Archive for April 13, 2012

University of Florida to dismantle CISE department

Our Dean at the Georgia Tech College of Computing has sent this to all of the faculty, urging us to sign the petition. I don’t know anything about the politics of CISE and ECE at Florida, but this is a significant development in the history of computing education and the trend toward shutting down CS departments.

A message from Prof. Sartaj Sahni.

Dear Colleague,
The CISE (Computer and Information Science Department) at the University of Florida needs your help in its struggle to survive . In a nutshell, our Dean has decided to use the pretext of a budget cut to dismantle the department, something (actually, uniting CISE and ECE) she has been trying to do for the past 3 years but was unable to do because she couldn’t get the required votes. Now, she claims that with budget cuts, she doesn’t need anyone’s support.Given this history, it should be clear that the dismantling  is purely retribution for not  voting in favor of her earlier plan to unite ECE and CISE. Please see the information below for more details.

Please help by signing the petition ( and in any other way possible (e.g., email the UF pointing out the value/need for CS grads especially PhDs). Please inform your friends and ask them to do the same and spread the word. Keep in mind that if this dismantling is successful here, it could be tried by other Deans at other universities. Your department could be next!


Current Situation:
The Dean of the College of Engineering, Dr. Cammy Abernathy fired three staff members today, jumpstarting a plan to remove all research and graduate programs from Computer Information Science and Engineering Department (CISE).
If the University is targeting a department as profitable as CISE, with such high employment prospects (Bureau of Labor Statistics<>), which attracts great economic growth to the Gainesville area (, who knows which department will be next.
The GAU believes these actions establish a dangerous precedent of radical department cuts that impacts all Graduate Students, Faculty, and Staff.
Plan of Action:
1.      Today, April 12th at 11:30AM: Join the protest at the Reitz Union Colonnade
2.      Today, April 12th at 2:00PM: Come to the Faculty Senate Meeting at McKnight Brain Institute Auditorium
3.      Sign this petition
4.      Follow us on twitter: @SaveUFCISE

The Dean of the College of Engineering, Dr. Cammy Abernathy, announced today that she will eliminate all research, graduate programs, and TAs from the Computer and Information Science Department (CISE).  Amazingly, she is targeting a department that brings in 17% of the College of Engineering’s revenue at only 10% of the College’s cost.
CISE Teaching Assistantships will be eliminated.  The CISE department will continue as a teaching-only department without teaching assistants. All CISE Graduate Assistants, who expected to receive a software degree, will be forced to move to a computer hardware department (Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, ECE).  Some CISE professors, handpicked by the Dean, will be moved to one of three unrelated departments (BME, ISE, ECE).  This will drastically affect Graduate Assistants’ financial status and career prospects.
The Nuclear Engineering Department was eliminated last year with similar tactics.
The University of Florida has other cuts on the table:

April 13, 2012 at 9:02 am 8 comments

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