over a long period.  It is not awarded
merely for outstanding recent contributions to a currently hot topic.

Candidates for the award will generally be senior, with a working
lifetime of contributions, even though they will often be active in
research.   There may be issues of timeliness.

These considerations make the decison to make an award highly
sensitive.  It is important that the award be seen by the membership
as appropriate and timely.  There may be issues of representation.
Above all, there should not be any widespread perception that a
deserving candidate has been passed over.

It follows that there is a responsibility on the executive to not
merely seek advocacy, but also maintain a consistent and
continuous  collective wisdom concerning people in the field who
should be considered by the current Executive and future ones.  It
should not be possible for someone to be passed over by accident. 

We do not have to make an award every year.


1)  There will be a LTA nominating committee (LTANC) consisting of the
    Nominating Committee (that is, the last three presidents) plus the
    current president of ACL, who will chair, and current vice
    president.  LTANC is charged with  coming up with a single
    candidate under the above principles 

2)  The LTANC will call for nominations from the executive
    together with updates of any nominations carried forward from
    previous years

    New recommendations and updates should take the form of a written
    case addressing eligibility under the criteria for the award.

3)  The LTANC will strive to converge on unanimous support for a
    candidate for the current year.  The LTANC will seek advice from
    respected impartial senior figures in the field, such as previous
    recipients of the award.

4)  The LTANC will propose the candidate for the approval of the ACL
    executive, providing whatever explanations and supporting
    documentation the Executive requires, and commenting on other
    cases that should be carried forward for future consideration.

5) The ACL secretary will be responsible for confidential safe-keeping
    of dossiers that are carried over in this way, and for passing
    them to the next LTA nominating committee.