Save UF CISE

We were shocked today (April 11th) to learn that Dean Abernathy has proposed eliminating all graduate and research activity from the CISE department that has approximately 610 bachelor students, 400 Masters, 130 PhDs, 32 tenure track faculty. This would irrevocably disfigure our department. The proposed cuts single out the CISE department; the CISE department is the only engineering department being cut.

Dean Abernathy is meeting with students tomorrow (THURSDAY) from NOON to 2 PM to discuss these changes. We are gathering at 11:30 Sharp on the Reitz Union Colonnade to prepare for this meeting. THIS SUPERSEDES OUR PREVIOUS PLAN TO MEET AT 12:15 PM.

This is how her proposal will affect you:

  1. All CISE students in the CE program, including all graduate students, expect to get a Software degree. Dean Abernathy’s proposal will transfer you to a hardware department. This will damage the value of your degree and your employability. Software positions have a projected growth rate of 30%, 3 times the engineering average. Computer hardware positions has a projected growth rate of 9%, less than the engineering average of 11% (according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics).
  2. If you are supported via a TA position, you will lose your support.
  3. At best your advisor will be moved to one of three unrelated departments (BME, ISE, ECE) or will be left in CISE as a teaching-only faculty member. Worst case, they will leave the university.
  4. The CISE brand that you were relying on will be damaged irreversibly because of its new status as a teaching-only department. The value of all degrees ever given by the CISE department, including those already given, will be impacted irredeemably.


These are the details of her proposed changes to our department:

  1. The department will be converted into a pure Teaching Department.
  2. All TA positions will be eliminated.
  3. 50% of faculty “chosen by the dean” will be scattered to 3 other departments.
  4. The remaining faculty teaching load will be impossibly increased, due to loss of faculty and TA support.
  5. CISE Faculty emphasis on research will disappear.


Dean Abernathy’s justification of her proposal has been feeble at best. She has not addressed impact to students and faculty or middle and long-term revenue loss to the University, Gainesville, and Florida, due to attrition of faculty and decline in enrollment. The fertile environment for software tech companies in Gainesville will disappear.

The entire faculty of the CISE department is united in opposition to this decimation. Department Chair Gerhard Ritter blasted Dean Abernathy’s proposal today when speaking to the Gainesville Sun.

Three staff members have been given notice today within hours of when the “proposal” was unveiled. If this was really just a proposal, why have they already started implementing it?

WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT TOMORROW (4/12) AT 11:30.

5 Responses to “Save UF CISE”

  1. I was a student back in the early 90s. I remember that the classes gave me a critical foundation, but the two things that most improved my skills were

    * modifying the primitive free computer games available on the internet back in those dark ages.
    * working on the Image Algebra C++ research project as an R.A.

    I fear that removing research from the CISE department will strip it of all the extracurricular activities that let students go beyond their classroom instruction.

  2. This is disgusting. I’m going to UF next year, and I want to get a software degree (reason I chose UF over other schools), so this would screw me over big time.

    So, here’s where I can come in. Do you know any place on the UF website that talks about this? If so, I can get it ranking in Google for something like “A complete utter travesty” or something like “a huge mistake”. (I’m an SEO; it’s what I do).

    Let me know if you can find a record of this anywhere on the UF site; unfortunately though, the site needs to have some authority for me to make this happen (I might use the Petition.org page if we can’t find anything on the UF site), so I couldn’t get this site ranking for it.

    Alright, enough of me talking. Great job organizing this!

  3. I think this is a extremely irrational path to “save money” for the college. I am currently getting my AA and i plan on transferring to UF and get my computer science degree. simply put if it makes more than it spends, why get rid of it.

  4. UF is the fifth University I’ve attended. It took me a long time to find the an institution I felt would impart the kind of education and knowledge of engineering and science I have been looking for. After only two semesters of attending I have already been given a foundation that none of my other universities had accomplished. UF has been known worldwide as a one of the leading educational insitutions for Engineering and Science. But a move like this one sends the message that the University of Florida no longer cares about maintaining its standard of excellence. As an engineering student I firmly believe that my program is a cooperative discipline and the cuts to CISE would have an incredibly negative impact on the faculties ability to provide the education we came to the University to receive. Furthermore, it seems rather obvious to me that minimal rational thought was put in to this budget proposal because overall these cuts are absolutely irrational. Money driven or not this in no way benefits UF in the short or long term – monitarily or educationaly. So Why?

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