Feeds

University of Florida drops plans to axe CompSci for sports

Geeks win out over meatheads (for once)

Security for virtualized datacentres

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. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
The 'fun-nification' of computer education – good idea?
Compulsory code schools, luvvies love it, but what about Maths and Physics?
Want to break Netflix? It'll pay you to do the job
'Senior Chaos Engineer' sought to inflict all sorts of nasty, nasty, pain
HOT BABES! Worried you won't get that JOB in IT? MENTION how hot you are
'Don't hate me 'cos I'm beautiful' ploy for sad honeys
Oracle to DBAs: your certification is about to become worthless paper
So hurry up and get a new one, will all of you who took exams for 10g and lower?
HP's axe swings AGAIN: 5,000 more staffers for the chop
Extra job cuts not linked to PC and printer biz split
Phones 4u demise: 1,700 employees laid off with redundo package
'Limited interest in remaining 362 stores', says administrator PwC
Germany strikes again over Amazon warehouse pay
Employees to walk out in long-running wage dispute
Amazon hiring in Australia for 'new and confidential Amazon Fresh initiative'
Is Jeff Bezos moving his grocery business beyond the US West Coast?
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
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?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.