The College of Saint Benedict provides a nationally ranked residential liberal arts education to women. Located in Central Minnesota, the college has a unique partnership with Saint John’s University, giving students the educational choices of a large university while enjoying the individual attention and community of a premier small college. The College of Saint Benedict has a 33-member Board of Trustees that meets quarterly as a group and twice annually with the Saint John’s University Board of Trustees, and manages 11 committees related to the student experience inside and outside the classroom, enrollment management and marketing, financial stewardship, and fundraising.
The College of Saint Benedict had transitioned from paper board books to a home-grown electronic solution several years ago. The home-grown system worked well for those who prepared the meeting materials but proved difficult for the end users and for IT staff to support due to incompatibility with mobile devices and expensive customization requirements. As a result, the organization ended up emailing the board books via an email attachment as well as posting it in the online solution. Issues with file size, last minute changes, and the security of materials, prompted a search for a better tool.
The College of Saint Benedict’s Chief of Staff and Lead Title IX Coordinator, Kathryn Enke, learned about AGB OnBoard through her engagement with the National Association of Presidential Assistants in Higher Education (NAPAHE). As a Board member with NAPAHE, Enke got an end-user’s view of the portal’s features and capabilities, which led to further exploration. AGB OnBoard proved so simple for the end user and included impressive options to work offline or push out last minute changes. Powerful functionality around security, permissions, archiving materials, and uploading materials quickly were key to the decision to move forward with implementing the solution at the College of Saint Benedict and its partner, Saint John’s University.
“I imagine Trustees using the portal with minimum support and training because it was so intuitive,” said Enke, “and I anticipated that it could save staff hours of time in materials preparation.”
Within the first 6 months, the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University used AGB OnBoard for over 55 separate meetings, including 3 quarterly meetings of the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University Boards of Trustees, involving 165 total users. Adoption of the tool has been amazing and continues to grow. Board members can read materials on the airplane, at the office, or wherever they have time using any mobile device they choose. They can make shareable notes and annotations within the document and review, discuss, deliberate, on their important decisions from anywhere.
No more emails and lost files. “We were stunned by the lack of questions we got about using the new portal. It was a seamless transition,” says Enke.
“I would recommend others look at AGB OnBoard. The product is high quality, the price is right, and the partnership with AGB is valuable. The U.S.–based customer service team at Passageways is particularly responsive and fantastic.”
About The Author
- 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.