2022 meeting minutes

Minutes of ACAL 53 business meeting
 (Held virtually April 9, 2022, with an average of about 61 in attendance over the course of the meeting, and lasting 1 hour and 15 minutes.)

President Laura Downing opened the meeting, profusely thanking this year’s host Sharon Rose and her colleagues at the University of California San Diego for this year’s second-ever virtual ACAL, which has gone quite well, with “great talks, including the plenaries.”

Future conference locations
There is not a 100% certain location for ACAL 54 next year, but Vicki Carstens has been diligently exploring the possibility with the University of Connecticut. There is not financial backing at this point, but the biggest challenge is where people would stay. The local hotel is reluctant to block off rooms ahead of time. Suggestions from the floor included getting the University Dean to apply pressure and looking to other nearby towns for accommodation (with shuttle buses). Vicki will keep the ACAL EC (Executive Committee) informed of the situation.

For future ACALs, some possibilities:

  • Claire Halpert –Minnesota, though not next year
  • Matthew Faytak, Chris Green – in 2-3 years, possibility of central and western New York universities working together
  • Mike Marlo, Missouri, though need to check with Rebecca Grollemund, possibly combining with the Bantoid conference

There was considerable and lengthy discussion on the pros and cons of virtual conferences. Pros include the possibility of more people attending (since there’s no travel expense or visa issues), and the organizers don’t have to line up housing. The main cons were the lack of personal interactions (including meals and reception with dancing), and the chance to meet people one has only read about. San Diego did have the Discord platform for not only comments, but potential for some personal interactions, which some used, and some did not find helpful. The idea of hybrid conferences, with both virtual and in-person attendees, was discussed with mostly favorable reactions, though its additional complexity was also recognized. Matthew Faytak offered to form a hybrid technology committee to help out future ACAL hosts and ensure there can always be a hybrid component offered at ACAL. Somewhat of a consensus reached was that the university sponsoring ACAL should have the decision.

Review: with no Business Meeting of the Association in 2020 (the cancelled Rutgers ACAL), all of the Executive Committee (EC) officers had continued for an additional year.

James Essegbey’s term as a member of the EC has expired, and Harold Torrence was nominated as the new member. No others were nominated from the floor. A Zoom poll was used to tabulate votes, and Harold was elected with 100% of the people who voted.  

Normally a new Vice President/President-Elect would have been elected last year, but time constraints and lack of nominations meant no one was elected. The ACAL Bylaws state that the President can appoint someone to fill a vacant position, and Laura Downing appointed Lee Bickmore to fill in for one year. This year, James Essegbey was nominated, with no other nominations from the floor. He was elected by 100% of people who voted.  He will fill the remainder of the term – 2 years, after which he will assume the position of President.

Proceedings volumes
ACAL 49: Galen Sibanda (Michigan State) reported that LSP’s holiday break had delayed processing, but now has the final proofs. Five papers need small corrections. All authors will be sent their proofs soon for final confirmation.

ACAL 50’s Proceedings are published.

Brent Henderson (Florida) reported that by the end of the month, people should have revised their papers, then comes the formatting. Though initial submissions did not need not to be in LaTeX, final submissions must be. Michael Diercks and his team have set up a series of information and tutorials on this under https://acalafrica.org/annual-conference-proceedings/, and one person mentioned these had gotten him “80% of the way.” Diercks is quite willing to help people on an individual basis as well.

Sharon Rose noted that there will probably be a deadline of July 31 for submissions to ACAL53.

Financial report
Sharon Rose, ACAL Treasurer, reported a “healthy carryover” from last year, even though revenues were lower than usual. This is at least partially due to a large number of people who have decided on Life memberships previously. Also, we did not make a contribution to the ALS last year, but plan to do so this year. As usual, ACAL contributed $1000 to the sponsoring university (UC San Diego this year). There were a number of ACAL presenters who have not paid their (required) ACAL dues. It was recognized that the system for tracking these, as well as posting members on the ACAL web site, could use some automation, and Brent Henderson said he could potentially help on that. There are other opportunities for disbursal of funds, such as financial assistance for those coming from Africa to attend ACAL. Such possibilities will be discussed by the EC. The full report (the presence of which was a bit surprising, given Sharon Rose’s responsibilities in organizing ACAL this year) is below.

The meeting ended slightly later than planned, at 1:15, with many expressions of thanks to the ACAL team at San Diego.

Respectfully submitted,
Mike Cahill
Secretary, Association of Contemporary African Linguistics


2021 ACAL Financial Report
April 24, 2022

Carry forward (August 31, 2020)                                                    $11382.08


6 lifetime membership x $400                                             $2400.00
1 lifetime membership x $200                                                   200.61
55 x $15 memberships                                                               825.00
46 x $25 memberships                                                            1150.00
Amazon Smile                                                                                42.67

$ PayPal charges                                                                                  $177.35
$ Proceedings editing                                                                           750.00

Total revenue 2020-21                                                                $3690.93

Balance (August 31, 2021)                                                             $15073.01

Sept. 1, 2021-April 24, 2022 – Summary for this year                                          

1 lifetime memberships x $400                                        $400.00
33 x $25 memberships                                                           825.00
40 x $15 memberships                                                           600.00
Amazon Smile                                                                              24.38
Total                                                                                      $1849.38

Conference                                                                                1000.00
State of California                                                                        25.00
PayPal charges                                                                          128.57
Total expenses                                                                     $1153.57

Total revenue (2021-22)                                                       $ 695.81

Balance as of April 24, 2022                                                $15 768.82

prepared by Sharon Rose, Treasurer

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