Minutes for the 2003 Annual Meeting of the ACH Executive Council
Thursday, May 29th, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Georgia Center, Room T/U)
- John Unsworth, President (JU)
- Julia Flanders, Vice-President (JF)
- Ray Siemens, Secretary (RS)
- Chuck Bush, Treasurer (CB)
- Wendell Piez (WP)
- Geoff Rockwell (GR)
- John Bradley (JB)
- John Lavagnino (JL)
- Natasha Smith (NS)
- Nancy Kushigian (NK)
- Willard McCarty (WM)
Regrets, or not in attendance:
- Neil Fraistat
- Matt Kirschenbaum
- Mike Fraser
- Kate Hayles
- Nancy Ide
- Martha Nell Smith
- Adrian Miles
- Elli Mylonas
- Lorna Hughes (LH)
- Bill Kretzschmar (BK)
- Jan-Gunnar Tingsell (JGT)
0. Called to order, 9:02 am (JU)
1. Selection of minute-taker (RS)
2. Review of Action Items from the minutes of the 2002 meeting (item 8):
- Martha Nell Smith to seek from Harold Short the names of the ALLC Programme Committee Members
- MNS not available to report (JU)
- John Unsworth to create persistent Programme Committee email forum
- carried forward from the previous year (JU)
- Geoffrey Rockwell to contact St�fan Sinclair concerning his election to the Nominating Committee;
- carried out (GR)
- ALL consider submitting nominations for Busa Award;
- noted some communication concerns, that have since been resolved (JU)
- John Unsworth to circulate a copy of the bylaws incorporating proposed revisions together with revisions necessary to ensure compliance with the requirements for obtaining a business licence;
- carried out (JU)
- John Bradley to make available abstracts management system for installation at Virginia;
- done (JB)
- John Unsworth agreed to advise Willard on the automated deletion of spam received by Humanist
- WM installed own spam detector, and this has worked well
- Publications Group to revive ACH newsletter;
- not carried out, as there are other things in the works (JU)
- Chuck Bush to investigate the ACH making an increased contribution to NINCH;
- point is now moot, with NINCH's current state (JU)
- John Unsworth to negotiate a new business relationship with Kluwer;
- discussions went poorly (JU)
- Bill Kretzschmar to communicate concerns about the timing of ALLC/ACH 2004 to the local organiser.
- BK not yet present
3. Report of ACH Officers
Report on the Revision of the Bylaws (JU)
- The bylaw changed passed by vote, with no major revision necessary for ADHO Ctte recommendations, but reconciliation with other groups will need address
Annual appointment of Secretary and Treasurer
- RS and CB were formally elected by the executive as Secretary and Treasurer, term indefinite though term length may be revised at a later date.
Review of Officers listed on the Web
- JU noted that the Immediate Past President's term has expired, ACH rep to TEI is no longer an operative category
Report on the ACH MLA sessions (John Lavagnino)
- Accepted by JU; in short, JL reported that everything has been going well. The sessions work well as a community builder for graduate students; it is a great opportunity for them. The panels for 2003 in San Diego are ready-to-go; and preparations are in place for 2004 in Philadelphia (?).
- Discussion: further ideas were discussed for outreach at the MLA. JU suggested a table at the publishers exhibit. JF agreed, suggesting also a presence via digital research. NS noted that that this could take place at different conferences too, perhaps with a brochure. JU agreed, suggesting that this could be handled by a press through its association with a larger organisation (AHDO), which could also hire a graphic designer for the purpose.
- Discussion of upcoming sessions: RS noted that he may be in San Diego and Philadelphia and could help with sessions; GR noted that Aimee Morrison might be interested in 2004, RS suggested the same for Patrick Finn.
Report on the 2003 Program Committee (Lorna Hughes)
- LH reported that this was her 4th year involved and that she has really enjoyed the time. She also thanked all involved in preparations for the 2003 conference. It was an interesting year, she reported, for reasons external to the conference, with those factors influencing intake and, perhaps, attendance, with some withdrawals. She thanked BK for all his help, especially with the plenary speakers. Exact numbers will be confirmed by LH at a later date, but she recalled receiving ca. 90 proposals, 20 of which were rejected or asked to become poster presentations, 10 were rejected outright. The affiliated organisations initiative has been very successful, and should be encouraged, and we should also decide how to handle this in the future; we could use a more formalised mechanism, like that which may be outlined in JF's conference organisation protocols, to ensure that experience passes from one ctte to the next and that outstanding issues and solutions can be resolved effectively.
- Discussion: JU noted that this could be comprised of past program ctte chairs. This was agreed generally, with it being suggested that CB be standing secretary to the ctte. LH noted this to be a good idea, but would also involved an enormous amount of work and could possibly be handled under a larger organisation, such as proposed by ADHO, with formalised support mechanism
- LH continued, re-emphasising the need for protocols and drawing attention to the fact that we should consider establishing a target for the number of papers at conferences.
- Discussion: JU noted the pragmatics of making formal commitments for space well in advance of the cfp, and that we may wish to rethink status of poster sessions (they are not a booby prize but, rather, a venue well-suited to certain types of presentations. GR WP and JU discussed, noting that we might consider catching proposals that would best be be posters before the review process. WM agreed, suggesting that we might distinguish more properly in advance what constitutes a poster session. WP urged a change status to reflect the work involved. GR suggested that we consider the format of the juried exhibition. JU noted that we should make such an announcement and carry out some recruitment of top-notch posters, and sponsors, for the next conference.
- Action (JU): the program ctte is charged to address this, and this should be addressed also in conference protocols.
- Action (JU): we will also start accumulating statistics as a regular feature of the outgoing program ctte chair's report
- LH agrees that she will talk to previous program ctte chairs about stats, and also notes the need for more reviewers for proposals to the conference program.
- WM offered to post something to humanist; LH noted that the invitation to the 2003 proceedings have been sent out.
Report on ACH/ALLC 2003 (Bill Kretzschmar)
- BK noted external factors for the challenges and decline in numbers for this year's organisers. Registration was to ca. 160, and there was less local sponsorship as well, which made conference fees a bit higher than anticipated. The workshop schedule was ambitious, and had to be slightly restricted; so, too, with the second excursion. BK also noted that the facility is excellent (we agreed), and positive comments had already been received. The local organising ctte was excellent too, as were the doctoral assistants Eric Rochester (abstracts book), Laura Magrath (website and logo designer), Alexis Hart (volunteer coordinator), and Anne Becker (centre conference organiser) and BK's assistant, too. He noted the wireless access, which would prove convenient.
- JU asked what the EC could do to help out for the remainder of the conference. BK noted that everything was in place.
- BK drew our attention to the fact that there would be a conference deficit, but this promised to be addressed locally, by a VP.
- WM asked if numbers were down because of political reasons? BK answered yes, but also noted good European attendance — even though some politically-motivated letters were received and travel money was down considerably, across the US and beyond. BK also noted that we were able to offer registration waivers to some eastern European participants.
- We all thanked LH and BK. (Very well done!)
Report on ALLC/ACH 2004 (Jan-Gunnar Tingsell)
- JGT noted that it is an honour to host ACH/ALLC in 2004, at G�teborg University. Attendees should be prepared for varied weather, he noted, and continued to say that everything is in place well, and that the faculty, generally, is very interested in our deliberations. JGT discussed this interest further, noting also that there was good local support as well (including several academic departments plus the library). The dates will be Friday June 11 to Wednesday June 16, and the schedule will be based on last year's preliminary documents. There will be a welcome reception at city hall on the Friday, a banquet Saturday, and a Sunday excursion. Local research will be highlighted during poster sessions. There will be family-oriented activities as well.
- Discussion: Everyone expressed thanks and commented on the detail and thoughtfulness of the preparations. CB asked about brochures and website. Brochures were distributed by JGT (and noted to be excellent); the website is www.hum.gu.se/allcach2004/. WM asked what could we do to help; JGT answered that we can help distribute brochures. WM also asked it universities throughout Scandinavia could be targeted.
Report on the Program Committee for ALLC/ACH 2004 (Natasha Smith)
- NS reported that deliberations were well underway. Laslo H is chair, and we should look for a cfp earlier this year, maybe the same for 2005 as well; this will extend both the period for preparations and the review period. The conference theme is "Computing and Multilingual, Multicultural Heritage".
- Discussion: LH and NS iterated the necessity of working on aspects of the review process, toward more detailed comment and quicker turnaround; NS GR LH JF JU and JB discussed details associated with making the system match current concerns, and also the timeline for reviewers (avoiding X-mas as as the time for reviews to be carried out). It was agreed that the program ctte will integrate with JB, suggesting revisions that will mostly be applicable for the 2005 conference, with a cfp in March or so. JU noted that program cttes have been getting started earlier in recent years, and this is important for several reasons
- Action (JU): current and future program cttes should have a schedule posted on the web and included this schedule in the automated reply to those who submit proposals to the conference. Also, the program ctte should gear up very soon after appointment.
- Discussion: JU suggested using the last 2 year's acceptance list as the basis for reviewers for the year. LH added that she's tracked those who have reviewed for this year, with updated interests, and details of those who we might wish to bring forward to next year's reviewers. NS notes concerns associated with overlap with other related conferences in the area;
- Action (JU): when possible, we will consult schedules of related organisations, when possible, in the future (specifically with an eye to the 2005 dates, which will soon be under discussion). The hosting ctte and program ctte will be contacted about 2004 arrangements, and how they worked in this regard.
Report on Abstracts Management System (John Bradley)
- JB notes that it is working fine, and will take suggestions about ways in which it could be made more useful
Report on Finances (Chuck Bush)
- CB reported a balance of $17,648.50 USD, which has been reconciled; there are no known outstanding debts, though mention was made of the possibility that Brown may bill for website hosting. ACH has 129 members of record, and all members of EC are accounted for, nearly all paid up; Kluwer has indicated that they will raise rates, a cost that will have to be passed on to members.
- JU noted that other plans may necessarily have financial implications, esp. related to those members who have paid well in advance.
- JU noted the he and CB worked together to get proper ACH considered a 'sanctioned activity' of BYU (but did not push tax exempt status)
- JU thanked CB, and this was echoed by the ctte.
Report on Membership (Julia Flanders)
- JU received JF's report.
- JF notes that, when the ctte was formed, it was charged with exploring issues like low membership, high dues, low membership benefits, the need to cultivate membership &c. These issues had been addressed well in past years, and the ctte feels that the work has been done well. The ctte is also willing to accept new mission, should it be the wish of the EC. JF also pointed out that they asked for a direct link to the membership function from ACH home page, for those who found the other link difficult to locate.
- Discussion: NS asked about institutional membership, as well as individual membership; JU responded that ALLC provides a good model for this, and we may discuss after the ADHO ctte report is considered. NS WP JF and JU commented on the financial benefits, and NK asked about how institutional subscriptions to CHUM worked; GR asked if we would target institutions with new graduate programs for institutional memberships. JU suggested we consider packaging and promoting those things that we already do for our own and other audiences, as a membership benefit; he noted also that there may be a future for the ctte if we follow these and other opportunities.
- JU, and the EC, appreciated the work that's been done.
Report of the Nominating Committee (Julia Flanders)
- Report received by JU.
- JU noted that it was the duty of the secretary to contact administrator of the listerv, &c., to ensure that the new ctte is properly represented; RS noted that the past year's problem — with two new members of the ctte not receiving e-mails from the list — was technological; JF added that we may wish to review listerv updating after each election;
- JF continued that we should consider documenting the ctte timetable and the set of assumptions that the current ctte operated under
- Action (JU): ask Matt, the past chair, to carry this out, deliver it to JU to put on the website.
- GR noted that the secretary's response to those not elected could be more encouraging.
- Action (RS): will post form response letters for EC discussion and emendation.
Report of the Employment Committee (Wendell Piez)
- WP mentioned that the jobs database has been up and running for 18 months, is being used, and is working well. There is a phase of vetting, and entries into the DB are also tagged with an expiration date (after which they become invisible).
- Discussion: JU JB GR concluded that it would be useful if there could be a way to see older job ads, perhaps as part of a library; JF noted that 50 jobs or so have come up since last April, at a rate of a few each month. WM asked if the facts — # of jobs, &c. — be sent to HUMANIST for circulation. JU asked where the DB resides; WP JB answered that it lives at Kings C. WM highlighted the UWaterloo Canada Research Chair; WM, GR, and RS discussed other opportunities that are available or would soon become available.
- WP noted that mentoring is going well and is sustainable. WP noted that JF has been coordinating mentoring. JU asked for volunteers, and RS NK volunteered to work with the ctte.
- Action (JU): JU MK and LH will be rotated off the ctte, with RS and NK rotated on.
Report on the Busa Award (Willard McCarty)
- WM noted that deliberations had slowed down, unavoidably. There are now 10 nominees, some carried forward from the previous year. Now, there is need to discuss reconstituting the ctte and moving forward to selection.
- Discussion: JU WM. WM noted the detail and work required even for a nomination; the process may require revision, as it has proved difficult to maintain; this is especially a concern, as the process may deter nominators. This was discussed further by WM, JF, GR, and JL. CB asked about a timetable for deliberation, and contact with the award recipient? JU and WM answered that the award would be presented in Sweden and, so, the announcement would ideally take place at this year's conference; JU reinforced that time is of the essence, as advance notice is needed for those who receive the award to make plans to attend
- Action (JU): these concerns should be raised to the award ctte, and JU will have discussion with the ALLC component towards addressing these concerns (he also suggested looking toward the Lyman process).
- GR suggested a two stage process, with lower requirements at outset for the nominator and then, after culling initial nominations, the nominees could be asked to submit a dossier (incl. CV and examples of their work) to the ctte.
Report on the ACH Web Site (Elli Mylonas)
- Elli was not available.
Report on CHUM (Elli Mylonas)
- Elli was not available.
Report on Humanist (Willard McCarty)
- JU received the report, which is posted online; see Humanists' Membership statistics.
- Further to Willard's presentation of the report, JU mentioned that archive should be able to continue at UVa when he leaves. WM some archiving features could be addressed (i.e. multilingual concerns); JU WP others agree that we should look at these; WP JB discuss; GR asked if JU JB WP could address this issue. WM offers precise details of multilingual handling concern.
- Action (JU): JU will look at this.
12-1 Lunch, Savannah Room
4. Bids for ACH/ALLC 2005 (Ray Siemens)
- RA made a presentation, generally, on the merits of UVictoria as a host to ACH/ALLC 2005.
- WM noted that the location would also provide good benefit to the humanities computing community, who could learn directly about some of the excellent work in areas that UVic is known for, especially those projects in and around first nations' language and oral culture; other projects were discussed as well.
- Motion (GR) to accept U Victoria, providing that discussed details are forthcoming soon. Seconded (WM). Passed unanimously.
5. Selection of and charge to the Program Committee for ACH/ALLC 2005 (John Unsworth)
- JU discussed the makeup of ctte; ideally, it should be comprised of 3 ACH representatives and a chair, plus ALLC representatives. For 2004, it was noted that the ctte consisted of Alex Bia, Susan Schreibman, Stefan Sinclair, and NS.
- GR JF JU CB discussed needs of ctte members, including bilingual representation, for 2005; nominated were Susan S (CB), Stefan S (NS), David Gants (WM), Neil Fraistat (GR), Perry Willett (JU JF), Joe Jones (RS GR), Alex Bia.
Action (JU): following further discussion, we agreed that JU would contact people in the order below:
Alex B (Chair)
If Alex Bia was unable to be chair, then Susan S and Neil F, respectively, would be asked. Others to be invited to the ctte included David Gants, Perry Willett, and Stefan Sinclair (providing it wasn't a tenure year for him).
6. Selection of and charge to the Nominating Committee for the 2003 elections
- JU discussed generally the concerns of this committee, noting that we will need three members and a chair (plus himself, ex-officio); JF reminded us that we are especially looking for members of the EC who will not be running for the office involved
- Rotating off the EC are GR, WP, and Matt K.
- GR NS CB NK volunteered for this ctte, with GR as chair; this was accepted unanimously by the EC.
- Suggested as nominees were: Stefan Sinclair, JL, David Gants, Perry Willet, JF, Andrew Mactavish, Alex Bia, Steve Ramsay, Daniel Pitti, Tom Horton, Chris Rotolla, Susan Schreibman, Raphael Alvarado, Stan Katz, Pat Clements, WP, Lorna Hughes, Susan Brown. Aimee Morrison and Carolyn Guertin, it was urged, should be considered for other ctte work in the future.
7. Presentation (JU) and Discussion of ADHO Recommendations
- JU reviewed the recommendations, and discussion ensued surrounding clarification of membership and subscription to LLC, by WP GR JU JF NK. It was agreed that the sticking point of the current arrangement with CHUM is that we don't benefit from subscriptions, while ALLC owns their journal; with the new agreement, it was asked, will we own part of LLC? WP suggested, and JU agreed, that ADHO allows us an exit from CHUM and access to the benefits of LLC. NS asked if we are losing a more general thematic publication mandate with the loss of CHUM? GR noted that with ADHO we are moving toward a model that gives us more publication options, online publications, working papers, &c. NS noted that the breadth of the recommendations is enormous. JF responded that implementation will be taken in stages; JU agreed, and noted that LLC is up for renewal with OUP, and JU GR related further publication venues that will be brought in. JU noted that the subscription rate to CHUM for an institution is $442, and for individuals it is $167; the special rate for ACH members is $50 (Kluwer is planning to raise; min $5, JU CB). NK noted that libraries are cancelling their institutional subscriptions; JF responded that institutional rates are a bonus to Kluwer, but don't benefit ACH directly, while ALLC benefits considerably from such subscriptions (JU noted that LLC subscription rates are $235 for a library, $84 for an individual, $45 for a student). GR noted the danger that CHUM might not survive the library cutbacks, and that ALLC faces a potential loss in revenue as well. NK supported the idea of online journal, free or inexpensive. WP noted that we have little control of CHUM's destiny, even as its organisation sponsor. JU WM discussed the merits and otherwise of print journals; WP suggested that we could design something with all these benefits. JU reminded us of last year's publications ctte survey, which returned the observation that a print journal was desired. WM and others, noted that it was not a choice between print and electronic publication that we faced.
- GR noted that we're all really in agreement that the ADHO proposal gives us flexibility with regard to publication strategy. NK warned against moving too quickly into new contracts with print publishers; JU answered that the ACH EC would be involved in whatever LLC is involved in. General discussion then took place noting the benefits of ADHO publication integration. JB mentioned that he enjoys receiving both CHUM and LLC, and asks what authors' concerns might be with the loss of the ACH affiliation with CHUM. JU answered, outlining Kluwer's lack of response to our inquiries about the connection of ACH and Kluwer; JL also observed that ACH members don't seem to be using CHUM as much as they could.
- CB imagined: why doesn't ALLC just buy us out, and ACH disband as an organisation; in large part the geographic distinction has blurred. JF noted that there are distinctions between communities that are more than geographic, and with the ADHO proposal they would be solely geographic — 'locality', she mentioned, is very important to have represented at the same time as we move toward 'globality'. Discussion turned to organisation models and operation. GR suggested that we take the changes one step at a time, followed by JU's assertion that the disparity between the two organisations is also reflected in the organisational bylaws of ACH and ALLC, and likely neither would like to adopt the structures of the other. WM noted that, from the perspective of Europe, the communities are relatively distinct; CB JU noted overlap reflected in CHUM and LLC subscriptions (ca. 20%), and both WM and JU noted that the names of the journals reflect states of the field at its origins, not today. JB discussed the effort put into organisations, asking about the effort involved in putting into place an additional level of administration; JU answered that this needs to be addressed, though the intent is to reduce administrative infrastructure, and GR provided concrete examples, as did JU and others.
- JB asked what is better done by us than it might be done by ADHO; JU answered that the major function of regional organisations would be representing the interests and values of their members; JF added that this would include the management of things like the multilingualism, recruiting, conferences. WP added that the benefits of scaling are important; JU furthered this, noting that a super-structure organisation would assist those in smaller population bases to establish their own, related groups. GR noted that groups like COCH/COSH may not wish to have a total level of affiliation; JU responded there should be various levels of engagement. To this, GR proposed 'partners/members' and 'affiliates', removing the world 'regional'; JU and GR asked questions about C/C (journal issue bracketed), discussion ensues generally.
- JU summarised the sentiment that there are practical benefits to a regional model, such that there should be assurances that regional organisations should be non-duplicative, but also that there should be provision for groups that are not regional in nature perhaps those with more narrow (i.e. thematic; GR) focus; WM urged that flexibility in membership to the larger group will aid those who are thinking of joining a larger community; JU noted that level of flexibility are possible.
- RS suggested that, in due course, the details of implementation will reveal the best of the recommendations.
- JF requested straw poll to determine if there are there obstacles to us voting to accept the ADHO recommendations; she noted that votes cast by those note able to be at the meeting were predominantly positive, but with some reservations about focus on the nature of the word "region". GR asked for clarification on what we're voting on; JU responded that we're voting on endorsing this proposal to move this process ahead, and that at this stage there is nothing that requires the direct input of the membership. GR asked, then if we are voting, then, to go to the next stage, part of which might involve member consultation; JU answered that part of what we should discuss is what should be put to vote at this stage; JF reiterated that we're voting on advancing the process in principle to the next stage, though there could be consultation with members after this point; GR noted that the separation from CHUM is the only issue that might require direct feedback, and that we should consider sending the recommendations, and something outlining the context of the recommendations, out in e-mail and solicit responses; GR asked if JU could publish an ACH opinion piece on this in CHUM.
- Motion (JU, GR seconded): that we  accept the recommendations, not tied to the name;  encourage the process to move to the next stage, providing that [2a] the concerns discussed (esp. types of membership, non-duplicative and regional and affiliations should be open to any other organisation, including regional) are taken into account and [2b] that the membership is made aware of the process (via circulation of the recommendations and their context) and given the opportunity to respond. Passed, unanimously.
- Futher discussion: GR asked about ways to know more about the ALLC reaction to the ADHO document; JU as someone who will, as he has in the past, act as 'dickerer' on behalf of ACH. JU invited the exec to be at ALLC panel session and ALLC general meeting that would follow, as well as the ACH panel session and the following general meeting. JF asked if we should be ambassadors to the process? JU responded 'yes', especially with regard to discussing benefits: revenue, multilingualism, publication flexibility. JU asked if there are any specific concerns in the 11 recommendations that might be raised and discussed further? JF asked about the wording of recommendation 4, as it is possibly contradictory about the way in which one takes out membership; JU answered, and urged that this would be examined.
8. Meeting adjournment, 4:15 pm.
- Move to adjourn (GR), seconded (JF); passed.