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University of Florida Eliminates Computer Science Department

timothy posted about 2 years ago | from the gator-fans-on-the-line dept.

Education 628

DustyShadow writes "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. 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?'"

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Computers are a fad. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39769387)

n/m

Re:Computers are a fad. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39769475)

Just like TVs were a fad I'm sure. *sarcasm*There will be absolutely NO jobs for all the people who will build websites for big companies, or create the newest DRM, or do something nice like program medical tools.*/sarcasm*

Re:Computers are a fad. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39769743)

<woosh> WOOOOOOSH </woosh>

Re:Computers are a fad. (3, Insightful)

trum4n (982031) | about 2 years ago | (#39769755)

There should be no jobs for anyone writing DRM. Only pain.

The Department of Redundancy Department (5, Insightful)

JoeMerchant (803320) | about 2 years ago | (#39769395)

Can we study the same things in other departments without having a dedicated Computer Science niche to go with Computer Engineering, Software Engineering, etc.?

Re:The Department of Redundancy Department (3, Insightful)

CastrTroy (595695) | about 2 years ago | (#39769419)

My thoughts exactly. Most schools I've been to don't have a computer science department, but rather lump it in with the math or engineering department. Computer science is a programme of study not an entire department.

Re:The Department of Redundancy Department (5, Insightful)

_8553454222834292266 (2576047) | about 2 years ago | (#39769433)

Computer science is a programme of study not an entire department.

Only if you're at a bad school.

Re:The Department of Redundancy Department (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39769481)

Like this one? They're cutting CS to save $2m. Meanwhile, their $99m/yr athletics program is getting a modest boost... roughly $2m.

I think even their underwater basket weaving majors can do the math on that one.

Re:The Department of Redundancy Department (3, Insightful)

jimbolauski (882977) | about 2 years ago | (#39769585)

Their athletics program makes money, not from ticket sales but from donations and ticket sales. When a school wins a national championship or two they get many more alumni opening their wallets. Schools have a very good idea of how much money their sports programs bring in and they spend accordingly. The best way to save UF CS department is to get donations from CS alumni or to make donations directly to the CS department.

Re:The Department of Redundancy Department (4, Informative)

Dog-Cow (21281) | about 2 years ago | (#39769621)

They don't make money from ticket sales... they make money from ticket sales?

Someone skipped logic 101...

Re:The Department of Redundancy Department (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39769643)

Someone skipped logic 101...

He probably went to UF...

Re:The Department of Redundancy Department (5, Insightful)

geoffball (1195685) | about 2 years ago | (#39769695)

The UF athletic depart makes most of its cash from the television contracts of the football and basketball teams.

Re:The Department of Redundancy Department (4, Informative)

buddyglass (925859) | about 2 years ago | (#39769689)

Separate budgets. Athletics pays its own way. Nuking the entire athletic dept. wouldn't create any additional money for CS.

Re:The Department of Redundancy Department (1)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | about 2 years ago | (#39769765)

I think it's sad that all the educational and research departments must shoulder the burden of state budget cuts, while athletics gets to keep most (if not all) of its spoils.

Re:The Department of Redundancy Department (1)

jythie (914043) | about 2 years ago | (#39769487)

That is hard to say, though for an American school it is a bit odd. Depending on how old the school is, its computer science curricula might have developed any number of ways, and quite a few keep pieces of it in their math and electrical engineering departments with 'computer science' being a specialization within mathematics while computer engineering (hardware/software) and software engineering (process) living within the EE dept or as separate departments within engineering.

If one is studying literal 'computer science' it often is a program or a specialization since that focuses on things like theory and computation.

Re:The Department of Redundancy Department (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39769779)

Like MIT, where it was lumped in with Engineering long ago.

I can't think of a single decent school that still has a dedicated CS department.

Re:The Department of Redundancy Department (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39769831)

Princeton, Harvard, Stanford, Carnegie Mellon, Waterloo, UW-Madison, UT Austin... Ever heard of them?

Re:The Department of Redundancy Department (1)

spyked (1878060) | about 2 years ago | (#39769567)

Ok, so imagine you want to teach computer architectures. Which aren't quite electrical engineering but they aren't theoretical computer science either. Which department would you assign that to?

I'd also add that any good computer architect should be skilled in both hardware and software-related issues, in electronics, electrical engineering as well as some discrete math. I don't see how you can put all those together outside of a CS department.

Re:The Department of Redundancy Department (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39769645)

Step down off that awfully tall horse my friend. Everything you listed fits quite nicely under "engineering." Except maybe the maths, but most engineering majors are going to finish with a mathematics minor anyway.

Re:The Department of Redundancy Department (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39769795)

Most schools call that Computer Engineering. It differs by electrical engineering by only a few classes. Which classes? The ones you just described.

Re:The Department of Redundancy Department (4, Insightful)

SJHillman (1966756) | about 2 years ago | (#39769423)

At the school I went to, computer science degrees were part of the school of liberal arts and sciences (in the same building as astronomy, physics and math) and IT degrees were part of the school of business. It worked fairly well as there wasn't much overlap between the two and the CS students (a very small program compared to IT) benefited from being close to the math and physics departments.

Re:The Department of Redundancy Department (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39769441)

Uh, no... Physics is to Mechanical Engineering as Chemistry is to Chemical Engineering as Computer Science is to Computer Engineering.

Science is very, very different from engineering. Science is focused on the theoretical, while engineering is focused on applying that theory to the real world, subject to various resource constraints.

Given that they are so different, it makes absolutely no sense to try to group them together, especially in some attempt to "save money".

Re:The Department of Redundancy Department (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39769801)

Uh, no... Physics is to Mechanical Engineering as Chemistry is to Chemical Engineering as Computer Science is to Computer Engineering

You obviously do not have an Engineering Degree.

First off, you have obviously never heard of Engineering Physics, which has the same requirements as a Physics Degree, but with ABET requirements tacked on to the electives.

Second off, even with a normal Physics curriculum, you can take Mechanical Engineering courses, and the FE, but it will take more than 4 years to your PD, I believe 8 for a non-ABET accredited Physics degree. You cannot do this with Chemistry to Chemical Engineering.

Lastly Computer Engineering focuses on things like computer hardware and there can be a nebulous area between Computer Engineering and Electrical Engineering. Where as Computer Science degrees may be under the Engineering School, or Arts and Sciences School.

Re:The Department of Redundancy Department (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 2 years ago | (#39769463)

Yes. Then in five years someone will notice there's a possibility to reduce overlap & duplication by centralizing it into a kind of internal service bureau that delivers modules on a subcontracting basis.

Five years after that, some bright spark will have the idea that if they stuck several of the courses together and added a few new ones they could offer a CS degree.

Re:The Department of Redundancy Department (4, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about 2 years ago | (#39769599)

Can we study the same things in other departments without having a dedicated Computer Science niche to go with Computer Engineering, Software Engineering, etc.?

Not in sufficient depth, at least in my opinion. Complexity theory? Database theory (yes, theory, not just "here's how to write a simple SQL statement)? Compilers? These could all be in other departments, but an undergrad pursuing a degree in another field will not have enough time to study computer science in any respectable depth. Double major is not the answer if CS is spread over more than two other departments. Spreading CS across math and engineering departments deprives students of the chance to become computer scientists.

Hopefully athletic programs are still intact (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39769405)

Gator CHOMP!!

good ridance (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39769407)

their program sucked anyway.

"What were you thinking?" (5, Insightful)

G3ckoG33k (647276) | about 2 years ago | (#39769409)

"What were you thinking?"

Well, probably something along the lines of "That department did not publish well enough and the students did not bring in enough money".

Re:"What were you thinking?" (4, Interesting)

tverbeek (457094) | about 2 years ago | (#39769543)

Speaking as a refugee from academia after spending most of my adult life attending or working at colleges, I would say this is exactly right.

Re:"What were you thinking?" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39769589)

And also: "We do have the gators. Do we really need anything else? Especially amything related to academia?"

Re:"What were you thinking?" (-1, Troll)

Third Position (1725934) | about 2 years ago | (#39769591)

They probably needed the money for really important things, like Women's and gender studies, sociology and African American and Hispanic Studies.

Re:"What were you thinking?" (2, Interesting)

ledow (319597) | about 2 years ago | (#39769653)

Then get some decent staff and raise the prices if necessary (or raise the number of students, which would probably be easier).

If a WHOLE DEPARTMENT wasn't publishing good stuff, you need to start again from scratch. To my mind, that's no different to a WHOLE COMPANY having people who just sit on their bums all day.

Re:"What were you thinking?" (1)

Seakip18 (1106315) | about 2 years ago | (#39769825)

B/c if a professor doesn't publish, they're a bum?

Re:"What were you thinking?" (2)

booyoh (2511204) | about 2 years ago | (#39769777)

I completely agree with you on this one. After all, universities are just businesses trying to maximize their profit. On a side note, articles like this one remind me of the movie "Idiocracy" and where our nation is heading in the future.

One more thing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39769415)

...that Florida shares with yogurt.

Makes Sense (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39769417)

Because the average CS student sucks at football.

Official Response from UF: (5, Funny)

Metabolife (961249) | about 2 years ago | (#39769429)

NERDS!!!!!

Re:Official Response from UF: (1)

CFBMoo1 (157453) | about 2 years ago | (#39769453)

Thanks for the chuckle, I wish I had mod points.

Official protest from the students: (2, Funny)

Chemisor (97276) | about 2 years ago | (#39769697)

Hey! We're not nerds. We're geeks!

Re:Official protest from the students: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39769813)

knowing the difference makes you pretty darn nerdy!

not eliminated? (4, Informative)

jank1887 (815982) | about 2 years ago | (#39769431)

FTFA:

The majority of students would be transferred to the hardware-oriented ECE department
The CISE department would be converted to a teaching-only department
50% of faculty would be transferred to other engineering departments (ECE, ISE, and BME)

so, if it will be a teaching only department, that doesn't seem the same as eliminated. They'll move the engineering in with the Electrical and Computer Engineering department, and it seems leave CISE to teach programming.

Re:not eliminated? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39769571)

FTFA:

so, if it will be a teaching only department, that doesn't seem the same as eliminated. They'll move the engineering in with the Electrical and Computer Engineering department, and it seems leave CISE to teach programming.

So in other words, they are eliminating computer science.

Re:not eliminated? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39769685)

Engineering != science. It doesn't make sense to merge the two departments, no more than it makes sense to merge the physics department with the mechanical engineering department.

Re:not eliminated? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39769821)

Better tell schools like Berkeley, MIT, etc. I'm sure they wouldn't have gone through with the merger had they just read your comment first.

No problem! (1, Troll)

Vinegar Joe (998110) | about 2 years ago | (#39769443)

They'll still have football, right? Good to see they've got their priorities straight.

Re:No problem! (2, Informative)

jythie (914043) | about 2 years ago | (#39769511)

Apparently the elimination of the computer science department funded a 2% increase in the athletics budget.

Re:No problem! (4, Informative)

stoolpigeon (454276) | about 2 years ago | (#39769633)

Not at all. The sports program is independent and actually feeds millions of dollars into the school.

Bringing sports into it may lead to discussion on cultural values - but the money spent by the school on academics and sports are not related.

Re:No problem! (1)

buddyglass (925859) | about 2 years ago | (#39769573)

As many commenters to the Forbes article have pointed out, the athletic department funds itself and actually donates money back to the University. If you eliminated athletics at UF entirely it would not generate any additional money to fund the CS Department.

Re:No problem! (1)

SJHillman (1966756) | about 2 years ago | (#39769629)

The same year I started college, they cut baseball, track and field, and a couple other sports (all of which had competitive records) to fund a larger football stadium (the football team averages less than 4 wins per year). It turns out their $5 million "stadium" is actually a bunch of new bleachers and an ugly 900 square foot concrete building.

Meanwhile... (-1, Troll)

MikeRT (947531) | about 2 years ago | (#39769447)

From their list of majors [ufl.edu] ...

American Indian and Indigenous Studies, Film and Media Studies, Golf and Sports Turf Management, Information Systems, International Studies, Marketing, Modern European Studies, Public Relations, Recreation, Parks and Tourism, Religion (this is why we have seminaries!), Sociology and Women's Studies are all still there.

There are also three music degrees: Music Education and either a B.A. in Music or a "Bachelors of Music" in Music. Similarly, Art is broken down into three or four majors instead of 3 or 4 concentrations.

What we need is a tax payer revolt in Florida over all of those useless majors, especially, the grievance mongers like Women's Studies surviving the cut.

Re:Meanwhile... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39769497)

To be fair, you would probably have a better chance of introducing "mens' studies". You could major in strip clubs, beer consumption, and ... I'll let you work out the rest.

Re:Meanwhile... (1)

jythie (914043) | about 2 years ago | (#39769539)

Grievance mongers.. nice little sexist jab there.... also nice bit of hypocrisy in general... 'how dare they cut something I like to fund something they find valuable! Here are a list of things I don't find value in they should cut instead!'.

Re:Meanwhile... (2)

ioErr (691174) | about 2 years ago | (#39769593)

He disagrees about which subjects are valuable. I don't see any hypocrisy in that, just a difference of opinions.

Re:Meanwhile... (1)

Dog-Cow (21281) | about 2 years ago | (#39769651)

How is "Women's Studies" note sexist?

Re:Meanwhile... (1)

Dog-Cow (21281) | about 2 years ago | (#39769669)

And how did not get written as note?

Re:Meanwhile... (1)

Lord Crowface (1315695) | about 2 years ago | (#39769541)

Seriously? While some of those degrees look more like they belong at a technical school or a community college, some look legit to me. Also, academic Religious Studies (as I assume the Religion department is) tend to look at religion in a more anthropological and sociological perspective than a "belief and preaching" perspective. Thus, the typical Religious Studies department would be a very bad fit for a seminary.

Re:Meanwhile... (1)

ledow (319597) | about 2 years ago | (#39769563)

"Golf and Sports Turf Management" - I thought you were joking. A BSc in that?!

Excuse me while I die laughing.

Re:Meanwhile... (1)

stoolpigeon (454276) | about 2 years ago | (#39769663)

I knew a few people who went through programs like that when I lived in FL. It can lead to a very lucrative career. It may be a stupid society that generates the need for the program - but the people in the US who study it now are not stupid.

Re:Meanwhile... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39769565)

Hey, in Florida Golf and Sports Turf Management Degrees are need to work on some Golf courses and such. Also, Recreation, Parks, and Tourism is a huge part of Florida and is why there is no income tax.

Re:Meanwhile... (2)

hackula (2596247) | about 2 years ago | (#39769597)

Religion (this is why we have seminaries!)

Religious Studies is completely different from seminary; Religious Studies being the one where you actually are informed about religions, seminary being where you are misinformed about one.

Re:Meanwhile... (2)

hackula (2596247) | about 2 years ago | (#39769675)

OK, giving each of these an enormous budget does not make sense, but I think each of these are legitimate lines of study in some proportion. You really do not think Sociology is a big deal?? ...As in the study of the thing we all complain about all the time and would really like fixed, if only we could better understand how it really works??

Re:Meanwhile... (1)

royallthefourth (1564389) | about 2 years ago | (#39769745)

You don't build strength in your movement by turning students and faculty from different departments against each other. You say a tax revolt is "needed", but so far it's only in your imagination. There's no course charted for it, and it won't happen. The most likely way to keep the CS department intact is for the students and faculty to continue the organizing around the issue that they've already been doing. Once they're organized, they can shut the whole university down until their demands are met. That's how collective power works, not by sitting at home deciding not to pay taxes and praying that everyone else is doing the same.

By the way, I'm sure those 3 music degrees don't actually represent 3 whole separate departments, just different course arrangements.

But the good news is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39769455)

Additional resources have been freed up to staff the Physical Education, Sports Management and Communications departments.

lol... ECE here (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39769457)

Yup, everyone knows that a pure CS major is a joke. Move the classes into the Engineering and Math departments where they belong. If you want a joke degree, there are plenty of online universities.

UF - the party school! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39769465)

UF - the party school!

Having degrees that actually require "study" is against school policy?

OTOH, how many people go to UF for CS degrees? It isn't like a top 10 school or anything. #39 isn't really that bad. http://grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-science-schools/university-of-florida-134130 [rankingsandreviews.com] Their math department is ranked in the 50s, so perhaps that should be eliminated too?

BTW, I live in a nearby state and we have lots and lots of UF grads here. Some are really smart, unfortunately, none of these folks are in the school's administration.

When I think of UF, I think
* sports
* marketing
* business
* biology (location, location, location)

I don't think engineering, CS, architecture .... sorry.

Re:UF - the party school! (1)

buddyglass (925859) | about 2 years ago | (#39769637)

UF has the best overall academic reputation of any state school in Florida. You may not think of "engineering, CS, architecture" when you hear "UF", but that's also the case for the vast majority of state schools nationwide. Not everybody can be Berkeley, UCLA, Illinois, Wisconsin, Washington, Ga. Tech, Michigan or Texas. Does that imply everybody else (e.g. UF) should drop those programs?

Surely you jest (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39769469)

Is it April 1st again already? Surely this is some sort of joke?

University of DUMBSHITS! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39769489)

IF this crack ass bullshit move by the University thinks it's going to save money. Imagine when all the students at that university, suddenly decide to switch universities. Like Michigan Tech. Than what will the committee think at this point. Hundreds of students leaving in groves. Means 10's of thousands of dollars out the window. BOY talk about one of the most universally fucked up ideas a university could ever come up with! ESPECIALLY IN TODAYS WORLD!!!!!

Website down (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39769505)

University President: Our website is down! Quick! Get it back up!
Staff: Sir, we have no more computer science department. Remember?

You're trolling, but ... (3)

oneiros27 (46144) | about 2 years ago | (#39769751)

Very few sysadmins that I know have degrees in computer science.

They have degrees in science, engineering, or for some, no degree at all. All focused on problem solving skills, but no so much on the heavy math that comes from CompSci degrees. We need to worry about getting things built and keeping them working -- the most efficient way to sort something doesn't really come up too much.

And as someone who has worked for a university ... I was surprised how none of the IT staff taught classes. Some of the CompSci faculty hadn't been in the industry for 10+ years, and would show slides w/ 15 year old computers in them. It was cringe-worthy.

Agenda 21, one way or another (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39769521)

When asking UF officials about this bold move, one official stated, "Dude just wait. This is only the beginning of The Plan, we are looking forward for a 25 and 50 year agenda to close all remaining schools in the state, we will be Agenda 21 compliant. Our sustainability plan is on schedule"

Not right... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39769523)

They are running an online petition on the website here: http://saveufcise.wordpress.com/2012/04/14/how-you-can-help/

Personally, I can vouch that the research output from one of the professors in this department, Tim Davis, (http://www.cise.ufl.edu/~davis/) has found its way into industry software like Matlab and other engineering applications. It will be a loss to the community to see this go.

Re:Not right... (1)

Nidi62 (1525137) | about 2 years ago | (#39769607)

Personally, I can vouch that the research output from one of the professors in this department, Tim Davis, (http://www.cise.ufl.edu/~davis/) has found its way into industry software like Matlab and other engineering applications.

And he's probably among one of the professors that are being moved into the engineering department. Makes more sense for him to be in the engineering department if most of his work goes to engineering applications. It's not like they're throwing the teachers out on the street, as the summary implies through omission.

Maybe its just time to.... (1)

3seas (184403) | about 2 years ago | (#39769553)

... move beyond computer industry imposed constraints on those who use computers. Time for those who use computers to automate for themselves.

Drop football, save $100 million (0)

hxnwix (652290) | about 2 years ago | (#39769555)

The football coach alone may make more than the entire CS department costs. Make football intramural and allocate resources to education.

Re:Drop football, save $100 million (3, Insightful)

mjr167 (2477430) | about 2 years ago | (#39769619)

You are mistaken... football is a profit center,not a cost center for universities. You can sell tickets to football games; you can't sell tickets to CS.

Re:Drop football, save $100 million (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39769671)

Tuition = tickets? :)

Re:Drop football, save $100 million (5, Insightful)

Amouth (879122) | about 2 years ago | (#39769681)

and this is where i have to ask what is the core competency of a university? to make money? to entertain fans? to educate students?

Just be cause you can make money at something doesn't mean you should focus resources on it, unless it's one of your core competency.

If it really is a "profit center" and something they can make money from, great but they need to contract control of it out on set terms and use the money generated by it to increase the educational offerings and make it easier for them to achieve in their reason for being, educating students.

Re:Drop football, save $100 million (1, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about 2 years ago | (#39769687)

That depends on the quality of your CS department. Football is not a profit center because of ticket sales, it is a profit center because rich alumni come back to remember the good ol' days of getting drunk and cheering for their fellow students receiving concussions, and then give large donations. If computer science departments inspire that sort of money-giving, they could become profitable also (and they might; if a rich alumnus owes his wealth to the education he received, he is likely to make a donation).

There is also the matter of research. Universities get a nice chunk of the money that researchers pull in from grants, and even more if those researchers hire graduate students (whose tuition is typically covered by the grant). A computer science department that has decent enoguh research could bring in lots of money for a university, as well as free advertising.

You know what does not help a university? Stories like this one -- stories about how they castrate their CS department to save a few pennies. I am curious about the rest University of Florida's budget -- how much do they spend on administrative salaries, resodding grass, and so forth. Chance are they could have saved the money elsewhere, if keeping the computer science department had been a priority.

Re:Drop football, save $100 million (1)

Nidi62 (1525137) | about 2 years ago | (#39769735)

That depends on the quality of your CS department. Football is not a profit center because of ticket sales, it is a profit center because rich alumni come back to remember the good ol' days of getting drunk and cheering for their fellow students receiving concussions, and then give large donations. If computer science departments inspire that sort of money-giving, they could become profitable also (and they might; if a rich alumnus owes his wealth to the education he received, he is likely to make a donation).

Computer science doesn't get you your own television network like football did for University of Texas, no matter how rich or successful your graduates have been. Of course, Texas killed their conference by getting that network, but that's a different story.

Hidden costs of football (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39769785)

You are mistaken... football is a profit center,not a cost center for universities. You can sell tickets to football games; you can't sell tickets to CS.

Football is NOT a profit center, it only appears that way if you ignore some of the costs: extra campus security required to protect the campus during and after games (drunken fan students cause a lot of direct property damage and indirect assault damage), all the non-football sports programs that you MUST fund if you want football and federal funds under Title IX, etc.

Re:Drop football, save $100 million (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39769627)

They also pull in a massive amount of money through merchandising and ticket sales. College football in FL is bigger than NFL. And unlike the Bucs, you can see college games on TV.

hmm (4, Interesting)

buddyglass (925859) | about 2 years ago | (#39769561)

I'm curious: why Computer Science? The program shouldn't be very expensive on a per-student basis, especially compared to the physical sciences. Was the department just uniquely dysfunctional or under-performing? Why not cut, say, physics? Not that Physics should be cut either, but the choice of Computer Science seems arbitrary.

Re:hmm (1)

overshoot (39700) | about 2 years ago | (#39769699)

The program shouldn't be very expensive on a per-student basis, especially compared to the physical sciences.

That's the problem: it doesn't cost much and as a result doesn't draw big research grants. The University cut of a research grant pays for a lot more than just keeping the lights on, and when money gets tight that makes all the difference. Don't imagine that CS will be the last.

Re:hmm (4, Interesting)

Shavano (2541114) | about 2 years ago | (#39769729)

They're saying it was inefficient to have it as its own department separate from computer engineering and software engineering disciplines.

But I wonder where one would study advanced topics in computing now. Maybe the answer is "not at the University of Florida."

Flori-duh (-1, Flamebait)

Dynamoo (527749) | about 2 years ago | (#39769579)

It's Flori-duh again. If global warming means that the state sinks into the sea it would be no bad thing.

They can save much more (4, Insightful)

aglider (2435074) | about 2 years ago | (#39769587)

by dropping all the departments!

Since the UF football team is on a down swing... (1, Insightful)

MooseDontBounce (989375) | about 2 years ago | (#39769605)

they probably need the money to help the team. Everyone knows SEC football titles is WAY more important then actual classes.

Bruce Edwards (1)

EmperorOfCanada (1332175) | about 2 years ago | (#39769615)

For all the Teaching Company fans out there, it is ironic that Bruce Edwards makes some of the best Math lectures available around. So there he is moving education into the 21st century when the same university he teaches at is forgetting that the 21st century is going to be a mix of computers, robotics, and biology. I wonder what their stance on evolution is?

It's all about saving money (4, Interesting)

overshoot (39700) | about 2 years ago | (#39769657)

Florida has to cut the budget somwhere, and universities are hotbeds of radical socialist indoctrination. Especially computer science. Now, if the CS department could pay its own way like football does that might be different.

Fortunately, Florida State has found a solution to the problem: their economics department has found a sponsor who will provide lots of funding in return for veto power over new faculty hires. UF is no doubt looking for to improve on the method.

Re:It's all about saving money (2, Insightful)

scharkalvin (72228) | about 2 years ago | (#39769769)

Too bad their sponsor is one of the worst things that has ever happened to this country. The family involved is worse than the KKK in it's anti american John Birch attitudes. They don't believe in global warming and the environment. FS should tell them to take their money and stuff it where the sun don't shine.

Re:It's all about saving money (2)

overshoot (39700) | about 2 years ago | (#39769827)

FS should tell them to take their money and stuff it where the sun don't shine.

From a source literally next door to FSU Economics, the decision to accept the funding was very controversial -- but it was also made at a level way above the departmental level.

I don't recall whether the faculty senate took up the issue or not -- I can certainly see why they might.

Don't be trolled! (2)

jaymzter (452402) | about 2 years ago | (#39769667)

The author of the TFA implies that the University cut the CS program to bank roll athletics. In fact, the athletic department receives NO funding at all from the school! Not only that, the athletic department gifts the school $6-$8MM annually, and has previously upped the contribution to help the university not have to make cuts.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/University_of_Florida_Athletic_Association [wikipedia.org]

So it's OK to decry the dropping of a major department, but don't let the story get spun by the ignorant or those with an agenda.

Re:Don't be trolled! (3, Informative)

cplusplus (782679) | about 2 years ago | (#39769789)

I think you're mistaken. Their athletic department costs the university over $100+ million per year, but only generates about half that in revenue (see this [businessof...sports.com] handy link). Maybe they couldn't come up with the head coach's bonus this year (he got something like $2.5 million)?

Gators are STUPID creatures (-1, Troll)

scharkalvin (72228) | about 2 years ago | (#39769725)

More fuel to the fire that FSU is a better school than FS. 'Noles rock! Gators SUCK!

Makes sense (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 2 years ago | (#39769733)

Computer Science is an expensive department to maintain. If the school wasn't doing well in it, there's no reason to keep it around. I'm sure there are dozens of other colleges in the area that still have program you could get into. When I went to college there wasn't such a thing as a computer science department outside of major, very expensive universities that I couldn't get into. So I majored in English and took whatever computer classes they had. Here I am, all these years later, a DB admin. I don't even really remember what I learned in English classes... I'm pretty fluent in English... so maybe that.

Tough Call (0)

jimmifett (2434568) | about 2 years ago | (#39769749)

CS overlaps with quite a bit, so I can see some redundancies.

However, I'd have first cut useless junk like diversity studies or political "science".

If you feel that strongly about it (1)

gelfling (6534) | about 2 years ago | (#39769761)

Staple a check to your sternly worded letter.

Going backwards? (4, Interesting)

yoshi_mon (172895) | about 2 years ago | (#39769791)

Speaking as a Gator who went to school back when if you wanted to study computers you had to go into the Engineering School it sounds like they are moving backwards. As in like when I went to UF if you wanted to study CIS you had to take Calc 1-3 (ok...most of us were fine with that), Chem 1-2 (hum...), and Physics 1-2 (gahhh?), along with some other very non-CIS related but much more related Engineering classes. In effect if you wanted to learn to be a programmer, network engineer, or even a web designer you had to have the background of a EE.

It was total overkill and drove a lot of students away from the department. But at the time, late 80's-early 90's, the whole PC thing was still relatively brand new so that a large institution like UF had not adapted its curriculum was no huge shock. Disappointing yes but not all that shocking.

Now TFA is very light on details on how what the new curriculum for students would be. If they are indeed going back to asking CIS students to have EE level requirements. So this might just be a bit of good ol' yellow journalism. But it is indeed worth of some attention such that we can full details on how and why this is happening.

A Leap in the Wrong Direction (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39769793)

My wife and I both graduated from this department several years ago. This department offers the best education; the liberal arts counterpart program is weak. If you want to be good, or you want to be the best, you would enroll in this department.

My wife and I have both launched into incredibly technical and lucrative careers, and now that we are raising our 2 children I'm continually alarmed at the divestment of science and engineering in this country. This morning I joked with her that our jobs will be secure for the next 25 years, because now our children won't even be able to enroll in a department of this caliber. In fact, if I want our kids to become engineers, at what point will I have to send them to India or China? The University of Florida is certainly taking a step down.

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