A lot of talk has occurred about setting up exchange email and calendar through Google so you get that "push" syncing in your iPad iCal and Mail programs. Essentially what this means is your calendar events on the web stay connected to your iPad calendar so when you add events on your iPad calendar they appear on the web and vice versus (translation- you don't have to manage your calendar on multiple platforms- yeah!) Below are instructions for doing just this.
First, make sure you have setup your Google account and have your UMN Google password. OIT can help you with this if you have yet to convert (U of M COCONUT).
After you're setup with Google, follow the instructions from the Google Mobile homepage about setting up exchange.