A New School of Thought: Millikin University’s Digital Boardroom

  • By: OnBoard Meetings
A New School of Though
Reading Time: 2 minutes

OnBoard Usage on BoardsMillikin University, in the classically Midwestern city of Decatur Illinois, began a search to replace their paper bound board books under a simple premise: find a software solution that made meetings more efficient without costing more than what they paid annually to print and bind their paperboard books. To find the right fit for their board, Millikin spoke with business leaders, talked with peer educational institutions, and listened to a series of online presentations. Their extensive survey concluded that Passageways’ OnBoard delivered the tools they needed to enable effective university governance.

Millikin’s desire to find a digital solution stemmed from an all too common problem. The University’s board would meet on campus three times a year, often conducting additional committee meetings remotely. To prepare for meetings, books would have to prepared, printed, and mailed long in advance of the actual date to ensure their members had a sufficient amount of time to read the materials. When the 45 member board met on campus, the board books would have to make the trip with the members. Not only did this require a long lag time and burdensome traveling materials, but Millikin also had to consider whether to archive, store, or destroy the books after the meeting. They didn’t want the confidential material to become lost or misplaced. Weary of continued reliance on a medium that proved difficult to distribute and insecure in nature, they began to survey digital solutions. After 110 years of institutional governance conducted with paper, Millikin adopted OnBoard.

Today, Millikin streamlines the process of book creation and distribution. Various members contribute files and reports, while one person is charged with the final distribution. Updates are pushed out immediately to every member eliminating the hassle of postal distribution, allowing remote meetings to occur in a much more organized climate.

Pat Pettit, Millikin’s Director of Information Technology, praised OnBoard’s continued commitment to minimalist design and expanded tools. “Passageways has been really good about listening to their users,” she remarked, “their product is user-friendly and continues to expand its functionality.” The ease of use was especially important for their university as the majority of their members began adopting iPads. The training process proved short. Now “everyone calls up their board packet on their device and follows along… It’s just a seamless process,” Ms. Petit said, “It has made collaboration very easy.”

Part of Millikin’s mission is to involve students in performance learning; a hands-on approach to learning by engaging with businesses or outside institutions while in school. Passageways, too, strives to engage, listen, and learn from our customers. It’s why we incorporate feedback and provide hands-on training for OnBoard. We believe in making university governance easier, so that university boards can conduct the important work of educating their students. When OnBoard helps a university streamline their meetings and reduces structural costs, those universities stand better equipped to focus on continued educational success. Passageways is proud to be a part of Millikin University’s transition to an easy, powerful, and secure boardroom.

About The Author

OnBoard Meetings
OnBoard Meetings
At OnBoard, we believe board meetings should be informed, effective, and uncomplicated. That’s why we give boards and leadership teams an elegant solution that simplifies governance. With customers in higher education, nonprofit, health care systems, government, and corporate enterprise business, OnBoard is the leading board management provider.