Wow, no one saw this coming. The University of Florida announced this past week that it was dropping its computer science department, which will allow it to save about $1.7 million. The school is eliminating all funding for teaching assistants in computer science, cutting the graduate and research programs entirely, and moving the tattered remnants into other departments.
Let’s get this straight: in the midst of a technology revolution, with a shortage of engineers and computer scientists, UF decides to cut computer science completely?
The solution to this sort of stupidity is simple: Florida should cut UF off entirely and let them either go private or wither and die.
We, the citizens of Florida, should make our voice clearly heard -- we will not pay one dime in taxes of any form to fund a "university system" that makes this sort of decision while at the same time increasing the athletic budget.
There's simply no excuse for this. STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) disciplines are the place that education makes a difference -- if they're taught as actual disciplines. Sadly, they're too often nothing but parrot-style repetitive crapfests that in fact break no new ground and lead to people waving around worthless sheepskins for which they've paid ridiculous amounts of money.
Of course I could tell you plenty of stories about so-called "PhD" level people in computer science where "PhD" stood for "Piled Higher and Deeper." In my years of work in that field I had somewhat of a reputation for getting Computer Science PhDs fired, dressed down or demoted, both directly and indirectly. I didn't go out of my way to do it but when you display rank incompetence but claim an advanced degree it's just too enticing for me to resist taking a good clean nut-shot.
There are, however, exceptions. I've met some very talented people in various STEM disciplines, and there's no doubt that those degrees are, in many cases, worth pursuit. Whether they're worth it given the onslaught of Indian workers who come here with no debt on H1b visas and displace our American citizens because they're willing to work at 50% of what an American needs to meet his student loan payments and avoid living in a refrigerator box is another matter entirely.
The college cost fiasco engendered by the "free money" brigade coupled with our insane immigration and "guest worker" policies has made many STEM disciplines good choices only if you can manage to get your tuition covered in some form or fashion -- such as Florida's "Bright Futures" or some other means of academically-related assistance so you don't wind up $50k+ in the hole with student loans.
But this doesn't make UF's decision defensible as their (and the rest of the college) cost game is one they've participated in and knowingly contributed to. That which one causes you cannot then use as an excuse.
I think it's time for a taxpayer revolt.
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