We were shocked today (April 11th) to learn that Dean Abernathy has proposed eliminating all graduate and research activity from the CISE department. 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 fired today within hours of when the “proposal” was unveiled. If this was really just a proposal, why have they already started implementing it?


Please be there! Bring everyone you know! This impacts us all.

Christan Grant

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