Monday, December 8, 2014

The latest ACS form 990

You still don't get (much) money for being a board member, I see. 
The latest ACS form 990. More notable for the lack of top compensation for the editor-in-chief of C&EN.
Healthy looking compensation, I see. 


The particulars of ACS pay. 


16 comments:

  1. This stuff just makes me angry and depressed.

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  2. Am I reading the chart correctly? Nearly everyone works 55 hours per week? What dedication.

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  3. I'm a firm believer in two principles:
    (1) "The worker is worthy his/her wage" and "Don't muzzle the ox while treading out the grain" (Judeo-Christian Scripture) and;
    (2) "If you want the goods, you've got to pay the tariff" (my former Commanding Officer)

    Apparently the 6-and-7 figure folks in the 990 can command those salaries. It won't change unless the membership says something loudly.

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    1. Yeah, I tend to range between "this is probably the going rate for an executive/professional" to "boy, I'd like folks to be a lot more answerable if that's how much they're making."

      I do this every year because ACS attempts to hide these numbers. It's lame.

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    2. Principle #1 collapses when supply is controlled by a monopoly, which is what could be argued of ACS publications. Eventually ACS publications will lose their grip on Chemistry publishing but in the mean time its still pretty disgusting to see these individuals making so much money, for doing little except receiving subscriptions from universities. Since you are fond of make quotes, didn't Plato say something about "righteous indignation"?

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    3. @CJ: Just about every not-for-profit attempts to hide the 990 from the constituents. "Charity" organizations are notorious for it, which is why one must really do their research to see how much of their charity dollar is going to...well...charity, and how much is going to "overhead" like salaries.

      @NMH: Not that I'm overly fond of making quotes, but I do recognize that there are lots of folks wiser than I ever will be and it's important to give credit where credit is due. Regarding Plato's quote, he may have said something about righteous indignation, but I'm not immediately aware of it.

      I believe that an attempt to cite ACS Publications as a monopoly is incorrect. ACS has at least two huge competitors: Elsevier (the largest publisher of scientific information in the world) and Wiley - both are "for profit" companies, publish a boatload of chemistry and I suspect that both pay their executives rather handsomely.

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    4. Monopoly may be incorrect then, as you point out. How about an oligopoly with price fixing? Whatever, its outrageous in my mind. So much reward for doing so little.

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  4. No wonder there are so many ** societies pooping up everywhere.

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  5. Compare that to the RSC's finances: http://www.rsc.org/globalassets/02-about-us/corporate-documents/financial-statement-trustee-report-2013.pdf

    The top executive only makes £189,000 at most. I feel like earning over $1 million in any position is excessive.

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  6. @Anonymous: So, hypothetically speaking, how much is too much? Why $1M? Why not $500K? Or $100K? Sounds kind of arbitrary to me.

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    1. Perhaps a better metric is the ratio between the compensation of the best-paid employee and the lowest paid.

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  7. Thanks for exposing this. I've always considered scientific publishing a very profitable business. One works like crazy all day long, begs the other side to publish one's paper, the other side sells your paper all around the world, and you don't even get access and rights to your own paper. Somebody must be very naive here....never mind, just go back to lab and keep publishing to become "famous" :)

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  8. Madeleine "Million Dollar Baby" Jacobs has a nice going-away present. Obscene.

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  9. @Chemjobber: The list only shows top executives and the editor-in-chief at C&EN was turning over in 2013. Maybe that is why it isn't listed, no one in that position made enough to be on the list.

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  10. The problem with the ACS is that they're not really a professional society; they're a publishing house that masquerades as one for tax purposes. I'm involved in a few societies that are much more industry-oriented - one is run completely by volunteers and costs $30 per year, and the other uses an association management company to handle some tasks, but those folks divide their time between our organization and several others, and don't pay themselves million-dollar salaries out of our dues.

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