• 3/16/2000; ratified
  • 10/5/2000 6/01/02; amended election procedure ratified
  • 10/30/05; positions of past-secretary and past-treasurer ratified
  • 01/01/13; membership section (III) item 5 amended


Association for Computational Linguistics


The purposes of the Association are:

  1. To promote research and development activities in the field of computational linguistics.
  2. To promote cooperation and information exchange among related professional and technical societies.
  3. To represent computational linguistics to foundations and government agencies worldwide.
  4. To provide information on computational linguistics to the general public.


  1. Membership is open to any person with an interest in computational linguistics.
  2. All members receive the regular publications of the Association (including the Association’s journal). All members may submit papers for presentation at meetings of the Association. All members may participate in the Annual Business Meetings of the Association, may vote in Association elections, and may hold office in the Association.
  3. There are four main classes of membership: regular, student, retired, and joint members. Student, retired, and joint members are eligible for reduced dues rates. To qualify for the student rate, a person must be taking a full-time program of courses and not earning a regular income. However, students who do not qualify for the student rate, but who are enrolled at a university in a degree program and taking some classes, may still be eligible to participate in student activities. Members who are retired and no longer earning a regular income are eligible for a reduced retired dues rate. Couples who have the same mailing address may become joint members and pay less than twice the full rate for their class; if they do not belong to the same class, they pay at the rate appropriate for the higher class. Joint members will receive only one set of publications, but each will be eligible for all other member benefits.
  4. Dues for each calendar year are payable upon receipt of a dues statement. Members in arrears will be dropped from membership.
  5. Distinguished scholars in the field may be elected Fellows of the Association upon recommendation by the Nominating Committee to the Executive Committee. (Recently amended; original text is available here)


There shall be an Annual Business Meeting of the Association, with notice mailed to the membership at least two months before the meeting date.


  1. The officers of the Association shall be: a President, a Vice-President, a Vice-President-elect, a Secretary, and a Treasurer. The President, Vice-President, and Vice-President-elect represent a succession of offices each held for 1 year. The Vice-President-elect is elected by the members of the Association for a 1-year term. The next year, subject to confirmation of the executive committee, the person holding the Vice-President-elect position will become the Vice-President, and the one holding the Vice-President position will become the President. In cases where an individual does not fulfill his/her succession through the offices, a replacement will be appointed by the Executive Committee until the 1st of January after an election can be held to fill the vacancy (where appropriate). The Secretary and the Treasurer are elected by the members of the Association for a five-year term, and may not hold office for more than two such terms. At the end of the term(s) of office of the Secretary and Treasurer, theywill assume respectively the one-year positions of Past Secretary and Past Treasurer in order to provide for continuity in the handling of the association’s business. The executive Committee may appoint an Associate Secretary and/or Associate Treasurer, to hold office for a period of up to two years; this appointment may be renewed once.
  2. The administration of the Association shall be the responsibility of the Executive Committee, which consists of the Officers, the Editor in chief of the Association’s Journal, the immediately Past President, the immediately Past Secretary and/or the immediately Past Treasurer during the year immediately following the election of a new Secretary and/or Treasurer, the Chairs of the Association’s Chapters, and three members elected for terms of three years by the members of the Association. If vacancies occur, the Executive Committee shall appoint replacements serving until the first of January after elections can be held to fill those vacancies. An Associate Secretary and Associate Treasurer may be made non-voting members of the Executive Committee. The President of the Association shall chair the Executive Committee for the one year of his or her tenure. The Treasurer is empowered to deposit and disburse funds and to enter into contracts as appropriate to conduct the business of the Association. The Treasurer shall deliver a written Annual Financial and Membership Report, to the Association by the end of each year.
  3. There shall be an Annual Executive Committee Meeting.
  4. The Executive Committee shall (a) determine the place and time of the Association meetings and appoint members to be responsible for organizing its programs and for local arrangements; (b) select or approve the editors of any publication sponsored by the Association; (c) appoint members to various positions and form committees to assist in conducting the activities of the Association; (d) fix the annual dues of the Association; (e) fix registration fees for meetings; (f) negotiate subscription and advertising rates for the publications of the Association; (g) be responsible for a review of the Treasurer’s Financial and Membership Report before this report is presented to the Annual Business Meeting; (h) charter Chapters of the association, revoke the charter of any such Chapter if it no longer serves the objectives of the Association, and appoint inaugural officers and committees of such Chapters; (i) oversee Special Interest Groups of the Association; (j) fix the times of the Annual Business Meeting and Annual Executive Committee Meeting.
  5. There shall be a Nominating Committee consisting of the three most recent Past Presidents, each serving for the three years following their own Presidency, and six ACL Fellows selected subject to diversity requirements set forth by the Executive. The Past President whose term is about to expire shall chair the Nominating Committee for a period of one year. In case of a vacancy on the committee, the Executive shall appoint a member to serve for the remainder of the term of the vacating committee member.
  6. There shall be an Accounts Scrutiny Committee consisting of the immediately Past President and an elected member of the Executive Committee, the latter serving for one year. The duty of the Committee is to consider the Treasurer’s Annual Report and to review the financial state of the Association, in preparation for the Annual Executive Committee Meeting.
  7. Elections shall be conducted as follows: the Nominating Committee shall nominate (normally two) people who are willing to serve in each position to be filled at an annual election. The Secretary shall announce these nominees at the annual meeting (normally held during the summer), post their names on the Association web site, and invite the membership to submit additional nominations. Additional nominations will be accepted by email, starting immediately after the conference and ending one month later, provided that two members of the association second each such nomination and provided that evidence is presented that such a nominee will serve if elected. Nominees will be given at least two weeks to provide a statement of their vision for ACL; these vision statements will be posted on the web site for viewing by the membership. After the nomination and posting of vision statements, the Secretary will mail a ballot containing the final list of nominees for each position, along with information about the URL containing the vision statements, to the membership. Voting will be performed in a manner specified in the ballot, which manner will be open to all members of the Association, secret, verifiable, and overseen by an executive committee member (normally the Secretary) who is not running for office, and who is acceptable to all nominees. Any nominee receiving the most votes cast will be declared elected at the Annual Business Meeting. Should no candidate receive a majority of the votes cast, subsequent ballots will be held until one candidate receives a majority. Those elected shall take office on the first of January following the vote and serve until succeeded. In the event that the annual meeting is not held during the summer, the Executive Board may vote to alter the timing of the election for that year.


Amendments to the Constitution shall be instituted as follows. Proposed Amendments approved by a majority of the Executive Committee or proposed by not less than ten members shall be put before the membership for consideration. Notification of proposed amendments shall be mailed by the Secretary to the membership at least two months prior to a vote on the matter. During the first month after notice, the proposed amendment shall be open for discussion among the membership. After the 1-month period, if the proposers do not retract the proposed amendment, the Secretary will mail a ballot including comments designated by members for public distribution to the membership. Voting will be performed in a manner specified in the ballot,which manner will be open to all members of the Association, secret, verifiable, and overseen by the Secretary. The amendment shall be ratified if approved by a majority of those members voting.