2017Q3 Reports: EACL

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EACL 2017Q3 Report, July 2017

Walter Daelemans, Chair

Sharon Goldwater, Chair-Elect

Lucia Specia, Secretary

Mike Rosner, Treasurer

EACL-2017

EACL-2017 ( EACL-2017) was a great success. It was the largest ever EACL in terms of the number of papers being presented (around 1000) and in number of registrations (667). Financially, the conference will produce a gain of about 12,000 EURO. See the separate report on EACL 2017 for more information.

Financial Report

2016    CHAPTER FINANCES UPDATE June 2017 (SHADOW ACCOUNTING)
31-Dec-2015                                23,559
INCOME                                          0
EXPENSES
       *SEM Workshop Sponsorship (ws fee)     -97
       *SEM Workshop (remaining expenses)    -654  			
       EACL Sponsorship ESSLLI             -2,750
       Bank Charges                             4
                                           -3,505
31-Dec-2016                                20,054
INCOME  (see note below on income from ACL/EACL Berlin 2016)
EXPENSES
      Sponsorships EACL Valencia            -5375
                                              -25
15.06.2017    estimated current balance    14,654

Mike Rosner 05.06.2017

Notes

- EACL 2017 in Valencia made a surplus of €12,250.

- EACL is also expecting to receive a surplus of c. €70,000 from ACL Berlin.

EACL Sponsorship

  • EACL sponsored student grants at the EACL-2017 conference and its associated Student Research Workshop (SRW). The call was open to all students presenting at EACL, and not limited to SRW presenters. Barbara Plank (as faculty advisor), and the SRW committee (consisting of the EACL student board) carefully ranked and commented on the applications and proposed funding the first 13. The EACL board checked the proposal and accepted it. 13 grants (from 27 applications) were awarded.
  • EACL sponsored student grants to ESSLLI.
  • EACL sponsors an invited speaker at @SEM.

EACL Plans

On the basis of the EACL-2017 business meeting and meetings within the EACL board, the following action points are on the agenda for this and next year:

  • Look for more opportunities for European PhD students to network and interact. Possibilities include dedicated events at EACL conferences (e.g., student lunch) or organization of special events (e.g., summer schools).
  • Adopt best practices from ACL for awareness of gender and other balances in EACL organised events. Of special meaning for EACL is language balance. There should not be a bias against CL research on languages other than English.
  • Creation of a database of potential candidates for committees, tasks, boards, etc.
  • Reorganization of the website (see below).
  • Getting the organization ready for a yearly EACL (see below).
  • Involve other areas (especially the Middle East and Africa) more in EACL. These areas are now considered to be part of EACL as they don’t have their own chapter. Perhaps a name change is in order, as well as more conference organization in these areas, or an extension of the advisory board with members from these areas.

EACL board

  • The EACL board will elect two new student board members to replace Florian Kunneman and John Camilleri and join Uxoa Inurrieta. The new student board members will be selected on the basis of their interest in updating the EACL website and keep it up to date dynamically with useful information for the members. This will replace the static yearly newsletter. We thank Florian and John for their enthusiasm and the service they provided.
  • Mike Rosner (EACL treasurer from 1982) has announced his decision to step down as treasurer this year. The nominating committee has decided to propose Claudia Borg (University of Malta) as a candidate for his replacement, on the basis of advice from the current treasurer and the other board members. There is no beginning in expressing the magnitude of the EACL community’s gratitude to Mike for putting EACL financially on the rails decades ago, and for all the work he put in to keep the chapter healthy for all this time.

EACL conference cycle

Background: the previous EACL Board proposed to investigate possibilities to move to a higher frequency of EACL organization to increase visibility, impact, prestige, opportunities for publishing, and income for EACL (and thus the opportunities to organize more activities and sponsorship). An online poll was held to get insight into the preferences of the members. There were 388 respondents, of which 113 were EACL members. Overall, 95% voted yes or maybe for a higher frequency (85% yes), of the EACL members, 96% voted yes or maybe (87% yes). A large majority was in favor of the NAACL model (2 EACL conferences every 3 year). The results were presented and discussed at the EACL 2017 business meeting and at the spring board meeting, where it was decided to go ahead with the new model.

The new conference cycle will provide several challenges, most notably (i) a larger organizational overhead for the EACL board to find candidates, to select proposals and committees, and to assist in conference organization where useful, and (ii) more complex conference organization given the growing number of attendees. The board has decided to initiate activities to solve these problems along two lines: (i) finding a “European Priscilla” to help with and supervise the conference selection and organization process. The real Priscilla has kindly offered to train this person on the job during the 2020 and 2021 EACL conferences; and (ii) liaising with the European national or regional computational linguistics organizations, e.g. to co-locate EACL with local events and hopefully saving organizational overhead and costs that way.

An additional but welcome problem is that the growth of the EACL conference in size makes it difficult to organize it in university infrastructure, or without a PCO as was the case earlier. From EACL 2020 onwards, we will have to take into account this new reality if it persists, and find solutions to involve professional organizers and large conference centers, while making sure the conference is still affordable for everyone.

Board resolution: The EACL board decided that EACL will start on a new cycle from 2020, organizing an EACL conference in all those years that ACL is not organized in Europe.

EACL Officers per July 10, 2017

The current officers are the following:

Chair:

  • Walter Daelemans (University of Antwerp, Belgium)

Chair-Elect:

  • Sharon Goldwater (University of Edinburgh, Scotland, UK)

Secretary:

  • Lucia Specia (University of Sheffield, UK)

Treasurer:

  • Mike Rosner (University of Malta, Malta)

Advisory Board:

  • Iryna Gurevych (Technical University Darmstadt, Germany)
  • Roberto Navigli (University of Rome, Italy)
  • Stephan Oepen (University of Oslo, Norway)
  • Ivan Titov (University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands)

Student Board:

  • Florian Kunneman (Radboud University Nijmegen, The Netherlands)
  • John Camilleri (Chalmers University of Technology and University of Gothenburg)
  • Uxoa Inurrieta (University of the Basque Country, Spain)

Nominating Committee:

  • Stephen Clark (University of Cambridge, UK) [chair]
  • Vivi Nastase (Fondazione Bruno Kessler, Italy)
  • Lluís Màrquez (Qatar Computing Research Institute, Qatar)
  • Caroline Sporleder (Goettingen University, Germany)