Letters from Dean Abernathy and Dr. Ritter

Letter from Dean Abernathy

Dear Colleagues,

On April 11th, I made the announcement to all faculty members, staff and students that we are required to cut or repurpose $4M in our college’s fiscal year 2012-13 budget. A series of proposals have since been discussed and we remain focused on developing a plan to be delivered the week of May 7th.

After discussions with the chairs, now under consideration is a
$1.4M cut equally distributed across all departments. As I have emphasized at the beginning of the budget discussion, an across the board cut is not an optimum, nevertheless, we will continue to work with all faculty and staff to discuss the impact of this option in a professional manner.

Recently, there has also been a call for pledges by certain representatives in CISE toward the funding of an independent college of computing. While we appreciate the interest in investing in the college at such a critical time, the provost has clearly stated that such an initiative would take several years to develop, involve the coming together of several departments across multiple colleges, and CISE would not necessarily be the dominant department in such a college. Thus it is not a solution to the immediate budgetary problems and will not be contemplated as such by the university.

As we move closer toward a clearer financial model, we continue to welcome your input and feedback on what is best for the college faculty and students. Please continue to visit the college website for ongoing updates at http://www.eng.ufl.edu/news/budget/.

Thank you for your patience as we await the result of this discussion.
We appreciate your continued support of the Gator Engineering community.



Letter from Dr.Ritter

Dear Coleagues and Students:

As you may know or not know, due  to the massive budget cuts to UF by the Legislature, each College  and hence each department is affected. The cuts to the College will be shared by the College and by the departments. The cuts are across the board. Thus, the good news  is that CISE has been saved and will remain an independent research and teaching department within the College of Engineering.

Our image and that of the College and University has badly suffered in the last few weeks. We need to rebuild our image starting now! I am asking for your help in this by immediately stopping any further negative publicity and postings on Facebook, SaveCISE, etc. Any further negativism, attacks, etc. will only make it more difficult for CISE to function in a cooperative fashion with other units within UF’s structure, such as departments, administrative units within the College and Tigert Hall. Some postings have been out of context, presented rumors, as well as a lack of knowledge or full understanding as to what was going on. As a simple example,  I received a call from the Gainesville Sun this morning asking me if it was true that I am resigning. Those who saw my email due to the Sunshine law must have confused a possibility with an actual event. My email stated that  “Unless I can be convinced that meaningful negotiations can continue” Well, meaningful negotiations have continued and I am not resigning!

So please stop and enjoy the fact another school year is coming to an end, that you or some of your friends are graduating, and that CISE is saved.

Go Gators,


One Response to “Letters from Dean Abernathy and Dr. Ritter”

  1. While I sincerely hope all that is said about the CISE department in Dr. Ritter’s message is true, given the “roller coaster” history, I am quite surprised at what he is conveying at this point, to say the least. The last time following president Machen’s announcement of a plan for a merger quoting Dr. Ritter and Dr. Harris, we all know what happened. We even know how things changed over a weekend. Keep in mind that this website and facebook have been essential to keeping CISE strong through all these times. I find this appeal premature. I request Dr. Ritter to further elaborate his stance or to let people make their own judgements on when to post what. I feel that this sends the wrong message and that it is a mistake.

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