Thanks to outcry from SaveUFCISE supporters, on Apr. 25, President Bernie Machen wrote a letter to the UF community removing Dean Abernathy’s budget cut plan from consideration. In that letter, President Machen suggests an alternative proposal for a unit that comprises both ECE (Electrical and Computer Engineering) and CISE (Computer and Information Science and Engineering) “that also would address issues raised during recent discussions, namely, clarify and enhance degree offerings while preserving the research mission in both computer science and computer engineering, achieve efficiency in teaching and bring faculty workloads in line with other departments of the college.”
The letter’s concluding statement: “I ask the faculty, students, and the administration of all colleges to work in partnership to identify the savings and keep the colleges on track in their quest for continued excellence in education and research.”
In keeping with this statement, CISE faculty agreed to put a few alternative budget cut plans forward, one of which would be for a joint CISE-ECE unit following the Berkeley-model.
Meanwhile, the CISE chair Gerhard Ritter communicated to the CISE faculty an extremely difficult Friday 5pm deadline for coming up with a MOU (memorandum of understanding) for the joint CISE-ECE unit.
In the face of this pressure, the CISE chairman and a committee of CISE faculty have worked amicably, in good faith, for several hours for the past 2 days, in consultation with chairman John Harris of ECE as well a parallel commitee of ECE faculty, to hammer out the details of a memorandum of understanding that would be agreeable to both faculties. ECE chairman John Harris, in the meantime, circulated a document written several months ago, for the governance of a joint CISE-ECE school.
Today, (Friday, Apr. 27), the CISE committee, after consultation with the CISE faculty released a document of their memorandum of understanding, incorporating all the requests in the president’s message, stipulations of the CISE chairman Gerhard Ritter, stipulations of ECE Chairman John Harris that he provided during his meeting with the CISE committee 2 days ago, many requirements of the ECE faculty committee, and the requirements of the CISE faculty. Read the highlights of changes to the current structure.
Other alternative proposals are being prepared, including those that enjoy a high level of support from our external stakeholders, in time for the University-wide May 7 deadline for sending in all proposals to the central administration.