2018 meeting minutes

2018 minutes of business meeting

The Business Meeting for ACAL 49 was held March 24 at Michigan State University, from 5:10-6:00 p.m., with 49 people in attendance and ACAL President Akinbiyi Akinlabi chairing.

Michael Marlo was thanked for his 3-year term on the ACAL Executive Committee (EC). James Essegbey was nominated to replace him for a 3-year term on the EC, and was elected by acclamation.

Conference Proceedings:
ACAL Vice President Laura Downing presented information on proceedings in process, with input from representatives of Berkeley, Indiana, and Michigan State.

ACAL 45 proceedings (Kansas, 2014) is the first ACAL proceedings to be published by Language Science Press (LSP), and papers were initially submitted in the format of our previous publisher. They have been running behind schedule, but report they are in the very last stages, and the proceedings should be out within a month.

ACAL 46 proceedings (Oregon) were published a little over a year ago.

ACAL 47 proceedings (Berkeley) are underway, with 36 papers in the last proofreading stages with LSP, and will be available after the proofreaders are done. An appeal was made for crowdsourcing proofreading volunteers for this volume earlier this month, with good response.

ACAL 48 proceedings (Indiana) are in the LaTeX conversion process for their 19-20 papers. A paid grad student should be done with this stage by the end of the semester.

A call for submissions for ACAL 49 (Michigan State) proceedings will go out soon, with an estimated timeline of 2 months for initial submission (LaTeX will not be required at that point).

The challenge of the LSP LaTeX format was brought up. LSP also has a Word template that people can use to submit in and if followed well, can easily be converted to LaTeX. It was proposed that the ACAL association web site have links to the template.

It was suggested that ACAL members be encouraged to volunteer as crowdsourcing proofreaders for LSP, to help speed the editorial process.

Future ACAL locations:
It was confirmed that in 2019, ACAL 50 will be held at the University of British Columbia. Dates will be approximately May 15-20. Rose-Marie DeChaine of UBC mentioned the possibility of other, thematic conferences on either side of these dates, e.g. dealing with diversity of various sorts. She asked people to contact her if they have ideas. She also noted that visas to Canada were not as easy to get as in past years, and urged people to start that process early.

Possible future hosts were mentioned for the next several years. None of these are firm commitments, but possibilities are Rutgers for ACAL 51, San Diego/Pomona for ACAL 52, Minnesota for ACAL 53 or 54, Florida for ACAL 54 or 55, and Missouri in about 6 years.

Honorary one-year memberships
The EC of ACAL announced that one-year memberships would be provided to faculty host organizers, as a token of appreciation for their work on the conference. The point was brought up that graduate students also do a lot of work for the conference, and are equally deserving. (One student pointed out that $15 was not a huge amount to begin with.) An alternate suggestion was that the ACAL association award a certain number of free memberships to the host university, to be divided as the university decides. The topic will go back to the EC for further deliberation.

Secretary Mike Cahill, in the absence of Sharon Rose, Treasurer, passed on some highlights of her report (see full report at the bottom), and noted some things that we spent money for. Two years ago, we gave $2500 to the African Language School, the latter being mentioned specifically in our articles of incorporation in California. ACAL is healthy financially.

The point was made from the floor that PayPal does not accept payments from Ghana, and we were urged to find an alternate online payment option for those located there. Also noted was that noting the specific restriction for Ghana on ACAL’s web site reflects poorly on that country, and a more general wording (“certain countries”) might be better. [Note: after the meeting, it was pointed out that there are at least 3 other African countries that PayPal does not service.]

Also brought up from the floor: with a large number of students coming to ACAL from Africa, is there some way ACAL could help with finances for them? A partial answer: the ACAL as an association cannot give money to private individuals, but there may be a chance we could increase our donation to the sponsoring university, who could then do as they wish. The EC can explore some options.

Web matters:
Either from the floor or from EC deliberations, the following changes have been suggested to the ACAL web site:

  • As mentioned, an alternate method of online payments from Ghana
  • A button to donate to ACAL (apart from membership)
  • A way to renew membership (with payment) without having to go through the entire questionnaire as if you’re registering for the first time.
  • A link to the LSP Word template
  • Record of ACAL awards should be kept on the ACAL site (see “New Awards” below).

A “Guide to Running an ACAL Conference,” after a few years of talking about it, will be produced, with the ACAL Secretary heading the project and getting input from the last few hosts. To be of maximum use to the 2019 host, it should be done in the next few months. A separate Google Doc may be a more appropriate location than the ACAL website.

New Awards
The EC has decided on some ACAL awards:

  • The “Lifetime Achievement Award” honors someone who has contributed to ACAL significantly over a number of years, and has a recognized body of achievement. The first recipient is Dr. Eyamba Bokamba, of the University of Illinois, who has been an integral part of ACAL conferences for many years, and was the main impetus for forming an ACAL association. He was unfortunately not at this conference; a framed certificate of appreciation will be mailed to him by the ACAL President.
  • The “Best Student Abstract” award will be started next year, and determined by the host university.
  • A “Best Dissertation” award was put forth as a possibility, but has not been settled yet.

Miscellaneous ACAL conference discussions:
A few suggestions were made from the floor, but since these all related to the agenda topics above, they have been combined with them.

Respectfully submitted,

Mike Cahill, ACAL Secretary


ACAL Financial Report — March 20 2018 (prior to conference)
Sharon Rose

 Carry forward from 2016:                                                   4351.70

 2016‐2017 (Sept. 1 2016‐ Aug. 31 2017)                                                      

Income                                                                                    $4125.00
$1600              new lifetime memberships of $400
$1065              71 x $15
$1425              57 x $25
$50                  $50 in donation

Expenses                                                                                $1240.19
$1000              to Indiana University for ACAL
$75                  Reviewer for LSP book in ACAL series
$5.99               bank charges (for payment to reviewer)
$22.00             bank charges
$137.20           PayPal charges

Total revenue 2016‐17                                                            $2884.81

Balance on August 31, 2017 (end of fiscal year):               $7236.51

2017‐18 (Sept. 1 2017 ‐ March 20 2018)                                                       

Income                                                                                    $2145
$400                1 new lifetime membership
$495                33 x $15
$1250              50 x $25

Expenses                                                                                $1133
$1000              to MSU for ACAL
$90                  PayPal charges
$20                  Annual California registration fee

Total revenue 2017‐18 as of March 20, 2018                         $1032

Balance on March 20, 2018                                                  $8268.51

Balance on August 31, 2018 (end of fiscal year):                  TBD