Feeds

University of Florida drops plans to axe CompSci for sports

Geeks win out over meatheads (for once)

Intelligent flash storage arrays

A plan by the University of Florida (UF) to axe most of its computer science department while increasing sports funding is being reconsidered after the news went viral.

In the last six years the Florida state government has cut funding to the university by nearly 25 per cent, and in an effort to save $1.4m UF decided to eliminate all funding to the department for teaching assistants, axe all graduate and research programs, and shift what was left of the team into the engineering department.

At the same time the budget would increase funding for the athletics department by $2m, bringing its budget for 2013 to $97.7m.

Outraged students set up a website to defend their department and call for a rethink, and the academic community joined in with statements of its own.

Professor Carl De Boor, a member of National Academy of Sciences and 2003 National Medal of Science winner was brief but scathing in his criticism of the move.

"I have just learned that your school of engineering is in the process of dismantling a research department with national standing, developed and nurtured over many years, that brings in over $1m* [* the actual figure is closer to $5m] per year in research money and whose subject and results are absolutely vital to modern engineering, disrupting the careers of good people and interrupting, perhaps critically, the training of future professionals," he wrote. "What were you thinking?"

While there's no suggestion of a direct link between the budgets of computer science and athletics, the timing of the announcement from UF was redolent with irony. Just days before the state's governor Rick Scott announced the creation of a new school - Florida Polytechnic University – that will devote around half its efforts to science, technology, engineering and mathematics - or STEM - programs.

"At a time when the number of graduates of Florida's universities in the STEM fields is not projected to meet workforce needs, the establishment of Florida Polytechnic University will help us move the needle in the right direction," Scott said, the Palm Beach Post reports.

Now Bernie Machen, the president of UF, has backed down and issued a statement explaining the university's position and saying that the university ran a deficit of $30m last year, which it had to cover from its own reserves. A new plan was being formulated that would keep the Computer Science department's non-teaching assets while merging it with engineering, and would be submitted in a few weeks he said.

"We are currently working on a plan for a joint organization of these two departments into a larger unit. I feel strongly that this is the best opportunity for the two departments moving forward," said Gerhard Ritter, interim chair of computer and information science and engineering departments. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Germany strikes again over Amazon warehouse pay
Employees to walk out in long-running wage dispute
Phones 4u demise: 1,700 employees laid off with redundo package
'Limited interest in remaining 362 stores', says administrator PwC
Amazon hiring in Australia for 'new and confidential Amazon Fresh initiative'
Is Jeff Bezos moving his grocery business beyond the US West Coast?
Blighty's mighty tech skills shortage drives best job growth in years
Doesn't anyone know anything about SQL? Or Java? Or Linux? Or programming? Or...
Microsoft changes cert test providers, hints at fun new exams
If you really love taking tests with Prometric, do 'em before Christmas
Symantec security chap signs for CSIRO's ICT In Schools
Vulture South is closing in on our goal of 20 new recruits to help teachers and kids
A-level results: Before you smile at that jump-for-joy snap...
Uni-ditching teens are COMING FOR YOUR JOBS
How to promote CSIRO's ICT in Schools in your community
Vulture South is closing in on its target to find volunteers to help teach tech in schools
Everyone's an IoT expert but now there's a certificate to prove it
Cisco creates Certification of Things for industrial sensor-footlers
prev story

Whitepapers

A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.