UI officials transitioning to iPads


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Though the University of Iowa does not have an allocated budget for providing Apple iPads to faculty and staff, many UI officials have been making the transition in recent years with or without the university's help.

"As technology evolves, so does the university," UI spokesman Tom Moore said, referring to the increase in the number of iPads on campus. "Fifteen to 20 years ago, nobody on campus had a computer — now, everyone does."

With the increase in the number of iPads, it would seem that there was an initiative for faculty members to go paperless, but Moore says this is not the case.

Some university officials have purchased the devices with their own money, with the option of using it for work, while others have had theirs provided by the university.

Tysen Kendig, the UI's vice president for Strategic Communication, was provided an iPad by the school.

"It essentially has allowed me to go paperless in my daily campus business, and keeps me connected in a more functional way during off-hours when I don't have access to a computer terminal," he wrote in an email.

While WiFi access on the iPad is free on campus, Kendig said, he is responsible for a $15 monthly data plan so he can use the iPad off campus.

While there is no allocated budget for iPad use among UI officials, the Iowa City city councilors approved a resolution in April to adopt a new policy of viewing their weekly council packets via iPads. The city reimbursed councilors for roughly $600 worth of purchasing expenses, The Daily Iowan has previously reported.

Moore said the decision for certain faculty members to be provided an iPad is decided on a case-by-case basis. There is no hierarchy or single determining factor in the decision, he said.

The process varies from person to person, he noted. Some faculty might be given an iPad, while others might make the purchase on their own and later be reimbursed.

UI President Sally Mason paid for her own iPad, and she has not been reimbursed by the university, Moore said.

Tom Rocklin, the UI vice president for Student Services, said he paid for his own iPad and finds it useful for taking notes and information retrieval at work.

Michael Barron, the director of UI Admissions, did not consider how it would benefit his work day before he purchased his.

"It was a personal purchase, although I do use it for work from time to time," he said.

The use of iPads on campus also varies from department to department. The UI College of Pharmacy has purchased a set of 40 to be used for certain classes.

"We are currently exploring a checkout option, allowing students to check out [iPads] for their work," said Greg Schwartz, IT director for pharmacy school.

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