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What is the thought process behind this?
At a time when the US is currently importing its scientists and there's a shortage of skilled workers, this is a very bad move. Is it me or are they gearing up for some kind of coup? The usual signs are the setting apart of a particular group or groups as hate figures, sowing fear, uncertainty, and doubt, then offering a violent solution, then book-burning, increased surveillance, and going after the intellectuals. Naomi Wolf has spoken of this and I believe her.
John Bump
I'll make a guess they've found that alumni from the CS department don't give donations as large as alumni from business, and they get more donations when their football team wins conference games.
Yeah, but who will be the business leaders? Who will make the innovations America needs to dominate tech? That's what universities are supposed to be for!
(Long time rant --) We need to stop attempting to educate our kids, particularly in undergrad, at research institutes with a minor league football team, and send them to schools with teachers.
That's probably where you'll be getting your scientists and tech bods from. And that's exactly what happened during the Cultural Revolution. Same thing in Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge. Stalin's takeover of Russia got the original revolutionaries out and created the police state that killed millions of its own people...
Wow. Not at all surprised by increase in athletics budget but to cut computer science in an era when we need more STEM skilled's s surprise.
It's possible they've decided in their infinite wisdom that CS is going to be so massively outsourced and H1B'd that we're going to have an oversupply of people with those degrees.
OTOH, since there is no major tech investment in Florida (save NASA and we know how that's going), why should the State of Florida spend their money educating kids to ship off to Silicon Valley or New York?
+Erica Joy The benefits accrued to your individual citizens and the national/internationally community at large, no matter where they may choose to live and work.
There are times when I think the North lost the Civil War by winning it.
Considering we pay football players millions and scientists/teachers so little, maybe they're just being practical.
Serious?! This is the 21st century, man!! Even we in Fiji dumb!!
Hysteria is priceless whether budgeted or not. The report if false. UF is placing the computer science graduate school under the current computer and electrical engineering college, to both save money and bring the studies in line with other major universities. Apply to a few schools for graduate degrees in computer science and see what you study. The degree will be more demanding in all probability, but may possibly weed out the students who should move into journalism and go to work for Forbes magazine.
They should have cut the music department instead.
+Josafat Villeda That is an AWFUL idea! The arts (music anyways) are suffering enough! They should just STOP being run by SPORTSSPORTSSPORTS!!!! FOOOOBAAAAAAWWWWWW! and all that so they can pay more attention to the important stuff
Way to go! What this country's economy really needs is more baseball players! /<SARC OFF>
+1 for any prospective high school students getting into a CS field. This is one less school to consider.
If this was happening in ancient Rome, we'd all tut and say, of course that was a sign of decline, when they started putting so much GDP into Gladiators and circuses.
Florida is already too advanced in counting votes, they're obviously just wasting their time with CS
Haha Florida is more focused on creating NFL players than leaders of tomorrow
+Tonderai Chipazi Florida simply anoints its leaders of tomorrow (and the ones they foist on the rest of the country) from their well-heeled power families, Bush et al.
I read a comment on Hacker News or somewhere which discussed how what is being canceled is this odd man out among the existing computer departments and has something of a bad reputation. I didn't know if it was true, but it was enough to create reasonable doubt - so as usual, one should temper one's reactions before assuming you know the whole story.
What a ridiculous decision. Amazingly shortsighted.
+Mike Downing Stop worrying so much about Forbes and pay attention to what the referenced students and faculty are saying. Get off the anti-media kick long enough to actually read what's written -- it can help.
This is very close to home. Berry College in Rome, GA canceled the Computer Science major last year, and this year added a football team. I am transferring in the Fall.
+Paul Eubanks I'm not talking about where he went to school, I'm talking about where he lives now and where his power base is now - Florida.
WTF are you people talking about? Football is supported by the UAA, not directly from the college. There is not a choice of academics vs sports, at best the UAA could decide to make a gift to the UF (which it has done before). To say that we are supporting football at the price of education is plain wrong. Furthermore this is an internal engineering problem, we can't cut music as one person suggested because once again... we are the engineering college.

The real problem is engineering has a vast amount of reserve funds for situations like this, yet we dont want to dip into them. One or two people felt we could eliminate roughly 1.5 mil per year while keeping the money brought in by research and the diminishing funding from our government. So, in this point I agree with the article, it is really the politicians fault who think spending money on our universities is not important.
Sounds like the beginning of a higg-strung, stupid plot from Jerry Bruckheimer and the CSI:Miami folks. But, it couldn't be. They got cancelled, too.
"In a related matter, the Florida legislature has enacted legislation requiring all vehicles to be driven backwards."
They realized "Computer Science" is a misnomer, especially in the US where CS education standards are pathetic.
What percentage of Google employees are Florida graduates? Does anyone actually hire US graduates when they can get foriegn workers on visa's cheaper?
They don't want anyone to understand how to hack the tracking devices they intend to put on all your cars come 2015- really - look at Senate Bill 1813. (the relevant section is 31406.) This legislation – already passed by the Senate and likely to be passed by the House – will impose a legal requirement that all new cars made beginning with the 2015 models be fitted with so-called Event Data Recorders (EDRs). These are the “black boxes” you may have read about that store data about how you drive – including whether you wear a seat belt and how fast you drive, your GPS location, and can send it to whomever –
Who's gonna do the football student's homework for them now?
+gayle noble Off-topic, and by the way, something well over 90% of new cars already include these devices, which do not (and will not under the legislation) have any inherent ability to "send it to whomever" -- but the issues of who owns and will have access to the data is currently a matter of laws on the books and being written, and is a controversial matter.
Wow having lived in Florida most of my life, currently about 75-80 miles from UF, this is a huge shock. I'm an avid sports fan, yet the way our society is evolving, the need for Computer Science is a much more important than increasing the sports budget. They've been doing pretty good with what they are working with.
In "Rocky and Bullwinkle" the president of Frostbite Falls University cut the English department so that the football team could have more funds. This was in the early 60s and it was based on a real incident.
sigh How times don't change. :-(
I think most of you are ignoring the BUSINESS side of things. Do you realize the revenue brought in by a football program like this? You're talking hundreds of millions. Now compare that to the CS department. From a business stand point, I get it. It seems strange but a competing CS department requires millions of dollars in equipment that must be updated yearly and a constantly training staff. To say that the school doesn't support the football program is almost absurd. Budgets are separate between athletics and education but it all comes out of the same bucket anyway.

Besides, we're not just talking about revenue for UF, we're talking basically for the tourism of the state of Florida.
Well one provides them with tons of money and the other provides education so of course they picked the smart one
+Craig Paul Actually (and this was one of the story arcs I showed at my semi-legendary Jay Ward Film Festival at UCLA in the early 80s, attended by Bill Scott and June Foray), that's Wossamotta U.
Tthats exactly what we need in this age of global warming more athletes i guess they looking to find atlas to move the earth off its axis its pretty sad when the people that educate you take away the tool you actually need to make a difference. got to go get swimming lessons ill need them to get home soon. What global warming :)
+David Adam Eichelberger I understand the business side of it completely. That is why these athletic programs have no business being part of higher education. Let's call a spade a spade, and let the athletes train to be athletes. It makes a joke out of education for the student that are there for academics. Don't get me wrong, the money the football program brings in is needed, but it needs to be generated from other sources, if it is essential for the progress of the state or school in general.
lost some respect for UF, o well go fau!
+David Adam Eichelberger actually no they do not. Our UAA is entirely transparent with its 99 mil budget. You can go online and see it yourself. If truth be told, the UAA pays money to UF. Our sports programs are entirely self sustaining.

Having a football program costs $0 that would have gone towards education (look it up, revenue listings are free online), and actually brings in money. Why spend money on something that is self sustaining? Athletics at uf exists in a symbiotic relationship with academics.

Truth- the UAA makes an annual 6 million donation to UF. If it all "came from the same pot," why wouls they do that?
Ping He
Out of all those full scholarship football athletes, how many can make a good living afterwards? Out of those who do make it, how many can make it life long or save enough for life long? I bet the story will be different for CS students. UF is destroying lives
So the UAA pays for ALL stadium expenses, from construction to maintenance to salaries of stadium workers? So the entire sports staff from coaches to groundskeepers are not employees of the university but employees of UF? I understand that the sports programs are self sustaining. That's called being profitable.

Is UF required to use the UAA? If not, that would explain the $6 million donation. Incentive to keep coming back. That's what fancy "non-profit" organizations like to call reciprocity.
I meant that they are employed by UAA ans not the university. That was my question.
Let's be honest, you can't really have any credibility as a research university in today's world without a computer science department.

The people that accredit and award status for the school's ranking in a variety of academic areas simply must take notice, and discontinue it's support for the school's programs in other areas.

Convert the school to a minor league football team, start paying the athletes the money they rightfully deserve for the revenue they generate, and be done with it.
The UAA (university athletic association) does hire its own people and maintains facilities. I urge you to look it up online. And no, it is not possible to use anyone else lest we want to find ourselves out a stadium. You can read all about them online, they publish their budget and projected earnings and cost, as well as tell you where it all breaks down. When boosters want football tickets they have to donate so much to the UAA. Donations for any other reason than for supporting football are donated directly to the school.

Once again you can read all about our UAA and the way it operates online. They blatantly state even that no state funding goes towards our sports teams.

The UAA also does college athlete scholarships.
Well, I don't know. I'm not very familiar with the University of Florida. Maybe its Computer Science program was not a very popular program. I mean, I don't think they would have chosen to eliminate that particular program if it was flourishing, would they? I can't imagine Computer Science not being a popular program at any particular school, but--there must have been some reason why that program got the ax. Are we sure it's not just being combined into another department?
+Joann Metzger If you read the associated references in the comments above, you wouldn't be asking these questions.
+Lauren Weinstein Well, other users have kept a bit more abreast on this story, anyway, so--I'll stop wasting your time. Golly...
+Joann Metzger It's just good practice (and I would argue polite) to read through a comment thread before asking questions that may have been (and in this case have been, several times) already answered.
+Lauren Weinstein Well, I actually did. And, I thought my questions were still valid--though, you were certainly under no obligation to answer them. And, if you research this topic a bit more--you'll see why. I guess I just don't understand why anyone would make such a remark to someone who found interest in something he/she took the time to post. I like Google+ a lot, but--honestly, all this "intelligent discussion" has given way to far too much over here.
+Joann Metzger It's just that the comments referenced the primary sources - the formal announcements by the dean, the formal announcement from the students and faculty -- and so on. That's about as foundational as you can get on a story like this. We even had someone from U of F who chimed in. Please understand, on long threads, having people asking the same questions again and again doesn't advance the discussion at all.
Had to chime back in from some of the responses with reference to the business decision made by UF. It is agreed that the college is in fact a business as well. I've lived in Florida most of my 43 yrs. The football and athletic programs are phenomenal and by this virtue will continue to grow. They are allocating 99 million dollars to the athletic program and the saving from cutting the Computer Science Program is going to yield about 1.7 million. Seriously 100 million dollars being allocated for the sports program, isn't that enough? To take away a vital part of Education in Computer Science is just not a good decision in my view.

Let's face some realities here, the athletic program is not going anywhere and in my opinion will continue to grow, yet there is only a small % of those athletes that will actually be able to make it in the pro's and produce an income from it. The Athlete's that do participate in college, have to have fields of study to fall back on if they don't produce an income from it. Those who do make it will also need additional skills once their careers as an athlete are done. With the way our society is advancing in computer technology, it is essential to provide education and fill the need in this field.

Let's also bring attention to another factor in this decision and that is the Legislative branch of government in the state of Florida. to take a quote from this article "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". People have a tendency to sit back and accept what the legislature decides in our lives. We're the one's that put them in office and we're the one's (the majority) that have the power to voice our desires and influence their decisions. I say let the Legislative branch know how you feel about any and all issues your passionate about. And let the University of Florida know as well, how you feel about this decision.
I would not worry too much about the education of the football players. The reality is that being an athlete at that level requires a great amount of effort, which results in a trade-off between athletic performance and education. For these people, they are really there to play ball, and the schools use them to generate wealth. The athletes deserve a portion of all the revenue generated. College sports that generate that kind of revenue have always been very dubious as to their credibility for promoting the education of their participants. There are some students though that are the exception.

The people that are handicapped by the decision are the rest of the students. You cannot run a top level research university without a computer science department. This greatly affects the marketability of the rest of the students' education. I would not hire them, if I was in the market for scientists and engineers, because I know that there would be better students to be found elsewhere. If the people that accredit and award various status marks for universities stepped aside from the politics of keeping their job, you would likely see the university lose much of it's accreditation. At that point, the computer science department will be back in full force in a heartbeat.
My question is, why not just have a Football University? Since the ball players are only there to play ball anyway, just keep them separate.
It's a great question. I bet the answer is that it is more profitable to run the program as a collegiate addition than to run a minor league football program. Almost everything is all about the money.

The head coaches salary alone suggests that it's all about competition to make money, with trickle down benefits for education.
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