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Fla. ­niversity Writing New Computer Science Plan, Cites 'overwhelming' Backlash

University of Florida President Bernie Machen

University of Florida President Bernie Machen said the "overwhelming negative response" to the university's proposal "has been based on misunderstanding."

Credit: AP

The University of Florida's recent plan to cut $1.7 million from the Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) department has been put on hold after students protested against it. The move would have cut all teaching assistant positions, which help finance education costs for Ph.D. students; increased the teaching responsibilities for faculty who now conduct research; and eliminated staff, including technical support.

The university now is developing a new plan "in consultation with students, faculty, staff, alumni, and industry partners," says CISE president Bernie Machen.

However, the plan for a new proposal has not alleviated students' concerns about the future of CISE, says Ph.D. student Nuri Yeralan, leader of the student opposition. "This is a threat to our department; this is a threat to our department's autonomy, and to every student and to the value of their degree," Yeralan says. The students dispute the need for cuts and believe the university has sufficient money in its reserves to handle a non-recurring cut by the state.

From Computerworld
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