2019 meeting minutes

2019 Minutes of ACAL Business Meeting
The Business Meeting for ACAL 50 was held May 25 at University of British Columbia, from 12:20-1:20 p.m., with 39 people in attendance and ACAL association President Akinbiyi Akinlabi chairing.
The host organizers at the University of British Columbia were thanked for putting on ACAL50.

The term of Jonathan Choti as a member of the ACAL Executive Committee (EC) expired this year. Galen Sibanda and Kathryn Franich were nominated, and Kathryn Franich (University of Delaware) was elected for a three-year term.

Conference Proceedings
Berkeley (ACAL 47, 2016) has all but 5 articles pre-published and available online, and the others will be done soon.

Indiana (ACAL48, 2017) papers will be sent to the publishers next week and expect to be published shortly.

Michigan State (ACAL49, 2018) reports that some reviews still have not come back, and they will make their selections of papers to be published very soon.

A long discussion was held on the challenges of publishing in LaTeX with Language Science Press (LSP). An email from Peter Jenks (Berkeley) detailed the challenges of this, and suggested that the LSP connection was unsustainable long-term. Samson Lotven (Indiana) said with them, the conversion itself wasn’t the biggest headache, but the cleanup after conversion is very time consuming. (Berkeley did have twice as many papers as Indiana.) 50% of the accepted papers for Indiana came in in Word format, and they had funding to pay people to convert to LaTeX. Papers were submitted (in increasing difficulty of processing) in LaTeX, Word following the template, and Word not following the template. LSP can and does help, but only if they’re asked.

Sharon Rose mentioned that the AMP conference published with LSA, with a charge. Submissions are in Word, and are converted to PDFs. Two downsides are that there is no physical book, and the interface is terrible. Also, there’s some question if LSA could or would handle a Canadian submission.

Other ideas and suggestions related to publications that were mentioned:

  • Typesetting tone papers is difficult. We could charge authors for typesetting (with possible differential charges for different groups). The ACAL organization could help with author charges. This was not received positively.
  • Assuming 10 hours work to convert one paper to LaTeX, this would be approximately $200 per paper, and 20 papers would cost $4000. Some universities have money for “subvention” (targeted financial assistance).
  • Every ACAL, have a LaTeX conversion tutorial, OR more generally, “How to publish with ACAL” This seems a real possibility, though finding time in the schedule could be a challenge.
  • Have an ACAL-specific template, with trees, autosegmental representations, tables, etc.  A real possibility.
  • Put sample papers on the ACAL website – a possibility
  • ACAL organization could give more money to the hosting university to help with conversion costs (to be considered by the ACAL EC).

A committee to consider and help with LaTeX matters was proposed. Michael Marlo could possibly chair, with Michael Diercks, Hazel Mitchley, Peter Jenks, and Matthew Faytak on it.

The upshot is that we will continue with LSP for this 50th ACAL, but investigate LSA possibilities.

Future ACAL locations
2020 – ACAL51 will be at Rutgers, 21-24 May, Thursday-Sunday. Six rooms are reserved for possible parallel sessions. It’s scheduled after graduation, because of more hotel space available. Thursday may be reserved for workshops.

2021 – ACAL52 will be at the University of Florida.

2022 – offer of the University of California at San Diego (possibly in partnership with Pomona)

Later ACALs – possibly Delaware.

The possibility of an African venue was briefly mentioned, with little response.

Having the conference in May, as in 2019 and 2020, is awkward for universities on a quarter system, since they are forced to miss a few days of class. (ACAL has often met during spring break in the past – mc.)

Visas for ACAL
From the floor it was brought up that Nigerians and others are having problems with visas. (There was only one from Nigeria at ACAL this year.) The problem is largely in timing of sending out acceptance letters, and that it often takes months to process a visa. (One Nigerian at WOCAL told me – Cahill – that we should allow 4-5 months. Indiana had only a 2-month lead time, but there were not as many problems at that time.) The host university needs to get out acceptance letters quickly. One suggestion was that the host university will ask submitters if they need more time, and if they do, process those applications first.

Retiree dues rate
It was proposed, and approved by voice vote, that retirees would pay the reduced ACAL dues rate that students and Africa-centered people pay. It was also suggested that the host university adopt a similar position for conference fees, though the ACAL organization cannot legislate this.

 Financial report – Sharon Rose, Treasurer
The ACAL association has a healthy balance right now, due partly to us not having contributed to the African Linguistics School (ALS) for two years (it occurs every 2 or 3 years). The ACAL EC decided to increase our contribution from $2500 to $3000 for the next ALS. Also, several people joined as Life members (probably not sustainable long-term). One new item was that ACAL is now a featured organization on Amazon Smile, and we received almost $100 from that (see below). It is possible that we could increase our contribution to the ACAL host university, which the EC will consider.

Respectfully submitted,

Mike Cahill, ACAL Secretary

2018 ACAL Financial Report – May 21, 2019 (prior to conference)
Sharon Rose, Treasurer

Carry forward (August 31, 2017)                                           $7236.51

Summary for 2017-18
    Income                                                                                    $3350
$  800  2 lifetime membership x $400
$  975  65 x $15
$1575  63 x $25

    Expenses                                                                                $1138.69
$1000 to MSU for conference
$  118.69 in charges (PayPal)
$     20 to State of California (Statement of Information)

Total revenue 2017-18                                                           $2211.31

Balance on August 31, 2018 (end of fiscal year):                  $9447.82
PayPal                         7384.81
Bank                            2063.01

Sept. 1, 2018-May 21, 2019 – Summary for this year
    Income                                                                                    $3523.51
$2000              5 lifetime memberships x $400
$  525              35 x $15
$  825              33 x $25
$    98.51         Amazon Smile

    Expenses                                                                                $1135.71
$1000              to UBC for conference
$ 135.71          PayPal charges

Total revenue 2018-19                                                            $2387.80

Current balance:                                                                   $11,835.62