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LINGUIST List 23.1356

Fri Mar 16 2012

At LINGUIST List, we're economizing for you

Editor for this issue: Matthew Lahrman <mattlinguistlist.org>

Date: 16-Mar-2012
From: LINGUIST List <linguistlinguistlist.org>
Subject: Help us keep all of our services--and keep them free!
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Dear Subscribers,

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:

https://linguistlist.org/donation/donate/donate1.cfm

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:

https://linguistlist.org/donation/donate/donate1.cfm

Your donations are heartily appreciated by all of the Linguist List crew.

Sincerely,
-Helen


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