FAQs

We may be interested in working with K&A. What do we do next? Please contact us to arrange a convenient time for an initial conversation. Are there strings attached? Can we talk without creating an obligation? No strings; having a conversation about a potential project never creates an obligation. But not having such a conversation may mean a missed opportunity. What happens next, if that conversation suggests that working on a project with K&A may be valuable to us? Usually, the next step is for us to prepare a proposal based on the information gathered in our phone conversation. Sometimes, we first send a preliminary proposal — containing a project description, intended scope of work, and projected timeline — to make sure we have designed the project to fit your needs. After we have your feedback on the preliminary proposal, we prepare a final version with a price and terms. Will the proposal tell us how much the project will cost? Short answer: Yes. Longer answer: Absolutely. How does K&A determine prices? We do not charge based on hourly or daily rates for consultants; the value we provide is not just in the time spent, but in what is done during that time, and the expertise and experience that makes it possible for our consultants to do it. We take into account the project’s intellectual requirements, the intensity of effort that will be needed from our consultants and the professional staff, the urgency and timeline of the project, the amount of travel time required, and the number and nature of reports, presentations, white papers, and other “deliverables” included. What about travel expenses? We almost always include travel expenses in the project price. That way, the client knows exactly what the total cost will be. Are prices negotiable? We do not negotiate prices. We quote fair budgets that reflect the effort, intensity, time, and work needed. But we can sometimes make adjustments in the intended scope of work for a project, if doing so will not seriously undermine the quality of the project or the probability of success. Those adjustments may reduce the price. We can also make flexible payment arrangements, such as dividing the cost of a project over two fiscal years. The important thing is this: we are happy to work with you to make it possible for us to do the right project within a practical, affordable budget. Are there ways for us to work with K&A on a stepwise, incremental basis? Definitely. We often complete a limited initial engagement—such as a faculty professional development —and then begin a more extensive project. Sometimes, institutions want to assess the “fit” between consultants and themselves by “trying us out” on a small project first. Who will be working with us? We determine the make-up of the project team based on your needs; this is usually part of our initial conversations, and is specified in the proposal. Every project has at least one senior consultant and one professional staff member; many have more than one of each. Most projects have both an on-site team (the people you see on campus) and a “behind the scenes” team (the people who support the work of the on-site team). Who will our contact person be? Every project has a project manager, who is a consulting associate assigned by the Chief of Staff. The project manager is responsible for communication and can arrange conversations with other members of the project team as needed. Is what we tell you as part of a project confidential? Yes. K&A maintains a strict practice of confidentiality as a matter of professional consulting ethics. We do not disclose or discuss client matters with others unless a client requests that we do so. We will never do interviews with campus or other media about our projects unless a client requests and authorizes us to do so. The notes we take remain our property and are not shared with or retained by clients. Our reports, once delivered, become the property of the client; we will never release them to anyone else. We may be embarrassed by some of the things you discover when you do our project. Is that unusual? No—not at all. Clients often worry that the K&A team will be find out things that are in some way uncomfortable or embarrassing. But after 25 years of consulting, there are very few things we have never seen before, somewhere else, in some form; the differences are only in degree. And we also discover things that are amazing and inspirational in every project. Whatever we discover, it remains confidential. How many people work for K&A? We have 12 staff members; you can find out more about them by clicking here. How long has K&A been around? More than 25 years — since 1984, in one form or another. You can read more about our history by clicking here. Is hiring K&A a sign of weakness on our part? Shouldn’t we be able to solve our problems ourselves? Bringing in respected consultants to solve problems, pursue opportunities, or set strategy for the future is never a sign of weakness. On the contrary: doing so suggests that an institution recognizes the need for an external perspective, understands the value that such a perspective can bring, and seeks to create an opportunity for strategic thinking in ways that cannot usually be accomplished with internal resources. External, neutral third party consultants can be of great benefit by providing a fresh perspective and bringing wisdom based on research and experience across many years and many campuses. Can K&A help me convince others on my campus that we need to do this project? Yes. We often provide materials, resources, and references to assist the person (or group) who contacts us in making a case for an important project. Let us know what challenges you anticipate and we will help you prepare to address them.