Editor for this issue: Matthew Lahrman
Date: 16-Mar-2012 From: LINGUIST List <linguistlinguistlist.org> Subject: Help us keep all of our services--and keep them free! E-mail this message to a friend
The LINGUIST List Advisors suggested that I share with you some of the information I've been sending them on the way LL spends the money you donate in Fund Drive. They thought you should also know that we are taking steps to generate additional income and to streamline our operation so that we use resources frugally in these bad economic times.
We hope that our services have been of value to you this year and that learning more about our financial situation will inspire you to contribute to the 2012 Fund Drive:
When you look at the list of LL crew members, you may think, "That's a big crew. Do they need that many people to run an email list?" Well, yes, we do. Why do we need editors? Remember that each student works only 20 hours per week; and LINGUIST List sends out 5-6 issues per day, 350 days per year. And remember that editors classify every post by both subject language and linguistic subfield, before sending it out within 48 hours. At the same time, editors are corresponding with 27,000 subscribers and maintaining a huge website, with hundreds of thousands of webpages and scores of facilities that need tending, e.g., 'Ask-A-Linguist,' 'NoticeBoard,' 'The E-MELD School of Best Practices,' 'The Internship Register,' 'The Student Portal,' 'MultiTree,' 'EasyAbs,' 'LL-MAP,' and 148 language-related mailing lists. Nothing is posted anywhere on the site without having been read and approved by a student editor. As it stands right now, we are already more than stretched with the number of editors we have; without your donations, we may not be able to feature all the areas that we currently post.
So what do we do with your donations? All donation money is used to support and train students, as they pursue their linguistics degrees. The money donated in Fund Drive goes into a special account reserved for student support (as opposed to the money we make on jobs and book announcement postings, which is spent on programmer salaries, equipment, and supplies). The student support money is spent primarily on graduate assistantships; GAs work 20 hours a week for 8 months for a tuition and a stipend, together totaling $16,000-$24,000 depending on whether they are in-state or out-of-state. For the past two years, however, we have been decreasing the number of GA-ships and using student workers to make up the slack. Student workers are paid by the hour, without tuition. And in the summer we have a mix of hourly student workers and interns. Interns are also linguistics students, but they come from all over--not just from Eastern Michigan U.
What are we doing to reduce expenses? Well, we are reluctantly reducing our student staff. Next year we will be reducing the number of GAs by 2 and using more student workers. We hate to do this, since the students need the tuition; but our primary goal has to be to shepherd LL through these bad economic times.
We are keeping the same fund drive goal as we had in 2008, but tuition, salaries, and fixed expenses keep climbing. And Eastern Michigan has decreased its support, paying for only one staff member, not 1.5, as it did last year.
So our lead programmer has been systematically reviewing the site and making modifications that will, we hope, save labor and make it possible to do the same job with fewer workers. This week, for example, we're starting 'Midnight Makeissue,' a facility that will post approved issues automatically, saving about 6 hours a week in posting time. And we've made other behind-the-scenes modifications. As you may have seen too, we're experimenting with taking ads. And we're about to unveil a conference registration system that will produce a small income stream.
I'm hoping that these measures will compensate for other losses-- in publisher postings, job postings, and EMU support. Our goal for the next few years is to maintain and even increase services, so that LL can maintain its services to the discipline and its ability to support and train students.
If you would like to help us in this effort, please make a contribution of any amount at:
For all information on donating and pledging, including information on how to
donate by check, money order, or wire transfer, please visit:
The LINGUIST List is under the umbrella of Eastern Michigan University and as
such can receive donations through the EMU Foundation, which is a registered
501(c) Non Profit organization. Our Federal Tax number is 38-6005986. These
donations can be offset against your federal and sometimes your state tax return
(U.S. tax payers only). For more information visit the IRS Web-Site, or contact
your financial advisor.
Many companies also offer a gift matching program, such that they will match
any gift you make to a non-profit organization. Normally this entails your
contacting your human resources department and sending us a form that the
EMU Foundation fills in and returns to your employer. This is generally a simple
administrative procedure that doubles the value of your gift to LINGUIST, without
costing you an extra penny. Please take a moment to check if your company
operates such a program.