Today’s Defectors contributor post is a cartoon (the first for this series) created by Tara Singer of Omicron Delta Kappa . Not sure what we’re doing here yet? All is revealed here.

When I was a university administrator, I would throw a Happy Fiscal New Year’s party for my staff.  As of July 1 each year, we felt rich because the budget distributions had been made, and we could go shopping for those types of office supplies and equipment that we had put off purchasing until there was money available again.  We could update and print revised versions of publications.  In some years, we could even book travel.  The money from tuition and state funding allowed us to begin the academic year with the hopes that we would have enough funds to get us through to the following summer.  

As a non-profit administrator, I don’t have access to resources that “miraculously” appear on July 1st.  Whatever money that our nonprofit has in the checking account from the previous fiscal year is carried over, but there won’t be new funds until we (a) secure new members and (b) raise more money from donors.  Both of those activities don’t begin in earnest until about the first of September making the summer months budgetarily lean.  I’m sure my colleagues who have gone into business for themselves experience a similar, if not more significant, challenge.  It may be the price to pay for not having a budget based on the whims of a state legislature, but it is definitely worth it.

Tara Singer is the executive director of Omicron Delta Kappa, the National Leadership Honor Society.  Prior to working at O∆K, she spent nearly 30 years working on campuses in a variety of student affairs and university advancement roles.  She is often amused by her colleagues, her three sons, the cat which came with the farmhouse she bought, and the cows across the street.  She is less amused by the occasional bear which comes to visit and knock over the garbage can. She may best be reached at

The Defectors (series 2) is sponsored by Presence. At Presence, we’re working to solve all of the higher ed problems you’ve always heard couldn’t be fixed. If you love asking questions, finding solutions to intricate problems, and learning about new people and places, we want you to join our team. Check out our open positions and apply today!