Parlor Spider...Step In, Little Fly

Insightful thoughts and/or rants from atop the soapbox from one who wishes to share the "right" opinion with everyone.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Donna Must Be Proud

Eating Up the Budget...Chomp Chomp It's no secret that college athletics is a big business. The key word, of course, is "business" unless one is in the South, then, it's pronounced "bidness." Anyone who still holds to the archaic idea that a student/athlete is in college for his or her educational benefit (non-revenue-producing sports, perhaps withstanding) is turning a blind eye to what is painfully obvious to the standard version of a college student: someone who hopes that an education will enable him or her to enter the world of work ahead of the "one-and-dones" in the humanities, I can assure you. None of this should surprise anyone, but the latest news out of the University of Florida should give us ALL pause. If the announcement today concerning the computer science department stunned even me, and I'm among the most cynical people I know. It would appear that, due to fiscal constrictions, the university has decided that it no longer needs a computer science department at the cost of 1.7 million dollars annually. That means there will be no professors, no funding for teaching assistants in this field, and no graduate program or research to be undertaken in the field. Wow! Times are rough. Despite what the "bidness" community might say (despite giving out obscene bonuses), it would seem to me that the university setting might be the perfect place for these activities. not so much. But, it gets better: the athletics department at said university has an INCREASE in its budget of 2 million dollars for the upcoming year. Let's "do the math" together--academics gets cut 1.7 mil and athletics goes up by 2 mil as if its budget of 99 million dollars wasn't enough to run a quality program! It looks like the math department needs an upgrade! I'm sure there is a great deal to the story that has not been printed, but the student who works 40 hours a week at Applebee's just to get by having less than $100k loan at the end won't understand it, either. President of the University since 2001 Donna Shalala understands the priorities of the university, no doubt...and agrees with the decision.


At 1:20 PM, Blogger Mike Knoebel said...

The University of Florida has responded to this report:

A Forbes article by contributing writer Steven Salzberg falsely claims that the University of Florida is eliminating the Computer Science Department. There have been similar claims made by others on other media platforms.

The Dean of the College of Engineering has put on the table for discussion a budget plan to reorganize the Computer & Information Science and Engineering Department.

Under that proposal, all undergraduate and graduate degree curriculum would remain the same and the college would maintain its brainpower and research capacity. The plan calls for no lay-offs of tenure-track faculty. Faculty lay-offs are expected, however, if across-the-board cuts are made in the College of Engineering.

The proposed budget plan would grow the number of graduates from the CISE department because faculty members would be expected to assume a greater teaching responsibility. About $1.4 million in savings would come primarily from the elimination of graduate teaching assistants.

We are aware faculty and students have expressed serious concern with this plan. The Dean and Provost have been meeting with faculty and student groups for the past two weeks. From the comments and suggestions the Dean has received, we are confident that a solution that maintains the quality of the educational programs in the College can be achieved while making the required budget reductions.

Lastly, shared governance takes some time. We ask for everyone’s patience as we work through this process.

So it sounds more like a re-structuring than an elimination. Also, the Athletic Department at Florida is funded by ticket sales, booster, merchandise, Nike, etc... It is a completely separate pool of money than the academic part of the University. So one wasn't funded by the cuts of the other. But the timing is a bit of a PR nightmare, and it is very unfortunate that the athletic department budget increases while academic budgets get cut, and I'm sure tuition will increase.

Finally, Donna Shalala is at the University of Miami, not Florida.


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