2017 meeting minutes

The Business Meeting for ACAL 48 was held Saturday evening, April 1, 2017 at Indiana University, from 5:50-7:00 p.m., with 41 people in attendance.

Amendments to Bylaws:
A pair of connected Amendments were proposed, having been sent to the Secretary and proposed by the required 10 eligible voting members. After slight modifications proposed from the floor, the following were voted on:

1)      Add to Article 3.2: “Upon expiration of his/her term, the Immediate Past President shall have the option, upon approval by the Executive Committee, to serve as an ex-officio member of the Executive Committee for 3 years, with vote.”

2)      Add a phrase to the first sentence of Article 3.5, changing from
“There shall be an Executive Committee, composed of the President, the Vice President, and three other members of the Association, one of the three being elected each year to serve for three years and to be ineligible for immediate reelection.”                                                                                                                                       to
“There shall be an Executive Committee, composed of the President, the Vice President, Immediate Past President (optionally), and three other members of the Association, one of the three being elected each year to serve for three years and to be ineligible for immediate reelection.”

These were passed by a show of hands, with the required 2/3 majority of those present voting for this, some abstentions, and none against.

Laura Downing was thanked for her 3-year term on the ACAL Executive Committee. Laura McPherson was nominated to replace her for a 3-year term, and was elected by acclamation.

Lee Bickmore was thanked for his term as the founding President of the ACAL association by incoming President Akin Akinlabi, and received a standing ovation. Laura Downing was nominated as the new Vice President/President-Elect, and was elected by acclamation.

Conference Proceedings:
The proceedings from ACAL 46 (Oregon) were recently published, and Doris Payne was thanked for her intense involvement in this. Language Science Press (LSP) said they would have a small window of opportunity for us to purchase this volume at half price ($15), but this has not shown up yet on Amazon.com in the USA (though it has in other countries). We will continue to communicate with LSP, and upon receiving word, will notify the membership of the sale.

Proceedings from ACAL 45 (Kansas) are in the final stages with LSP and will be out soon. Proceedings from ACAL 47 (Berkeley) are underway, with 39 submissions. 16 in the LaTeX format, 7 in the LSP Word template. It was noted that LSP has recently updated this template, hopefully to a more user-friendly system.

Samuel Obeng said that submissions for ACAL 48 proceedings (Indiana) would probably be due in a couple months, and will be communicating with presenters.

There was discussion of the history of our publications, and why we now publish with LSP. Important considerations are 1) no charge from the publisher (our previous publisher was set to charge us $200 per paper) and 2) open access. LSP provides both of these. Also, the prestige of LSP is increasing.

Sharon Rose, ACAL Treasurer, reported that ACAL is healthy financially. Last year, we gave $1000 to Berkeley to assist in the conference, and $2500 to the African Language School, the latter being mentioned specifically in our articles of incorporation in California. This year there were 4 new life members and 121 regular members, for an income of $4025. The current balance is over $7000. See the appended financial report. We are committed to giving $1000 annually to the university sponsoring the ACAL conference. We could spend some of our balance for LaTeX processing for LSP if needed.
A comment from the floor was that we need to be careful in spending, so we do not run out of money, since it is likely that our balance may go down, partly because new lifetime memberships will probably not be as common in the future.

Future ACAL locations:
It was confirmed that next year, ACAL 49 will be held at Michigan State University, March 22-25, 2018. ACAL 50 in 2019 will be held at the University of British Columbia. Volunteers for 2020 were elicited, and Rutgers, Florida and San Diego are considering it.

Miscellaneous ACAL conference discussions:
Can we advertise things like crash space on social media? Answer: this is usually done by the university.

From the floor, there was lively discussion of two topics connecting to poster presentations.
The first noted that there were gaps (because of no-shows) in the oral presentations in the schedule; what about the possibility of having poster sessions transferred as oral presentations to these gaps? One way of doing this would be to notify the highest-ranked poster presenters that they are also “alternates” for oral presentation.
The problem of the perceived lower status of posters compared to oral presentations, both for students and for faculty, was discussed. At some institutions, it may be harder to get conference funding for a poster presentation. Would the “alternate” idea above make a difference? Also, the possibility of a “best poster” or “best student poster” prize was raised. It was also pointed out that a better metric of quality than oral/poster was acceptance to the conference proceedings volume, a real publication.

Can the ACAL association give a travel award to international scholars (not students)? Or perhaps students as well?
Sharon Rose pointed out that we are limited by our incorporation in California as to who we can contribute to. Direct fellowships would be a problem. We can contribute to the sponsoring university, who then can give.

The question of rigor of refereeing for acceptance was raised. Variables like number of submissions and number of meeting rooms available make a huge difference. One idea floated was separate refereeing for students and non-students, but was widely dismissed.

Respectfully submitted,

Mike Cahill, ACAL Secretary


ACAL Financial Report – April 1, 2017
Sharon Rose, Treasurer

Carry forward:                                                                        $4606


Income                                                                                    $3530
$  400  1 lifetime membership
$  200  1 lifetime membership – Africa
$1005  67 x $15                                  143
$1900  76 x $25
$     25  donation

Expenses                                                                                $3745
$2500 to ALS
$1000 to UC Berkeley
$  200 in charges (PayPal, bank)
$     45 to State of California

Total revenue 2015-16                                                    – $   215

Balance on August 31, 2016 (end of fiscal year):     $4391


Income                                                                                    $4025
$1600              4 new lifetime memberships of $400
$1050              70 x $15                                  121
$1325              51 x $25 (+ 2 for next year = $50)
$     50             $50 in donation

Expenses                                                                                $1133
$1000              to Indiana University
$   133            PayPal charges

Total revenue 2016-17                                                            $2892

Current balance:                                                                      $7283