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2002 Meeting

ACH Executive Council Minutes – 2002


1. Attending

John Bradley, Chuck Bush (Treasurer), Julia Flanders, Neil Fraistat, Michael Fraser (Acting-Secretary), Katherine Hayles, Bill Kretzschmar, John Lavagnino, Willard McCarty, Elli Mylonas, Wendell Piez, Allen Renear, Geoffrey Rockwell, Martha Nell Smith, Natasha Smith, John Unsworth (Chair)

2. Business of the meeting

The Executive Council was deemed to be quorate and was called to order.

Michael Fraser was designated Acting-Secretary for the purposes of this meeting.

No changes to the Agenda were proposed.

3. Opening remarks and resolutions

The Council warmly thanked the out-going President (Allen Renear) and Vice-President (Willard McCarty) for their contribution to the Association whilst in office. The Council also extended their gratitude to the out-going Council members (Lorna Hughes, Bill Kretzschmar).

The Chair welcomed new Council members (Neil Fraistat, Michael Fraser, Katherine Hayles, Natasha Smith) to the meeting.

The Council thanked the ALLC/ACH 2002 Programme Committee members (Lorna Hughes, Martha Nell Smith, Willard McCarty, Wendell Piez) for their contribution to the conference organisation.

4. Conference-related business

4.1. ALLC/ACH 2002

Wilhelm Ott, Chair of the Local Organising Committee, began by thanking the Council for accepting the invitation to hold ALLC/ACH 2002 at the University of Tübingen. He noted that there had been a total of 288 registrations with approximately 30 of those considered false. The registration fee was lower this year due to financial assistance from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, significant support from the University, and sponsorship from local companies and organisations. Conference accommodation, despite being hotel-based, was relatively inexpensive with 62 delegates opting for budget priced rooms and 67 opting for the mid-price range. The lower cost of the conference had been attained also by economies made on the supply of conference packs and printing. It was noted that the registrations comprised more non-members of the associations than members with 65 claiming the membership rate, 68 non-members, 33 students, 7 from Tübingen, 3 paying a daily rate and a small number of partners and guests. The attendees originated from the USA (60), Germany (45), UK (30), Canada (8), Hungary (8) and smaller numbers of delegates from Austria, France, Italy, Japan, Russia etc.

The Council noted that the differentials in conference fees held little incentive for non-members to join either association. It was observed that the Membership Committee may wish to investigate the feasibility of the price differential being equal to, or greater than, the cost of membership.

It was resolved that future conference attendance statistics be recorded as an aid to planning.

The Council congratulated and warmly thanked Wilhelm Ott on the splendid organisation of ALLC/ACH 2002.

4.2. ACH/ALLC 2003

Report submitted by Bill Kretzschmar.

As a supplement to the written report Bill Kretzschmar noted that the Conference Web page was available and the local committee had been formed. A brochure advertising the conference was circulated. The title of the conference, 'Web X', reflected the tenth anniversary of the World Wide Web. The conference dates had been fixed for 29 May to 2 June 2003 (Thurs-Mon). The conference would have exclusive use of the residential conference centre. The conference fee was likely to be $225.00 with a room-rate in the region of $60-70 per night. To allow for journey planning registration would open in October 2002.

It was noted that the 2003 ACH and ALLC meetings were proposed to be held in parallel. Some concern was expressed that certain members might be duty bound to attend both.

It was recommended that flyers for the conference be included within issues of CHum and LLC.

4.3. Charge to the Program Committee for ACH/ALLC 2003

The Council formally approved the appointment of Lorna Hughes (Chair), Martha Nell Smith, Ray Siemens, and Natasha Smith to the ACH/ALLC 2003 Programme Committee.

It was agreed that Martha Nell Smith would seek from Harold Short the names of the ALLC Programme Committee Members.

It was noted that the role of the Programme Committee comprises the soliciting and reviewing of papers, the compiling of abstracts, working closely with the local organiser (Bill Kretzschmar, an ex officio member of the Committee), and the finalizing of keynote speakers in liaison with the Local Organiser.

It was suggested that a persistent Programme Committee email forum be set up. John Unsworth agreed to take this forward.

It was observed that the publication of conference proceedings was easier to manage if such plans are known as early as possible.

It was recommended that the Programme Committee think 'large' concerning the choice of plenary speakers. It was noted that the choice of speakers often enabled the making of links with other appropriate organisations.

It was suggested that the Programme Committee might wish to consider offering one or more sessions to organisations whose remit bordered that of the ACH.

5. Association Business

5.1. Report on Finance and Membership

Report submitted by Chuck Bush.

Chuck reported the Association's balance as $16,804. The Association has 138 members. It was noted the membership included two life members and several holding 'Partner' memberships (effectively one copy of Chum delivered to one household). The largest item in the budget remains the subscription to Chum ($50 per subscription). Other significant items include NINCH membership, a budgeted $1,000 to Brown University; and a triennial contribution of $2,500 to the Busa Award fund.

The Council expressed its appreciation to Chuck for his continuing work as the Association's Treasurer.

5.2. Report of the Nominating Committee and appointment of new members

Report submitted by Geoffrey Rockwell.

Geoffrey noted that the rules concerning the timings for the election process may not have been followed to the letter. The Bylaws can be difficult to follow though the election itself has a natural rhythm.

Members of the Nominating Committee are normally appointed for two years. Geoffrey noted that he had now completed a two year term.

St�fan Sinclair was nominated and duly elected by the Council to the Nominating Committee, pending his acceptance.

Geoffrey Rockwell agreed to contact St�fan.

The Nominating Committee comprises: Julia Flanders, Matthew Kirschenbaum, Adrian Miles, and St�fan Sinclair.

It was agreed that the Nominating Committee may seek out and nominate individuals who are not members of the Association but members accepting the nomination should subsequently join the Association.

5.3 Report on the Busa Award

Report submitted by John Unsworth.

John reported that no nominations meeting the requirements of the award had been received. The deadline for nominations is 1 September 2002.

It was noted that Harold Short intends to make one nomination. Agreement to submit nominations were also received from John Lavagnino, Chuck Bush and Michael Fraser.

It was agreed that the proceedings of the Busa Award Committee would be minuted and the minutes reserved.

It was agreed that a schedule for the award will be produced.

It was noted that the Rockefeller Foundation, through the National Humanities Center, had committed to the annual Lyman Award for the next five years to honour an individual who has used information technology to break new ground in the humanities. It was agreed that the Busa Award honoured a life time's achievement in the use of computing within the arts and humanities rather than for any specific work and should be considered a joint expression by the ACH and ALLC.

5.4. Proposed revisions to the bylaws

Report submitted by John Unsworth

5.4.1. Legal status of Association

John noted that the Association currently has no independent legal status. The funds exist within a sub-account of Brigham Young University in Utah and its existence was probably equivalent to a student club. This situation should not be permitted to persist for longer than absolutely necessary. The Association should seek status as a legal entity. The Association should either be incorporated as a non-profit (501 (c)3) organisation or be a sponsored activity of some such organisation.

It was further noted that it cost the TEI $2,500 in legal fees to be incorporated as a non-profit organisation. It was noted that the obtaining of a business licence to exist as an exempt non-profit organisation in the State of Utah was not a complex procedure. The key issue would be resolve the distribution of funds should the Association be dissolved.

It was proposed that the Bylaws be brought into conformity with the requirements of a business licence in the State of Utah and that the approval of Brigham Young University be obtained without prejudice to subsequent proposals. The proposal was carried.

5.4.2 Revised Bylaws

It was agreed that John Unsworth would circulate a copy of the bylaws incorporating the revisions proposed in his report and that any further discussion relating to individual clauses would take place by email.

5.5. Conference abstracts reviewing system

Report submitted by John Bradley.

John proposed making available a conference abstract management system which might be hosted in Europe (KCL) and in North America (Virginia, 2003). Conference organisers would be encouraged, though not compelled, to make use of the system. A DTD or template would be available for those submitting proposals (but not compulsory to use).

It was proposed that for ACH/ALLC conferences the Association make available funds to employ student assistance to convert submitted abstracts to XML, up to a maximum of 100 hours. The proposal was carried.

5.6 ACH Publications

5.6.1. ACH Publications Group

Report submitted Bill Kretzschmar.

The report was accepted as written.

5.6.2.a. Report on Chum

Report submitted by Elli Mylonas

The report was accepted as written

5.6.2.b. ACH page in Chum

Report submitted by Julia Flanders.

It was agreed that the ACH page should be led by the President or Vice-President of the Association who might delegate the task as appropriate. It was noted that this page is an opportunity to address non-ACH readers.

5.6.3.a. Humanist

Report submitted by Willard McCarty.

John Unsworth agreed to advise Willard on the prevention of spam to the Humanist account.

5.6.3.b. ACH Newsletter

It was noted that the Association had published a newsletter in the past which consisted mainly of trip reports and conference announcements. It was agreed that an ACH Newsletter in electronic form should be revived. Content should be derived from Humanist as appropriate together with news etc. from members.

It was agreed that members should be alerted to the publication of the newsletter on the Web site via an email. It was agreed that an email announcement list should be derived from the membership database.

It was agreed that the $1,000 payable to Brown University should include the web-based newsletter. Publication of the newsletter would be announced to members by email, to Humanist, and possibly via an RSS newsfeed.

5.6.4. ACHWeb

Report submitted by John Unsworth.

It was reported that the Scholarly Technology Group was undergoing internal re-organisation which might result in a different organisation. As a consequence it was uncertain whether Brown University could continue to host ACHWeb. It was also noted that $1,000 does not cover the costs of maintaining the Web site when maintenance takes place.

It was noted that McMaster University was in a good position to host the site if necessary.

It was proposed in principle to hand over responsibility for hosting and maintaining the ACH Web site to McMaster. The proposal was carried.

The Council expressed its thanks to Brown University for its willingness to host and support the Web site.

6. Community Building, Related Organizations

In this part of the meeting, the Council had a general discussion based on all of the reports listed below, rather than proceeding item by item through those reports.

It was proposed that the standing report from the TEI be dropped from the agenda since the TEI is no longer a sponsored activity of the Association. The proposal was carried.

It was proposed that an increased financial contribution to NINCH be investigated. The proposal was carried.

6.1. Membership Workgroup

Report submitted by Julia Flanders.

It was noted that the Association's relatively low membership resulted in a low bank balance and thus a low level of activity which provided little incentive for new memberships.

It was noted that Chum is the official journal of the Association and as such is required to be part of the membership fee of the Association. Under the agreement with Kluwer the Association is, in theory, responsible for maintaining a membership of at least 200.

It was noted that Chum had been sold to Kluwer who held the rights, although a good relationship had been maintained between the Association and the Publisher. The agreement with Kluwer does, however, restrict the Association's ability to offer discount memberships.

It was noted that the choice before the Association is to either cease having Chum as the Association's journal or to re-negotiate the relationship with Kluwer

It was noted that publishing an alternative peer-reviewed electronic journal, for example, could cost the Association $15,000 per year.

It was observed that should the ACH re-negotiate the agreement with Kluwer with the result that the ACH receives a proportion of the profits and all individual subscriptions paid then the ACH should benefit from at least $40,000 per year.

It was suggested that should the ACH withdraw from its current agreement with Kluwer the Chum would devolve into a journal of computational linguistics.

It was observed that the relationship with OUP enjoyed by the ALLC meant that the ALLC was in a better position to establish an electronic imprint and that the ACH might wish to investigate the joint publication of an electronic imprint with the ALLC.

It was observed that an electronic publication might supplement and enhance the printed edition of Chum with the possibility of free content. In any case, it was observed that the ACH should be supporting policies incorporated in the Open Archives Initiative.

It was proposed that the President of the ACH be mandated to negotiate a new business relationship with Kluwer, and indicating to them that a failure to re-negotiate terms acceptable to the ACH may result in the ACH pursuing other options. This proposal was carried.

6.6. Proposed ALLC, ACH, NINCH, TEI joint exploratory committee

Report submitted by John Unsworth.

John reported that the Committee would be charged with looking at how the related organisations might work together more efficiently in terms of activities, publications etc. The missions of each organisation should be complementary rather than competing.

It was proposed that Geoffrey Rockwell be appointed the ACH negotiator on the Exploratory Committee. The proposal was carried.

Other reports received:

Report of the Employment/Professional Workgroup (Wendell Piez and Julia Flanders, Co-Chairs)

Report on MLA (John Lavagnino, ACH Liaison)

Report on TEI (John Unsworth)

Report on NINCH (John Unsworth)

7. Bids for ALLC/ACH 2004

It was noted that ALLC/ACH 2004 would take place in Göteborg, Sweden from 14-17 June with excursion days on 13th and 18th June. The registration fee was estimated to be $150-$200 with hotel accommodation around $80-$100 per night or student accommodation $200 for the duration.

It was observed that these dates might not favour travel from the US to Europe.

It was agreed that Bill Kretzschmar would communicate concerns about the timing of ALLC/ACH 2004 to the local organiser.

8. Actions, next meeting


The next meeting of the ACH Executive Council will take place on 29 May 2003 in Athens, Georgia.


Respectfully, John Unsworth (President) and Michael Fraser (Acting Secretary)

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