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

April 23, 2012 at 9:03 am 3 comments

This new article on the ongoing U. Florida debacle in Forbes is shocking.  The athletic department is not getting cut — it’s getting a raise, and the raise alone is larger than the cost for the CISE department!  Meanwhile, Florida has just created a new STEM-oriented university.  I really would like to hear what argument the administration makes for these decisions.  An article this morning in the Gainesville Sun suggests that the local residents don’t understand it, either.

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.

via University of Florida Eliminates Computer Science Department, Increases Athletic Budgets. Hmm. – Forbes.

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Do free and open learning technologies help the rich more than the poor? An explanation for U. Florida’s CISE actions: A move towards Liberal Arts

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Amy Bruckman  |  April 23, 2012 at 10:03 am

    Just randomly speculating… I’m guessing that they feel that their faculty has some tenured folks who are not up to the quality they like. Closing the department is a legal way to fire them. And then they can slowly start adding CS instruction as part of another academic unit, like EE. Just a guess….

    Reply
  • 2. alfredtwo  |  April 24, 2012 at 12:22 am

    Apparently a merge is taking place to reduce staff to save some money. ALso they are dropping TAs and planning on having faculty teach more and research less. The athletic budget is a somewhat different pot of money. But it still doesn’t look good. It also appears that the state has cut support to public colleges and universities quite a bit in recent years. This is also common across the country. Short sighted in my opinion but no one seems to be asking me.

    Reply
    • 3. Mark Guzdial  |  April 24, 2012 at 9:50 am

      It’s a good point, Amy. If that were true, the administration couldn’t really give that response, not without being liable to lawsuits (“What is your evidence that I wasn’t a good enough faculty member?!?”).

      The Gainesville Sun had a good blog refuting some of the Forbes points. In particular, U. Florida Athletics is not just a separate budget, it’s a separate company. There’s no trade-off between CISE and Football at Florida.

      Reply

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