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Thursday, October 27, 2016

University Of Florida To Eliminate Computer Science Department

The University of Florida announced this week that it plans to eliminate its computer science department to save about $1.7 million, in a move that has infuriated both students and faculty.

The university, which is facing $38 million in budget cuts, decided last week to cut from the Computer & Information Science and Engineering (CISE) department by moving computer engineering programs and about half of the faculty into other departments. CISE would also lose support for teaching assistants and research.

The controversial decision has sparked an uproar among students — who formed a human chain around the CISE department to protest the cuts — and computer science professionals, who say that the cuts run counter to UF’s stated goal of using research to help Florida emerge as “a technological and economic leader in the 21st century.”

“This step has shocking implications,” Indian Institute of Techonlogy Delhi computer science professor S.N. Maheshwari wrote to UF President Bernie Machen. “As the President of a major research university you should know that by doing that the university is effectively getting out of CS teaching and research. No self respecting academician will remain in just a teaching department.”

Zvi Galil, the Dean of Georgia Tech University’s College of Computing, wrote to President Machem that “I am amazed, shocked, and angered by the proposal to dismantle CISE…It is unbelievable that a major AAU university would even contemplate such an action in the information age we live in today—an age fueled in great part by computer science!”

Florida Governor Rick Scott’s position on the cuts is unclear. As Scott-approved budget cuts force Florida’s flagship university to cut a major department, Scott recently opened a brand-new public university — Florida Polytechnic University — and claimed that

“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.”

Furthermore, right after the decision to cut the CISE department, Scott pressured Carlos Alfonso — chairman of the board of trustees that decided the cuts — to step down from his post. It is unknown whether or not his decision was related to the cuts, but it is clear that the governor is keeping a firm hand on education in Florida.

“The major research university of tomorrow is going to look very different than the major research university of yesterday,” sad Alan Levine, a Scott-appointed trustee and longtime political ally told the Gainesville Sun. “I think Gov. Scott is trying very hard to put his fingerprints on how our higher education institutions are going to function in the future.”

If this is what Scott’s fingerprints look like, then it’s no wonder that his approval rating is stuck at a lowly 34 percent.

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  • A perfect example of short sighted thinking at its worst. But then again…it’s Florida. I wonder if they took a look at possible cuts to sports programs?

    • EdC

      Of course not

    • “I wonder if they took a look at possible cuts to sports programs?”

      Umm Linda, I’m pretty sure the sports revenue built the computer Science Department! lol

    • I really doubt the football team will be asked to take a cut.

  • keefert55

    This does not surprise me from a governor who took the 5th 75 times during a trial on health care fraud. America and Florida are for sale Vladamir.

  • Yes, of course, they are removing the tools of education from the masses. Nothing could be more clear. I am beginning to realize that the devastation caused by Republican GWB will pale by comparison to what the mid-terms of 2010 will destroy! The republican party is colluding to remove the rights and priveleges from the great unwashed. All we have to do is give them the opportunity to destroy our democracy and as we huddle in whatever shelter they will allow us, we can talk about how great was the United States of America. Sadly, we all have allowed them to kill it!

  • Welcome to the State of Floriduh, bought to you by rick scott and bigotea party cronies.

  • gaabib

    Florida is implementing a plan to foment education in science and technology by cutting an entire university computer science department? Does not compute!

  • gaabib

    Florida is implementing a plan to foment education in science and technology by cutting an entire university computer science department? Does not compute!

  • They’re out of their minds. Computer science is one of the most important things in the future of this country. This attitude is exactly why this country is becoming a third world country. We can’t afford it. Let China do it.

  • Skools, we don’t need no stinkin’ skools.

  • The dumbing down of America, a long term goal of the Republithugs, is bearing fruit——oranges!

  • progressiveandproud

    The question is who is behind the new university? Any bets on the Koch Brothers?

    I’m sure this new school will teach the politically correct, corporate agreed curriculum.

    Another reason to stay away from Florida.

  • howa4x

    Well there you go. In an age where computers are how everything works, and be the foundation of the future they are cutting it. This shows what will happen if conservative republicans take over the country

  • Maybe we should give them the opportunity to explain. This seems a little one sided. I think I will go to their website and see what the offiicial response to this is.

    • Cool, maybe you should talk to Mr. Scott! I’d love to hear his explanation if he has one, that he can politically express!

  • It seems to me that the three biggest sources of new jobs for college grads are:
    (1) Computer Majors, (2) Accounting Majors, and (3) Marketing Majors.

    Florida seems to have slashed their wrists?


    • ObozoMustGo

      ETR… you must put your tin foil hat back on quicly. The men in black are coming for you. By the way, have you been chewing on little squares of paper again? Come on, tell the truth….

    • oldtack

      Hey ETW

      What’s a SWASTICA?

  • Scott is a one term Governor, a hatchet man who mislead many of his supporters to gain his office. and he speaks of his new University, as he shuts down a whole department of another. Instead, get rid of Basketball or Football, and invest in the student’s future, instead of entertaining alumni. This is one of the self destructive things a major Florida University could do to itself in times when American education is justifiabley under attack for failing its students, and people. Education is simply too expensive for most student to pay for. U of F is falling into the trap of provinding a college education for many students who will graduate, and not be able to obtain anything other than a low paying job as a “service provider” when programs such as this one are cut. It is almost as though there is a conscious effort to provide Corporate America with cheap non technologiclay skilled labor, insuring a larger cheap labor pool.

    • ObozoMustGo

      while I agree with you that education is certainly more important that sports, I am certain that the revenues those sports generate pays for an awful lot of educations for kids that otherwise would not be able to go to college. They also pay for a hell of a lot of jobs, as well, for thousands that we never see in the background. I’d say maybe football is more valuable that Comp Sci, if you look at from that perspective.

      Have a nice day!

      • metrognome3830

        Well, Obozo, only if you believe that the football program actually supports academic programs . . . and I would guess you probably believe they do. Actually the sports programs mostly support the sports programs . . . and not always fully.

        • ObozoMustGo

          Well metro, actually I did not say what I believe. I simply presented an alternative perspective, that’s all. Read my last sentence. Truthfully, I dont know why they would cut comp sci when there are so many other useless liberal arts studies that should eliminated. Crap like “womens studies” and other useless mind ef’d degrees that no one in the real world gives a damn about. But not Comp Sci. That’s a degree that is actually useful.

      • So why not have a state lottery to fund the schools! I am sure they would raise more money! Who says that we should have sports programs to pay for the education of our citizens! That in itself is not admirable and a sign of the lack of education of our leaders! It is time our government invests in the education of our students and doesn’t have to depend on a football program to get the job done!

        Now I am not opposed to sports programs in school! Even if they don’t pay their way! But to use the games to pay for the education of our students and the future of our country…seems to me to lead us to the days of the Coliseum! Pay to have them amused not to have them educated! The Asians to this point pay to educate their students. They don’t depend on a group of students beating their brains to mush to educate their students.

        Government is not a business! Clearly the Republicans think it is! Otherwise why would they select a “business man” who callously gets rid of companies and jobs and fills his pockets with money off the backs of hard working Americans and then sends his money to the Cayman Islands to avoid paying taxes here in the USA!

        • ObozoMustGo

          Robert, reading both of your rants brings me close to vomiting on my keyboard. What kind of a pie in the sky knucklehead are you? Oh that’s right.. the leftist nutjob type that somehow thinks that if everyone just would do as you say, the world would be perfect. In other words, a typical socialist dreamer. Put your head back in the sand, or better yet, back up your a$$, you fool! You are the definition of USEFUL IDIOT!

          Have a nice day!

  • All jobs that have any future will be in fields requiring computers and engineering skills. Florida just cut any hope for their grads to get a career that pays over 15k a year. 5 years from now the only Florida students who will be able to get a job will be the lucky few drafted into the NFL.

  • I’ll bet they don’t cut the football program budget!

  • Oh, my goodness! Cutting information sciences? That’s like cutting READING! fer crissake. (Like many of you, I expected to read somewhere in this article that sports had gotten some of the savings from trashing the computer department.)
    You know, Rick Santorum had bad-mouthed education several, or perhaps many, times during his short campaign. He had said that (contrary to Obama’s stated goal of having high school graduates be ‘college-ready’) this was a waste of time and effort, because ‘kids don’t need to go to college’; they’re only going to get jobs in factories and ‘make things with their hands’. He repeatedly accused higher education of being a liberal breeding ground and recruitment tool to make the students be more progressive?, I think. He also was in favor of home schooling for good christian children because there, the mothers could choose what their kids would learn and limit exposure to evil things. The term ‘limit exposure’ makes me shudder; too many repugs think they can change the world by keeping the next generation ignorant. I’ve heard this from several RWMs. (Republican Rich Right-wing Male White conservatives.)
    Originally, I had thought that bush43’s own ignorance and his desire to promulgate it was just a fluke, but more and more of the RWMs are starting to preach ‘limited exposure’ (censorship). Sometimes, they talk about NOT teaching evolution and gay marriage and contraception or anything other than abstinence. That’s just stupid; they can’t keep kids from learning things their peers already know. But the idea that education simply isn’t necessary- that’s more chilling. Scary. BTW, Santorum has 3 degrees.
    So is this just another step in the repug takeover of the country? Are they planning to use ignorance as a tool? (I’m thinking Palin, here) How about, take away the schools and force religion on the masses… yes, there’s something to that. Scary.

    • ObozoMustGo

      Alice… you certainly live in Wonderland. Talk about ignorance… sheesh! If ignorance is bliss, you must be the happiest person on earth. How many false cliche’s can you get in one rant? Or more likely, you’re hooked on something out of a bottle that makes you think weird thoughts.

      Have a nice day, dope!

      • metrognome3830

        ObozoMustGo leads the charge once again! Defending idiocy and promoting moronhood!

      • I am most offended by your lack of “false cliches” or for the educated, lack of “information or data” to back up your allegations! You are so typical of the right winged Republicans on here! JUST CALL THEM DEROGATORY NAMES! We don’t need people like you to have an honest and educated discussion! You are the epitome of “ignorance”!

  • Wow, I do not have the words.

  • Gerry DeVane

    I guess that the Governor and board of regents are brain dead…. CSE is one of the growing fields and they cut it…. As a UF grad, I am appalled and disgusted…. If this is the way to run a state, we had better all run!!!…. Scott is a mental dwarf with a 2nd agenda… If he thinks that he can get another program or school up and running without losing grads, he is a true idiot!!!…

  • frankblvdr

    Do not educate students for JOBS. Is this the GOP job program?

  • Christian Martin

    History has no opinion and is unable to lie. All nations around the world that have slid into socialism or communism or been lost to dictatorships are following the same patterns of government intervention and deletion of rights that are occurring now here. The masses still dont understand why the military personnel have such loyalty to Ron Paul. They have been around the world fighting socialist,communist nations that dont have freedom of press or speech,any Constitutional or 2nd amendment rights. They are getting injured and killed for the freedoms that most of us obviously dont care anything about. There are real reasons for their loyalty to Ron Paul. If the military is telling us that he is our only hope for peace and the continued existence of our freedoms why not at least give him one term before discounting him. It is doubtful he could do any worse than Bush and Obama.

  • Michael Welch

    I support this move wholeheartedly. Anyone knows that computers can be made faster every year and software more powerful just through the power of prayer. Who needs engineers and computer scientists? All Republicans know this.