Your institution -- whatever it may be -- is facing hard economic times. You cut the budget right and left. You freeze all hiring. You don't offer cost of living pay increases, and, in fact, talk about instituting pay cuts. What more can you do?
Why, you can hire a million dollar consultant to meet with your largest group of employees -- vice presidents -- to discover "conversations" that "we" should be having to "serve more efficiently." That's what you can do! Because money spent to pay consultants to identify conversations that should be going on is the best investment of resources. Right?
To survive this depression, I recommend more people go into the consulting business, as consultants to business (whatever business that may be), because that seems to be where the jobs are.