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University of Florida Eliminates Computer Science Department 628

Posted by timothy
from the gator-fans-on-the-line dept.
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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University of Florida Eliminates Computer Science Department

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 23, 2012 @08:15AM (#39769387)

    n/m

    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 23, 2012 @12:11PM (#39772147)

      640K comp sci grads should be enough for any country.

  • by JoeMerchant (803320) on Monday April 23, 2012 @08:17AM (#39769395) Homepage

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

    • by CastrTroy (595695) on Monday April 23, 2012 @08:20AM (#39769419) Homepage
      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.
      • by _8553454222834292266 (2576047) on Monday April 23, 2012 @08:22AM (#39769433)

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

        Only if you're at a bad school.

        • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 23, 2012 @08:28AM (#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: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by jimbolauski (882977)
            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.
            • by Dog-Cow (21281) on Monday April 23, 2012 @08:41AM (#39769621)

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

              Someone skipped logic 101...

            • by geoffball (1195685) on Monday April 23, 2012 @08:49AM (#39769695)
              The UF athletic depart makes most of its cash from the television contracts of the football and basketball teams.
            • by Chillas (144627) on Monday April 23, 2012 @09:05AM (#39769849)

              They do not make money. The median net loss of each of the Division 1A schools' athletic programs is in the vicinity of $7 million annually.

              • by Rostin (691447) on Monday April 23, 2012 @09:16AM (#39769985)
                The majority operate at a loss, but many, including UF, do make money.
                • by yali (209015)

                  "Make money" is relative [statesman.com]. All universities, including the ones like UF that claim to make money, certify that their big-time sports programs are "substantially related" to their educational mission, and the IRS and state tax boards choose to believe it. As a result, the university's revenue from tickets, TV broadcast rights, advertising, and merchandise are tax-exempt. Donations from boosters are tax exempt (and a tax writeoff for the donor). Construction of stadiums and other sports facilities is funded w

              • by DesScorp (410532) <DesScorp.Gmail@com> on Monday April 23, 2012 @10:25AM (#39770663) Homepage Journal

                They do not make money. The median net loss of each of the Division 1A schools' athletic programs is in the vicinity of $7 million annually.

                Florida, in the football loving South Eastern Conference, is not one of them. They make a lot of money from football. Second, no tax funds go to the athletic program. All SEC schools fund their athletic programs separately from the main budget, and all of the athletic money comes from ticket sales, TV revenue, bowl payouts, merchandise, etc. Athletics takes not one single dollar from state appropriations in the SEC.

              • by Rolgar (556636) on Monday April 23, 2012 @10:28AM (#39770683)

                Maybe. But as an activity that can build excitement for the school among potential schools, you can see a loss as an advertising cost to bring in new students and other interest.

                An example most folks aren't aware of:
                Kansas State University (I'm an alumnus) up until 1987 was the worst Division 1A football school as far as historical record, and it wasn't even close. We had a 0-26-1 record in 27 consecutive games. Sports Illustrated did a cover story on how bad we were. Enrollment was trending down, with projections having us losing our football program and other significant loss of status.

                Around that time, we hired an assistant coach from the University of Iowa, Bill Snyder. In 1993, we began a 10 year run where we won at least 9 games every year, and finished ranked in the top 25 every year. The decline in enrollment reversed. The school has had many successes academically as well as athletically (one of the top schools for Rhodes, Truman, Goldwater and other graduate scholarship contests, we were awarded the BioDefense facility, although funding may get cut due to politics), much of it due to the enthusiasm generated by having a winning program, and the perception that the people in charge know how to build success.

                If that is the outcome that can come from a winning athletic department, I'm sure many universities consider that an investment in the overall success of the school. Now, our particular athletic department just became profitable enough that it is going to be run without state assistance. All money spent must be generated from sales, media contracts, conference profits, and donations. This year's $20 million profit is funding facility enhancements to keep us competitive with other schools which will probably outspend us in this area long term.

                • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

                  by The Pirou (1551493)
                  You're erroneously linking interest in athletics to interest in colleges. While there are those who base their college choices on sports teams, for many people it is still about the Education and the Experience.

                  My freshman year at USF was also the inaugural year of our football team. I remember the commentary going around the campus newspaper about the money we were being offered by UF and FSU to play their football teams (not a prayer of winning). The whole thing would have been an embarrassment to our sc
            • by SecurityGuy (217807) on Monday April 23, 2012 @10:00AM (#39770423)

              The best way to save UF CS department is to get donations from CS alumni or to make donations directly to the CS department.

              You may be right, but this is a desperately sad state of affairs. Tuition of the students attending should be sufficient to pay for the CS department. If it's not, they shouldn't have a CS department. I know many are desperate for uniformity, but it's really OK if not every single institution offers exactly the same programs of study. Schools also do a ridiculous bunch of things that I, as a former tuition paying student, don't want them spending my money on. Stop that.

              • by Compaqt (1758360)

                Well, I actually agree that it should be possible for one school to offer astronomy (if they have a telescope), and for another to offer archaeology.

                The thing that I think got people going about this is: When you say "Florida", the first thing people think is "spring break, year round". So UF eliminating compsci leads them to think "they're playing into the stereotype". That's why I think people are reacting to this like they are (including alumni who want the school to known for academics and not just for

              • by interkin3tic (1469267) on Monday April 23, 2012 @01:34PM (#39773321)
                But if you eliminate whole departments, you lose interdisciplinary links. You eliminate any quality in classes that other majors need. If UF offered computational neurobiology for example, it probably won't for very long now. Can't really see how the students are going to learn the upper-level computing skills they'd need. They'll try to compensate by having some biology professor who kinda knows computers try to teach the class, but the result will be less well-rounded students.
              • by hoppo (254995)

                You've just justified tearing the entire university system asunder.

                If student tuition could keep academic departments afloat, we would never hear about budget cuts. But it's fantasy. The University of Florida, for example, after budget cuts, will be getting over $800 million dollars in the next academic year. Divide that by roughly 50,000 undergrad + grad, and that's about $18K/student. Tuition is $4K in-state, $24K out-of-state, and the student body definitely skews more toward in-state students. So money

            • by Ralph Spoilsport (673134) on Monday April 23, 2012 @10:50AM (#39770927) Journal
              Who the fuck cares if it makes money - it's a STATE UNIVERSITY not a CORPORATION. It doesn't have to "make money". It has to Educate People. Eliminating the CS dept while boosting Football is embarrassingly retarded. You want to know why America is Collapsing? Bullshit like killing the CS dept while boosting Football is why the USA is Collapsing. It's being crushed by a massive case of the stupids and a malingering condition of ignorance complicated by fantastically poor judgement.
            • Because the job of the University of Florida is to make money, not educate students. Now I know to discount any degree I see from that state.
            • by forkfail (228161)

              College football does not make money for education. There's a lot of money flowing, but almost none really ever goes to education.

          • by buddyglass (925859) on Monday April 23, 2012 @08:48AM (#39769689)
            Separate budgets. Athletics pays its own way. Nuking the entire athletic dept. wouldn't create any additional money for CS.
        • by Lluc (703772) on Monday April 23, 2012 @09:37AM (#39770165)

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

          Only if you're at a bad school.

          For example, the University of California at Berkeley with its combined EECS dept? They're only ranked #1 in the 2010 US News ratings...

          • by Wovel (964431)

            Or MIT with its combined EECS department. Or Maybe Caltech where it is combined with the Math department. Man all these schools suck. Maybe he was thinking of UT where it is part of the Engineering school. Oh wait.

        • by DesScorp (410532)

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

          Only if you're at a bad school.

          This is absolutely silly. Why does UF have to do it the way others do it? Further, why does every single state university have to have a CS department? They don't all have law schools or medical schools. At a lot of schools, several fields are folded into larger departments, without any real loss of quality.

    • by SJHillman (1966756) on Monday April 23, 2012 @08:21AM (#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.

      • by h4rr4r (612664)

        If there was not much overlap then it sounds like those were some worthless IT degrees. I guess this is where we get interview candidates for IT jobs that can't even script perl or python much less write actual code.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 23, 2012 @08:23AM (#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".

    • 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.

    • by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Monday April 23, 2012 @08:40AM (#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.

    • by jellomizer (103300) on Monday April 23, 2012 @09:05AM (#39769839)

      Computer Engineering/Software Engineering isn't the same as Computer Science.

      In Computer Science we usually take a course in Computer Engineering and a course in Software Engineering, to get some concepts from those other areas of study into the students. However Computer Science, real Computer Science, is less about the technology, and more about the Mathematics of performing optimal computations.
      Software Engineering isn't as much about optimal computations, it is more of a way of getting the software to work, and building larger complicated systems, which need to be maintained over time.
      Computer Engineering is more of a hardware level approach, where the goal is is optimize basic elements but not complex systems.
      Computer Science is in the middle. We use the optimized basic elements that the Computer Engineers make, and we create more complicated computations using them. Then Software Engineers take what the computer scientists have made and implement them into a practical design.

      When it gets to real life jobs, all three areas of studies often give us a similar career path. However depending on your study you have different approaches to the problems we face.
      So lets say a for a Job of a Software Developer (with 5 years experience)
      When there is a problem to be solved.
      A computer Engineer focused person, would use the features in the hardware to leverage more Optimized Lower level commands to their beck and call to help them solve issues, now this will create a fast solution, but may not run on other platforms.
      A Computer Science focused person, would try to separate themselves from the hardware a bit more, and go into creating logic and routines, these routines will tend to be rather optimal, however they will probably miss something the hardware gives us for free, but will run on other platforms.
      A Computer Engineer, will create code in a clean well documented manner, it will often be the less optimal, and slowest solution. However it will tend to run well on other platforms, easy to maintain, and usually more stable.

      They all approach problems differently and when you get them together to work on a problem, you can get some heated discussions, but if they actually work well together they come up with some very good solutions.
      Dropping Computer Science is a bad idea, because then you will loose the middle of the road approach in computing.

  • by G3ckoG33k (647276) on Monday April 23, 2012 @08:19AM (#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".

    • by tverbeek (457094) on Monday April 23, 2012 @08:34AM (#39769543) Homepage

      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: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by ledow (319597)

      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.

    • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Monday April 23, 2012 @09:07AM (#39769877)

      I work for an engineering college at a big university and we have some departments that really need cutting. I'm talking departments that, literally, have less than 10 students. Well when you have low enrollment numbers like that you don't really bring in the money to support a department head, a few professors, support staff, and so on. They are a drain on resources and need to be cut.

      One way or another, a department needs to bring in enough money to support itself. Now that could be directly bringing in money through research grants, but can also be through tuition. Departments that do a lot of teaching but little to no research can be plenty valuable because if students are coming for those classes, they are bringing in tuition dollars.

      If they can't bring in money to support themselves, meaning pay the salaries, capital and operations costs, all that kind of thing, then they need to be cut in size or eliminated entirely. It is neither fair nor smart to say "Let's grab money from a successful department and use it to prop up an unsuccessful one."

      • by MxTxL (307166) <mlutterNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Monday April 23, 2012 @10:29AM (#39770705)

        It is neither fair nor smart to say "Let's grab money from a successful department and use it to prop up an unsuccessful one."

        It would not be smart if your only goal is to run the University as a business, where you cut unsuccessful revenue centers and fund/build/grow the more successful ones to focus on profitability of the corporation. From that respect, economy of scale works the same way as it does at Coca-cola or Wal-Mart. Cut the under-performers. It is cheaper, easier and more profitable to pump out 10 million of the same widgets than it is to pump out very small batches of all-different widgets.

        HOWEVER

        If you are a believer in the concept of academic freedom and in the power of diversity of knowledge and thought (idealistic, I know) then it is vital that more successful departments fund less successful ones. I, for one, want there to exist people who study Latin, despite there being a limited usefulness for it as a career. I want people who study ancient Macedonian philosophy, basket weaving, Sanskrit and all the other fields that most people might deride as training for a career at McDonalds. I want there to be someone who knows everything there is to know about the inner politics of ancient Sumeria. The sum-total of human knowledge is vast and it is important that it be preserved but also expanded with the rigor of academic scrutiny.

        I want this done, because the concept of Academia demands it. If we churn out millions of kids at a time all with the same thoughts and ideas gleaned from mass-market jobs training programs, we will lose the intellectual diversity that is needed to preserve academic and scientific expansion. There may be nothing that someone studying ancient Indian tapestries can ever tell a nuclear engineer that will advance his work, but both types of people are necessary to increase the useful progress of art and science.

        I understand that the bills need to be paid in order to keep the lights on, and also that there are fields that have much more use in the real world as careers. There are certain fields that have more utility in advancing cutting-edge science and, rightly, should receive more attention for their greater potential to advance the human race. However, we shouldn't neglect more arcane knowledge entirely because of this. The more popular fields need to subsidize the less popular ones, less we risk whole branches of study dying off. This is not the most efficient method of creating profit for the university, but that shouldn't be what universities are all about. They should be about increasing the sum-total of human knowledge in all branches.

        • So long as you are fine with footing the bill via taxes. If you aren't, then you need to deal with cuts. It isn't fair to ask undergrads to have their tuitions balloon even more just to support shit that they have no use or interest for. Nor it is fair, and not really ethical or legal, to take research money from a grant for a specific purpose and redirect it to other uses. So you need to foot the bill for that shit with your tax dollars. You do that, I'm pleased to have whatever you want. You don't then I'

        • Part of what you're describing is what libraries are for. That's where we should be simply curating collections of human knowledge. Advancing them? Ok, I'll put that in universities. Yes, those libraries could also be...university libraries!

          I do agree with you about the value of having a set of people who know everything about narrow and arguably useless disciplines simply to preserve the knowledge. The thing is how many you choose to have around, and whether that number should grow or shrink. It alwa

    • by mattbelcher (519012) <matt&mattbelcher,com> on Monday April 23, 2012 @09:31AM (#39770111) Homepage
      This might have been true in the past but it isn't true of the current CS department. Since UF was designated a "Research 1" university, the CISE department has made huge strides to increase its research competitiveness. They have won 12 NSF CAREER awards for young faculty, received 11 best paper awards at major conferences in the last 5 years, and have quintupled their external research grant funding.
    • by b4dc0d3r (1268512) on Monday April 23, 2012 @09:36AM (#39770153)

      I don't get the outrage here. The article might just as well have positioned this as moving the education to the new Polytechnic. But that's not good for page views. So we get this opinion piece instead.

      Based on tuition and costs, there could be anywhere between 85-200 students covered by this department to get the $1.7M savings. And there is a Polytechnic being created in Tampa specifically for this kind of thing. Why invest in something that is going to be poached by your new University anyway?

      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

              âoeAt a time when the number of graduates of Floridaâ(TM)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.â

  • by Metabolife (961249) on Monday April 23, 2012 @08:21AM (#39769429)

    NERDS!!!!!

  • not eliminated? (Score:5, Informative)

    by jank1887 (815982) on Monday April 23, 2012 @08:22AM (#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? (Score:5, Informative)

      by CowTipperGore (1081903) on Monday April 23, 2012 @09:12AM (#39769933)

      Indeed. TFA is very misleading and inaccurate opinion piece written by a contributor who usually focuses on healthcare issues. If you read the items he references in his hack job, you'll see that CISE program is not eliminated at all. The computer engineering programs are being moved from CISE to the Electrical and Computer Engineering department. Graduate programs and research work will continue in computer engineering there. Most graduate programs and research work in CISE will be eliminated, but the computer science BS and MS programs will remain. The projected savings are $1.36 million out of a $4 million in cuts across the university.

      For what it's worth, this article is one of several opinion pieces carried by Forbes attacking this decision and all are full of inaccuracies and outright lies. Computer science research is being cut. The computer science programs remain. Computer engineering research remains but is moved into Engineering instead of CISE.

    • Re:not eliminated? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by dachshund (300733) on Monday April 23, 2012 @09:16AM (#39769983)

      50% of faculty would be transferred to other engineering departments (ECE, ISE, and BME)

      Just to clarify: The other 50% of faculty will move to better Universities. All of the good ones anyway.

      My University is already treating this as a huge hiring opportunity.

  • No problem! (Score:2, Troll)

    by Vinegar Joe (998110)

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

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by jythie (914043)
      Apparently the elimination of the computer science department funded a 2% increase in the athletics budget.
      • Re:No problem! (Score:5, Informative)

        by stoolpigeon (454276) * <bittercode@gmail> on Monday April 23, 2012 @08:44AM (#39769633) Homepage Journal

        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.

  • hmm (Score:5, Interesting)

    by buddyglass (925859) on Monday April 23, 2012 @08:36AM (#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 (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Shavano (2541114) on Monday April 23, 2012 @08:52AM (#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."

  • by aglider (2435074) on Monday April 23, 2012 @08:39AM (#39769587) Homepage

    by dropping all the departments!

  • by overshoot (39700) on Monday April 23, 2012 @08:46AM (#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: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by scharkalvin (72228)

      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.

      • by overshoot (39700)

        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.

  • by jaymzter (452402) on Monday April 23, 2012 @08:47AM (#39769667) Homepage

    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: (Score:3, Informative)

      by cplusplus (782679)
      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)?
      • by jpate (1356395)
        The link you provided says that the athletic department spends over $100 million per year, but that the football program generates a little over half of that in revenue. The football program is not the only source of revenue for the athletic department. Men's basketball revenue and alumni donations cover the rest. Most Division I FBS schools lose money on athletics, but Florida is one of the few that stays in the black.
  • Going backwards? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by yoshi_mon (172895) on Monday April 23, 2012 @09:00AM (#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.

  • by PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) on Monday April 23, 2012 @09:29AM (#39770093)

    You want to study Computer Science? Enroll somewhere else. You live in Florida, and want to study Computer Science cheaply at a state subsidized school? Move.

    If folks in Florida sees no point in educating Computer Science students, let 'em. The loss will be theirs. Say "Hello" to your new neighbors from India.

  • by ggraham412 (1492023) on Monday April 23, 2012 @09:36AM (#39770159)
    A number of posters have been wondering why UF cut the Computer Science department. It is because the administrators at the University of Florida want more funding from the state of Florida, and a useful and popular STEM program is a higher value hostage than, say, any Arts and Humanities program.

    My basis for this is OP's linked article in Forbes, which quite transparently links the elimination of the department with state budget cuts. Could you imagine how that would read if UF threatened closure of a Literature department and elimination of courses in postmodernism and semiotics? Most sane people would yawn at that.
  • by Myopic (18616) * on Monday April 23, 2012 @10:34AM (#39770737)

    Aside: ever since I was in my CS program, I've always disliked the name "Computer Science", largely because I spend two full years of college never using a computer for any of my classes. Calling it Computer Science puts the machine at the center of the endeavor, whereas really it is an abstract conceptual field, like all liberal studies.

    I think the field should be called "Computation".

  • by scorp1us (235526) on Monday April 23, 2012 @10:49AM (#39770911) Journal

    What you expected a message body?

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