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University of Florida Eliminates Computer Science Department, Increases Athletic Budgets. Hmm. →



Wow, no one saw this coming.  The University of Florida announced this past week that it was dropping its computer science department, which will allow it to save about $1.7 million.  The school is eliminating all funding for teaching assistants in computer science, cutting the graduate and research programs entirely, and moving the tattered remnants into other departments.

Let’s get this straight: in the midst of a technology revolution, with a shortage of engineers and computer scientists, UF decides to cut computer science completely?

Math and computer science are hard. Why bother?

Students at UF have already organized protests, and have created a website dedicated to saving the CS department.  Several distinguished computer scientists have written to the president of UF to express their concerns, in very blunt terms.  Prof. Zvi Galil, Dean of Computing at Georgia Tech, is “amazed, shocked, and angered.”  Prof. S.N. Maheshwari, former Dean of Engineering at IIT Delhi, calls this move “outrageously wrong.”  Computer scientist Carl de Boor, a member of the National Academy of Sciences and winner of the 2003 National Medal of Science, asked the UF president “What were you thinking?”

(Note to the students, if you need more quotes for your site: I think this move is shockingly short-sighted.  The University of Florida is moving backwards while the rest of the world moves ahead.)

Meanwhile, the athletic budget for the current year is $99 million, an increase of more than $2 million from last year.  The increase alone would more than offset the savings supposedly gained by cutting computer science.

Now, I’m not saying that UF has chosen football over science.  (Imagine the outcry, though, if UF cut a major sport instead of a major science department.) Actually, the real villains here are the Florida state legislators, who have cut the budget for their flagship university by 30% over the past 6 years.

Meanwhile, just two days ago, Florida governor Rick Scott approved the creation of a brand-new public university, Florida Polytechnic University, to be located near the city of Tampa.  In an unintentionally ironic statement, Gov. Scott said

“At a time when the number of graduates of Florida’s universities in the STEM [science, technology, engineering, and mathematics] fields is not projected to meet workforce needs, the establishment of Florida Polytechnic University will help us move the needle in the right direction.”

Heads up, Gov. Scott: no one is going to believe that you’re supporting technical education when your flagship university is eliminating its Computer Science Department. Since cutting support for universities seems to be a major agenda item for you and the legislature, why stop at 30%?  With just a bit more cutting, you could get rid of those annoying universities entirely.  Let the rest of the country worry about higher education! Florida can focus on orange groves and golf courses. Oh, and football.

Well there you go….

This is ridiculous. I realize that athletics are important and they bring the majority of money to our school, but that’s just it- UF is a school. The huge majority of people come to UF to get an education, and a tiny minority are here for the athletics. Academics should always come first, especially programs like computer science which is such a huge field, and so relevant to society now. 

Who made the decision to cut an entire program to “save money” and then put more than the amount saved into our athletic department? Does whoever decided that not see how it makes our university, that so many of its members- students, professors, alumni alike (myself included)- are so proud to be a part of?

Not to mention, there are now articles all over the place, from well known websites calling UF a joke, and saying how they can see how much value we put on academics (none). And although most students are judged based on their resumes and the activities they took part in while in college, huge numbers of students, especially those going on to more schooling after college, will be judged by the prestige of the university that they graduated from. 

At the end of the day, I hope that students whose majors and classes are cut, the TAs who no longer have positions, and the people who research is now over are able to find a way to continue to do what they love even with the changes that were made.

I hope UF doesn’t continue to make changes like this, and proves to its students that the people in control value our education as much as we do.

Source: forbes.com

  1. legendofjennifer reblogged this from ship-of-dreams
  2. powerfucker reblogged this from macbethie and added:
  3. ship-of-dreams reblogged this from gatorproblems
  4. macbethie reblogged this from gatorproblems and added:
    This is ridiculous. I realize that athletics are important and they bring the majority of money to our school, but...
  5. lifethesedays reblogged this from gatorproblems and added:
    Everyone needs to hate on UF for this. Bernie, I’ve always thought you were a heartless, out of touch asshole and this...
  6. andyhutchins reblogged this from gatorproblems and added:
    New Gator Problem: I took a slanted, fact error-riddled Forbes blogger’s piece as the definitive take on Florida maybe...
  7. halfxlight reblogged this from gatorproblems and added:
    Some of my friends are in this department. It really sucks that my school is cutting their department despite the fact...
  8. bijoukaiba reblogged this from gatorproblems and added:
    Reason #389 Why I hate Rick Scott.
  9. bohemiansugar reblogged this from gatorproblems
  10. nani23 reblogged this from gatorproblems
  11. demolitiondemolay reblogged this from gatorproblems
  12. normal-ee reblogged this from gatorproblems
  13. potato-bunny reblogged this from gatorproblems
  14. gatorproblems reblogged this from basednkrumah and added:
    Well there you go….
  15. luckiestslevin reblogged this from basednkrumah
  16. longerbeam reblogged this from basednkrumah and added:
    Yes, this is my major they’re cutting. Yes, this is really happening. No, I don’t know if my future will involve...
  17. phenacetin reblogged this from basednkrumah
  18. basednkrumah posted this