The University of Florida is eliminating its computer science department to save $1.7 million. The same university's athletic program increased $2 million from last year to this year. Clearly, this is an administration that is looking ahead to the economy of tomorrow.
James Fallows rightly points out the larger context of this decision, pointing out that the university is getting less and less funding from the state, and they're desperate. My own school (UCSD) is in the same boat as the other UC's, and as U of FL - fortunately for me, UCSD has no sports program to draw off the state's diminishing support. What's ironic is that there is literally no surer investment in a growing state economy than a good university, and yet somehow these are exactly the institutions that are getting cut.
There needs to be a clear, strong-message study or PR campaign showing how good universities = good economy. These kinds of stupid decisions are going to continue as long as the electorate values bowl wins over strong academic and professional programs.
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