2021 meeting minutes

Minutes of ACAL 51-52 business meeting
(Held virtually “at” the University of Florida, April 10, 2021, with 61 in attendance, averaged over the hour)

Outgoing President Akin Akinlabi opened the meeting, reviewing the past year and the regrettable but necessary cancellation of ACAL51 at Rutgers. Because of this, with no Business Meeting of the Association last year, all of the Executive Committee (EC) officers continued for an additional year. He noted that Laura Downing as Vice President/President-Elect has been doing much of the work of the EC the last year, and at this point, Akin turned over the Presidency and chairing of the meeting to her.

Laura Downing first profusely thanked the University of Florida for this year’s first-ever virtual ACAL, which had many challenges.

Laura McPherson’s term as a member of the EC has expired, and many thanks for her service were noted in the Zoom chat box. Galen Sibanda was nominated as the new member, and was approved/elected by display of Zoom hands.

Normally this year a new Vice President/President-Elect would also be elected, but time constraints did not allow the EC to contact potential nominees, nor was one nominated from the floor. The Bylaws state that the President can appoint someone to fill a vacant position, and Laura Downing appointed Lee Bickmore to serve for one year. We will elect a new VP at next year’s business meeting to fill the remainder of the term. The EC asks for input for possible nominees, including self-nominations.

Akin Akinlabi was thanked for his service as first VP (3 years), its second President (4 years) and also as one of the founders of the ACAL association, besides being heavily involved in publications and other areas. Quite a few chat box comments also thanked him.

Future conference locations
In 2022, the ACAL53 conference will be hosted by the University of California at San Diego, with support from Pomona. Sharon Rose (UCSD) affirmed an online conference, but is not sure that an in-person conference will be possible or allowed by the University at that point. She also noted with regret the additional time difference for those in Africa. A hybrid conference, with both in-person and virtual parts, was suggested as a possibility, with several in the chat box supporting the idea.  The additional complexity was also noted. A virtual component would help those who have problems with visas or travel funding. Michael Diercks would be the main contact for Pomona. He mentioned the possibility of financial support from there.

No one specifically volunteered to host ACAL54 for 2023, but after entreating from several EC members to ask people’s home universities, there were some possibilities:

  • Katie Franich at University of Delaware – sometime in the next four years
  • Matthew Faytak – maybe at Buffalo
  • Chris Green – possibility of central and western New York universities working together [Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse (Green), perhaps Albany]
  • Claire Halpert – 3 or 4 years from now at Minnesota
  • Vicki Carstens – will explore with University of Connecticut

Those on the verge of tenure were warned against taking on the task of organizing the conference. It was also mentioned that potential new hosts would be helped by having financial data from previous ACALs available.

Proceedings volumes
ACAL 49: Galen Sibanda reported that COVID issues had delayed processing, but should be done soon.
ACAL 50: Akin Akinlabi noted that since the hosts at University of British Columbia said they couldn’t handle the proceedings, the ACAL EC took up the entire responsibility. Michael Diercks was crucial in helping on LaTeX formatting and setting up online instructions for beginners. The Proceedings are finished; publication should happen in the next month or two.

LaTeX training discussion was led by Michael Diercks, who headed a LaTeX Committee last year, as noted above. This format is required by our publisher, Language Science Press. Initial submissions for the Proceedings can be submitted in other formats, but some formats make a conversion to LaTeX easier. A tutorial on LaTeX was planned for ACAL51 at Rutgers, but with its cancellation, didn’t happen. A virtual tutorial, possibly multiple ones, is envisioned, after email input on possible interest. Those interested in helping others with LaTeX formatting are requested to join in and to email Michael Diercks,

ACAL51-52: An email with submission instructions will be sent out soon. The due date for initial submission will probably be early July or thereabouts. Though initial submissions need not be in LaTeX, final submissions must be.

[note from the Secretary: all Proceedings, including links to recent free online ones, are listed at https://acalafrica.org/history-and-past-conferences/ -mc]

Other CAL publication
[the following was not presented live due to lack of time, but is part of ACAL business – mc]

Language Science Press, besides our conference Proceedings, can publish other monographs in the Contemporary African Linguistics series (https://langsci-press.org/catalog/series/cal). Michael Marlo is the new series editor, and communicated the following:

CAL has published one monograph outside of the ACAL Proceedings – Bastian Persohn’s book on the Nyakyusa verb, which was recently published as a 2nd edition. We’ve had a few expressions of interest and fielded some questions about the possibility of publishing a few other monographs. We have one monograph that was submitted and has been through a round of review. And another monograph where we expect to receive the first submission in later this year.

Financial report
Sharon Rose, ACAL Treasurer, said “we’re flush” with money, largely due to a lack of spending the last two years, and six new Life memberships, We have a balance of $15,020.08. We haven’t given to the ALS or the annual ACAL meeting recently, but will in the future. The possibility of helping defray costs for people coming from Africa for ACAL was voiced, but with so many coming, this would involve difficult choices. A complete report is included below.

Respectfully submitted,

Mike Cahill
Secretary, Association of Contemporary African Linguistics

2020 ACAL Financial Report
April 10, 2021

Carry forward (August 31, 2019)
PayPal                                                         $7281.18
Bank                                                              2876.52

     1 lifetime membership x $400            $400.00
13 x $15 memberships                             195.00
13 x $25 memberships                             325.00
Amazon Smile                                                41.50
     $ PayPal charges                                         $37.12
$ CA Statement of information               20.00

Total revenue 2019-20                           $ 904.38

Balance on August 31, 2020 (end of fiscal year):
PayPal                                                           8484.06
Bank                                                              2898.02
     Total                                                          $11382.08    (includes cash deposit of $320 – ACAL 2019)

Sept. 1, 2020-April 10, 2021 – Summary for this year
      6 lifetime memberships x $400                                  $2400.00
1 African lifetime membership x $200.61                    200.61
45 x $25 memberships                                                      1125.00
54 $15 memberships                                                            810.00
Amazon Smile                                                                           27.70
      Total                                                                                       $4563.31

      Editing of ACAL50 Proceedings                                      $750.00
PayPal charges                                                                         175.31
      Total expenses                                                                        $925.31

Total income                                                                           $3638.00

Balance as of April 10, 2021                                           $15020.08

PayPal:            12,844.36
Bank:                 2,925.72
                                                                          15,770.08   (-$750 not yet paid out)