Session Details

Make It Work? A Primer on the Client Services Approach in Higher Ed

#MPD1 Management and Professional Development Track

Room 106B


Charge back? What’s the charge-back model? Much of higher education’s web work is done on a client-services basis, where departments do not know the actual cost of their wish list. What’s more, they don’t know how the work (and providers) are impacted when they miss deadlines, ignore requests, or change their ever-loving minds 20 times in the process. This presentation will focus on how to make your stakeholders realize what their behaviors truly mean to the bottom line. We’ll talk about establishing a process for engaging client-services providers and how to make your work have real value in stakeholders’ eyes. We’ll also talk about establishing real-life consequences that won’t leave you sputtering or without a job. You’ll emerge with a new approach to problem solving in higher education. And greater sanity. You’ll learn how to make it work for your stakeholders – and you first.


Tonya Oaks Smith
Director of Communications, UALR William H. Bowen School of Law

Tonya Oaks Smith (@marleysmom) has spent most of her adult life smoothing frayed edges, herding wet and hungry cats, breaking down silos and perfecting the #facepalm –- all while dancing backwards and in heels with a big smile on her face. A former reporter who sold her soul and then redeemed it by moving to communication for a public university, Smith is a fan of the words “y’all” and “malheureusement” — not necessarily in that order, and prefers the em dash to commas. She’s currently the director of communications for the UALR William H. Bowen School of Law. In this role, she manages the communications, marketing and public relations strategies of the law school in accordance with its mission, objectives, directives and policies. In 2010, she completed her master’s degree in applied communication studies.

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