Over at Forbes, Steven Salzberg notes a troubling development:
"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 short-sightedness of this decision would be bad enough on its own merits. But, as Salzberg notes, it gets worse:
"Meanwhile, the athletic budget for the current year is $99 million, an increase of more than $2 million from last year. The increase alone would more than offset the savings supposedly gained by cutting computer science."If you're asking yourself how this could possibly make sense, you need look no further than the big media contracts such as this one between FU and such corporations as Fox Sports.
This is the current culture in microcosm. Investments with vast yet non-immediate returns are abandoned in favor of the quick buck.
If we truly find ourselves in a losing economic position opposite China or the EU a generation from now, we will need to look back no further than decisions like this one for explanation.