Date: Tue, 26 Aug 1997 13:25:52 -0600


Subject: Re: Wash. Post article on DARE

Yesterday's article about DARE in the _Washington Post_ was a

greatly shortened and very badly cut version of the one that

appeared in January in the _Chicago Tribune_. While the

_Tribune_ version also focused on our desperate need for funds,

it gave a good overall picture of the project, the published

volumes, and the importance of doing the job right. That article

(and an earlier one by Horowitz) tried to do much of what Greg

Downing suggests we do, namely "identify [ourself] with the

country and the culture, thus generating a sense among the

educated public that the thing should and must somehow be

completed, and not to do so would be a collective shame." The

_Washington Post_ version ignored the discussion of the intrinsic

interest and worth of the project. (I'd be happy to send a copy

of the _Chicago Trib_ piece to anyone who would like it.)

Greg asks, "Is it [=DARE's financial situation] that bad?" In a

word, YES. As of July 1, we had to cut 3 1/2 positions in order

to keep the rest of the staff on the payroll through June of

1998. That leaves us with a staff of 13 people (editors,

keyboarder, proofreaders, office manager), for a total of 9.75

F[ull] T[ime] E[quivqlent] paid positions (Fred Cassidy has not

taken a salary from the project for a couple of decades). The

most recent issue of _OED News_ provides an interesting

comparison: "Today the _OED_ has a team of 42 editors working on

different aspects of the text, as well as some 50 research

assistants, keyboarders, proofreaders, etc., and a further 200 or

so specialist consultants from whom advice may be obtained about

any aspect of the language."

_OED News_ also says that the timescale for their latest revision

has been extended from 2005 to 2010, and their budget has been

increased from 20 million pounds to 34 million pounds.

By contrast, DARE's staff cuts mean that our annual expenditures

have been reduced from $600,000 to $450,000. (Our budget has

been pared to salaries, fringes, and essential supplies; there is

no money for conferences, travel, computer training, or any

amenities.) Since a good part of our support comes from NEH, and

the UW's indirect cost rate for all federal agencies is 44%, the

effect is that almost 31% of all federal dollars must go to the

University. So we have to raise significantly more than $450,000

annually in order to pay out that amount. The result is that

too much of my time is spent writing to foundations,

corporations, and individuals asking for financial support.

We've had a number of $10,000 to $20,000 grants in the last six

months, and they are greatly appreciated (they extend our life

through about December of 1998). But they don't solve the

problem and they don't allow me to do my "real" work. And the

more staff we have to cut, the longer it will take to finish each


Without a Queen Victoria to whom to dedicate DARE, we continue to

publicize the project as we can (thwarted by bad newspaper

editing along the way), appeal to anyone who might have a remote

interest in helping us survive, and plug on as well as possible.

I realize that our repeated cries for assistance may make it seem

as if we are crying wolf. The truth is that every reprieve has

been a temporary one and our need for support is genuine. If some

of you have ideas of other ways to attract donors, I'd be

delighted to hear about them. The sooner we can find adequate

support, the sooner we'll be able to get the job done.

Thanks for listening.