In a bold and decisive move earlier today, the University of Florida has decided to dissolve their computer science education program. In a statement to the media, university administrator Angus Pyle defended the groundbreaking but controversial decision. In his remarks, he praised the staff and students involved in the Computer Science program, but indicated that the UF has opted to spend those CS dollars in more high growth areas.
“It just doesn’t make sense anymore”, Pyle remarked to the Scholastic Publishers Institutional News early yesterday. “Computer science is on a downward trend. There just aren’t that many computer jobs any more, and those that remain are getting harder and harder to fill. Our students deserve better.”
Pyle, a 1927 graduate of UF, gave the News a glimpse into his vision for where those reclaimed CS dollars are to be spent. “We’re very excited about the opportunity to inject some life into other programs with greater potential.” Speaking from the balcony of his third vacation home in Tuscany, Pyle indicated that the UF has a strong interest in growing other departments, including iron metallurgy, stonemasonry, and internal combustion. Other programs which have been on the decline, including blacksmithing and photographic film development science, may be able to avoid planned cuts through monies that would have otherwise been wasted on computer science.
“We would have kept the CS program if we could have. But if you look at what it costs to power a single desktop computer – I don’t know the exact figure, but it must be in the tens of dollars per year – you can imagine how those costs would add up. I mean, simply by eliminating all 400 of the computers in the CS department, we could pay the salaries of three professional seamstresses for an entire year with the electricity savings alone. It’s hard to argue with those numbers,” Pyle said. “Plus, the state of the computer industry is a complete mess. Just the other day, I was trying to add a new slide to a PowerPoint presentation, and I couldn’t even do it! I had to call my great-grandson to come do it for me. The fact that a grown man has to rely on a child to perform even the simplest of computerized tasks is all the evidence I need that the computer industry is destined for failure.”
For the hundreds of current students who would be impacted by this change, the UF has provided a path out of the fruitless CS degree program and into something with more future. The university has provided the following guidelines for current computer science students:
- All students who would have graduated with a computer science degree next month may still graduated as planned. However, the degree and all supporting documentation will read “Computer Science” (including the quotes), and graduates will be required to use air quotes when describing their “Computer Science” degree from the UF.
- Juniors and Seniors who are not graduating next month have the option to transfer to another program. However, since the UF no longer has a computer science department, technically they are not students of this institution and will have to reapply for admission (after paying a $1200 transfer fee).
- All students who have discontinued computer science courses on their degree plan may substitute those for designated courses in other disciplines. For instance:
- CS218: Hardware Systems will be replaced with EE122: 8-Track Tape Design Systems
- CS294: Algorithmic Languages will be replaced with ENG332: Using Iambic Pentameter in Everyday Life
- CS494: Advanced Database Theory will be replaced with OE119: Essentials of Effective Filing Cabinet Organization
- In addition to the above substitutions, the dean requests that anyone with Artificial Intelligence coursework report directly to his office for an unspecified assignment.
In a follow-up written statement sent to the News via carrier pigeon, Pyle offered his best wishes to current and former students of the UF CS department. “I sincerely hope that you all are able to sustain yourselves in the post-computerized society,” he wrote. “I worry for all of you when I look through the help-wanted ads and don’t find any openings for professional Solitary players. It is my wish that you all manage to find meaningful work in other thriving industries such as glassblowing, analog technology, shoestring manufacturing, or riverboat piloting.”
In addition to the academic programs that will be boosted through the dissolution of the computer science department, the university will be funding several other initiatives. The UF Lawn Darts Athletic Society will receive a substantial endowment as a result of these changes. The Darties are a ranked lawn dart team, having placed 18th in the regional lawn darts tournament of 2004. Through this endowment, the 3-person Darties will be able to purchase a brand new, half-million dollar Class A motorhome to travel to tournaments throughout western Alachua county.
In addition, the university will be starting a new foundation to help the less fortunate. This foundation will provide free educational and job placement services for left-handed, near-sighted Capricorns with a lisp. The foundation will be named Althea’s Advantage after administrator Pyle’s own daughter Althea, a left-handed, near-sighted Capricorn with a lisp who has struggled for weeks with finding a job.
For more information about any of the changes announced today, you can visit the university’s website at: universityofFlorida.geocities.com.
Author’s note: This is, of course, a ridiculous parody, but sadly it’s not entirely untrue. You can read about the UF’s reported initiative to upend their computer science program here (and their response here).