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"He also noted that its current executive director still enjoys a six-figure salary. His tersely understated conclusion: “It is unclear what services the ASPR actually provides."

It sure would be interesting to know what an average work day looks like for that guy. :)

With its history, association with William James and the British SPR, the ASPR should be the leading force for making credible information about the paranormal available to Americans, and the world in general. With proper management, it should be well funded.

If the current director is pulling down a six figure income, then there's obviously some money laying around somewhere. If the twenty three member figure is correct, then there's a dead mouse stinking in that house somewhere.

Who hires (fires?) the director? As a non profit organization, I'm sure there must be some investigative avenues available to pursue.
The big question is, who wants to be the one to initiate an inquiry?

It's no secret how desperate parapsychology labs are for money. Six figures... my rough back-of-the-envelope calculation says that could pay for at least two full-time researchers. Considering that you could count the number of full-time parapsychologists in the USA on one hand, these charges are very serious indeed.

According to information provided by George Hansen, Patrice Keane was the executive director of the ASPR in 1998, 2005 and 2010. (She may well have been director throughout this time period, but Hansen only provided info for the three years mentioned.)

Anyway, in 1998, she was paid $65,600 for her services. In 2005 the figure jumped to $150,783 and in 2010 it was $139,955.

References: lists income tax returns for the ASPR from 2001 through 2012. I was able to view for free all the returns except the one for 2002. A paywall has since popped up, so I can't view any more returns for a while.

Here is executive director Patrice Keane's base annual compensation for the years mentioned:

2012 $139,955
2011 $139,955
2010 $139,955
2009 $139,955
2008 $139,955
2007 $139,955
2006 $105,318
2005 $150,783
2004 $ 97,375
2003 $ 95,000
2001 $ 93,104

It looks like she (he?) is the only executive who received a salary.

If anyone else is interested in viewing ASPR returns, here's the link I used:

Michael, thanks for the informative post!

Hmmm... if they have no members left, then I don't see how the director could have the money for a six-figure salary. That just doesn't add up. Unless they have an endowment that he is just sucking away at.

In any case, unpleasant but not particularly surprising information.

The 2012 return, viewable at the link Doug D. provided, shows that the ASPR had assets of $2.93 million at the beginning of that year, but only $2.07 million at the end. In addition to $170,000 in salaries, they had "other expenses" of $780,000, for a total expenditure of $950,000. Their income consisted of $32,000 in grants and $2,000 in investment income. In short, they seem to be burning through a large endowment rather quickly.

George Hansen blogged about the ASPR in 2007:

Michael - Thanks for opening this can of worms a bit wider. Re Stephen Baumgart's comment, let me just say that I did not make any 'charges' but only reported already published facts, as I was advised to do. They speak for themselves better than I could. I would not disagree with any of the Comments.

I wonder how this compares to the SPR.

Thanks for bringing up this topic, Guy Lyon Playfair. Thanks also to George Hansen for his work on the issue, and for bringing it to my attention in an email.

BTW, in answer to Doug D.'s question, Patrice Keane is female.

Actually I can answer my own question:

Year Income (£) Expenditure
to Sep 2013 425000 156000
to 2012 671000 151000
to 2011 152000 155000

membership totals:
As at end Sept 2013: 774 (850 inc students and Associates)
2012: 758 (834)

"Playfair" -- a very apt name! :)

Here's a link to Stacy Horn's blog entry about her experiences with the ASPR:

I find it disturbing in the extreme, that so much money is sitting in idle endowments and yet some truly exciting psi research is languishing through lack of relatively small amounts. I'm sure Stephen Baumgart's lab above would be eager to receive just a percent of the ASPR endowment funds. The British SPR recently inherited a large bequest of the order £700,000, and yet the funds are eararked for such pedestrian projectssuch as funding an encyclopedia and publishing a few books. It's truly depressing...

Michael Duggan
I think that the proposed online encyclopedia currently being written and supported by SPR funding is a very worthwhile activity. The hope is that it will provide a much needed balance to misleading and erroneous Wikipedia articles about non-mainstream thought. Is that what you are referring to?

I also really appreciate the books that the SPR publishes which, without them I would have no opportunity to read reports published in their Proceedings of 100 years ago. - AOD

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