In a move that should give pause to technologists on a football-crazy campus like College Park, the University of Florida has shuttered its computer science department, putting faculty and staff out on the street.
We have a pretty insular CS department here, and it isn’t like we pay much attention to what happens elsewhere on campus. Let’s review: Other departments that need computer content for their majors already teach such courses themselves because we largely won’t do it for them. We teach little for Gen Ed. We are immune from teaching in the Honors Program. Administratively we show other colleges that “shared governance” refers to what they do. Our DRIF (research overhead) funds accrue back to us. A majority of our important senior faculty routinely buy-out of instructional or other campus duties. Rather than mentor them to become thought leaders on campus, we abuse and exploit junior faculty who show signs of caring about more than just their own research. STEM leadership in the state is what is shown by Freeman Hrabowski – up the road at UMBC. We don’t participate in USM or state-sponsored CS instruction activities intended to coordinate CS education around the state. We pay no rent on buildings.
So by eliminating us, the net impact to campus is more budget and lines for engaged departments, improved campus-wide graduation and retention rates, extra space for engineering to divvy up in AV Williams and it bit less parking congestion in Lot XX.
This could be a problem.