2008Q1 Reports: Vice President

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VP Report, Winter Exec Meeting, 2007-2008

1. SIG Compliance

This year we undertook a process of checking SIG compliance
requirements and contacting those SIGs that did not comply.
Specifically, all SIGs must have:

A. At least two elected officers
B. A statement of purpose
C. A constitution: http://www.aclweb.org/downloads/sig_constitution_template.txt
D. At least 25 members
E. Name and email addresses of officers / contact information displayed prominently on the SIG's web page
F. Timely responsiveness for reports 

Initially, only three SIGs were fully compliant.  By December 31,
2007, eleven SIGs were compliant. Three SIGs remain non-compliant.  The
full list is given below.  (Note: SIGANN is our newest SIG, approved
in July of 2007.)

Compliant SIGs:

* SIGANN Nancy Ide - ide@cs.vassar.edu, Adam Meyers - meyers@cs.nyu.edu
* SIGDIAL David Traum - traum@ict.usc.edu http://www.sigdial.org/
* SIGGEN Charles Callaway - ccallawa@inf.ed.ac.uk
* SIGHAN Benjamin Tsou, Gina Levow - rlbtsou@cityu.edu.hk, levow@cs.uchicago.edu
* SIGLEX Diane McCarthy - dianam@sussex.ac.uk, Ken Litkowski - ken@clres.com
* SIGMORPHON Jason Eisner - jason@cs.jhu.edu
* SIGNLL Lluis Marquez - lluism@lsi.upc.edu, Erik Tjong Kim Sang - erikt@science.uva.nl
* SIGSEM Johan Bos, Alexander Koller - jbos@inf.ed.ac.uk, a.koller@ed.ac.uk 
* SEMITIC Shuly Wintner - shuly@cs.haifa.ac.il
* SIGWAC Adam Kilgarriff - adam@lexmasterclass.com, Marco Baroni - marco.baroni@unitn.it 
* SIGPARSE Harry Bunt - Harry.Bunt@uvt.nl. (Elections underway, Alon Lavie---alavie@cs.cmu.edu---has agreed to nomination for president and John Carroll has agreed to nomination for secretary.  Approved a constitution and posted it on their website.)

Non-Compliant SIGs:

* SIGDAT Ken Church, David Yarowsky - church@microsoft.com, yarowsky@cs.jhu.edu (Non-responsive. No contact emails, constitution, mission statement, elections, etc. Large workshop, but this does not mean this SIG has special status.)
* SIGMOL Gerhard Jaeger - Gerhard.Jaeger@uni-bielefeld.de (No constitution, etc.  A webpage is being created.  Need to re-check.)
* SIGMEDIA Elisabeth Andre - Elisabeth.Andre@dfki.de, Phil Cohen - phil.cohen@naturalinteraction.com (Non-responsive. No activity. Consider dissolving)

2. ACL Workshop Pre-Approval Process:

[Note: This process interacts with the new workshop policy that Owen
and Alex have put into place over the last few months.  The call for
ALL workshop proposals (for all ACL chapters) has now been moved up to
April 1st each year.  This means that pre-approval would have to occur
by April 1st each year.  Thus, the new item 14 below states that
pre-approval requests must be submitted by February 1st.]

The following two items have been added to the SIG guidelines (at

  NEW item 13: Formal approval must be obtained for ALL workshops held
  as an official workshop of an ACL-affiliated meeting, including
  SIG-related workshops. To obtain formal approval, proposals for such
  meetings must be submitted by the official deadline---generally
  April 1st---specified in the single ACL Call for Workshop Proposals
  (which applies simultaneously to all ACL Chapter Meetings) of the
  year PRIOR to the year for which the workshop is requested.

  NEW item 14: To enable appropriate planning and load balancing
  across all ACL's conferences, pre-approval must be requested for
  larger SIG-related workshops (those with a demonstrated track
  record 100 or more participants) in order to be held with an ACL
  affiliated meeting.  Such pre-approval requests must be emailed to
  the ACL Exec Committee by February 1st of the year PRIOR to the
  year for which the workshop is requested (see email address at
  Pre-approval requests must include a preference ranking for the
  location of a requested workshop (ACL, EACL, NAACL HLT, ACL-IJCNLP,
  etc.); the requests will be reviewed by both the ACL Exec and the
  workshop chairs of all ACL-related meetings, to ensure that space
  and funding constraints are taken into consideration at all
  ACL-related meetings.  Although first-choice locations cannot be
  guaranteed, every effort will be made to take such preferences into

3. Coordinating Committee Activity for ACL-IJCNLP-2009 [Dorr, chair]

Singapore conference planning well underway.  

Local Arrangements Chair: Haizhou Li, Singapore
General Chair: KY Su, Taiwan
Sponsorship Co-chairs: Hitoshi Isahara, Japan; Kim-Teng Lua, Singapore
Workshop co-chairs: Yuji Matsumoto, Japan; Jimmy Lin, Maryland.

Keh-Yih Su was formally appointed as the general chair of
ACL-IJCNLP-09 at Nov. 26, 2007.  The ACL executive committee has
established a global team for sponsorship, a joint
call-for-workshop-proposals for ACL related conferences in 2009, and a
new Feb 1st workshop pre-approval request deadline.  Thus, the
schedule for selecting the sponsorship chairs and workshop chairs was
shifted several months ahead of the original time table suggested in
the ACL Conference Handbook. (I recommend that the VP---in his
capacity as both the ACL SIG coordinator and the ACL-2010 CCC
chair---initiate a revision of the Handbook to reflect this change for
future years.)

Dr. Hitoshi Isahara (Japan) and Prof. Kim-Teng Lua (Singapore) were
immediately appointed sponsorship chairs upon approval of the general
chair. In December, Prof. Yuji Matsumoto (Japan) and Prof. Jimmy Lin
(USA) were appointed workshop chairs. Other related chairs (e.g.,
tutorial, publication, etc) will be approached and appointed later
according to the original time table.

Professors Matsumoto and Lin have been notified about the joint call
for workshop proposals (to be coordinated through Alex Lascarides) and
the new Feb 1st workshop pre-approval request deadline.

Since this is an joint conference between ACL and AFNLP,
geographical/regional balance will be regarded as an important issue
in selecting chairs for various positions. To meet this goal, two
co-chairs (one from Asia, and another one from USA/Europe) will be
appointed for each position. Furthermore, the Asia co-chairs will be
selected from different regions. A similar principle will be applied
to the USA/Europe co-chairs.

Priscilla is visiting Singapore in January and will likely have more
details about the site.

4. Revision of LTA Nomination Procedure [Mark will likely provide
more details.]

4pm Thursday, June 28th, Prague:  LTA discussion - Dorr, Steedman

We met to discuss the process for nomination for the Lifetime
Achievement Award.  We agreed that a fuller historical perspective is
important for this award, so that potential candidates are not passed
over due to a lack of knowledge of their achievements and
contributions to the field of computational linguistics.

As such, we agreed to propose a policy change whereby we establish an
LTA nominating committee consisting of five members: The three members
from the current nominating committee as well as the current president
and vice president.  [Need to select which of these five should chair
the committee---current president? past president?]

We further agreed to propose that the current LTA procedure be revised
and that this procedure will then transfer to these five members.  It
is our belief that this new procedure should include a plan to request
letters from past-presidents and past-recipients of the award whenever
there is any major disagreement among the five committee members.  The
secretary will continue to maintain a pool of past cases that is
updated each year---and this list will be passed along to subsequent
secretaries for continuity.