The Board of Trustees’ Financial Committee discussed the Apple lease and the iPad initiative Thursday. Credit: Summer Cartwright | Campus Editor

More details on the digital partnership between Apple and Ohio State were unveiled in a Thursday Board of Trustees meeting, including a plan to allows students to keep the iPads when they graduate.

The Board’s Finance Committee approved the university’s lease with Apple, detailing its $11 million deal with the tech giant to provide iPads and related products to first-year students beginning Autumn 2018. The plan will go before the full Board on Friday for a vote of approval.

Students will receive a 10.5-inch, 256GB iPad Pro with an Apple Pencil, a smart keyboard, an STM Dux Shell Case and three years of AppleCare+ for the iPads.

The iPad will come with all Microsoft and Adobe Suite programs, along with many other apps designed to assist students in the classroom.

The data will be backed up daily to the student’s account. So in the event the iPad gets damaged or stolen, students can pay a $49.99 fee to receive a new iPad, log into it and the data will all appear back on the device, said Mike Hofherr, Ohio State’s vice president and chief information officer.

Additionally, students are able to take the iPads with them after they graduate. “The idea is ultimately that when they graduate after four years, the actual value of the iPad has been fully depreciated on the universities’ books. So the intention would be or the hope would be they would keep it,” said Michael Papadakis, Interim Senior Vice President and CFO, Treasurer.

However, if any student decides to leave the university early, or the iPad is lost or stolen, it will become unusable.

Hofherr said the iPad will lock down with a message that says, “Please return to the Ohio State University,” and it will be unusable until it is returned and reset. The same would happen if the device goes missing or is stolen from a student and reported to the university.

Along with all the equipment, the university also is planning to build an iOS lab in the 15th Avenue and High Street development area and establish opportunities for students to become involved in teaching faculty and other students coding and iPad skills. Until then, Hofherr said a temporary lab will be built in the Gateway development on south High Street.

“This is a groundbreaking opportunity where we’ve talked about it a lot over the last couple months, but this is really the financial portion of the transaction which we will bring forward to you today,” Papadakis said.

According to a study done by the Office of Student Life in 2015, 41.3 percent of students came to the university with an iPad; 93.4 percent come with laptops; and 70.8 percent come with iPhones.

To ensure students coming into Ohio State will not double-up on iPads, the university is informing accepted students of its Apple plans.

“We’re informing [incoming freshmen] when they got their acceptance letter — they were informed that we would be doing this,” Hofherr said.


*Correction 4/6: The original version of this article quoted Mike Papadakis as saying “the actual value of the iPad has been fully appreciated.” It has been corrected to say, “the actual value of the iPad has been fully depreciated.”