On Aptil 11th, 2012, Dean Abernathy announced a restructuring proposal that effectively cuts the budget of the Computer & Information Science and Engineering (CISE) department by $1.69 million dollars; no other engineering departments will receive any direct cuts.
These cuts would remove all graduate and research activity from the Computer & Information Science and Engineering (CISE) department and destroy its mission of excellence in teaching for the following reasons:
- 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)
- All TA support would be eliminated
The CISE program at UF has consistently demonstrated its excellence. The CISE has 2 ACM, 4 IEEE, and 2 AAAS Fellows and 12 of our 32 faculty members have received a NSF Career award (accounting for 22% of all such awards in the College of Engineering). CISE faculty are actively collaborating with researchers in almost every UF College, along with many national and international Universities, as befits the flagship research institution of the state.
It is impossible to overemphasize the importance of a strong Computer Science and Engineering program in today’s economy. The predicted growth rate for Computer Science positions over the next ten years is 30%, almost 3 times the predicted growth rate for all engineering occupations. Software engineering jobs have consistently achieved high national rankings (#1 in 2011 and 2012).
Gainesville’s technology job sector has exploded in the last three years, with the founding of companies such as Grooveshark, Infinite Energy, and Shadow Learning. MindTree recently selected Gainesville as the site for its US expansion largely due to the presence of the CISE program. The opening of the UF Innovation Hub on January 11th promises to draw even more high-tech companies to Gainesville.
Now is not the time to undermine the CISE. The University as a whole stands to lose significant collaboration opportunities, the City of Gainesville stands to lose its edge in the competition to become the Silicon Valley of the South-East, and the state of Florida stands to lose its flagship Computer Science research institution.
Please, join us in our quest to save Computer Science at UF!
The following documents provide additional information.