I saw this this morning, and I was pretty bemused. It seems an odd choice, given how politicians love to bang on about how we need to graduate more students with math and science (“STEM,” in their execrable parlance) skills. I wonder if the university would argue that type of computing that actually sees practical application (web 2.0 frameworks and other flavor-of-the-month gimcrackery) is being taught elsewhere. If you think about it, a classical computer science curriculum bears little resemblance to what practitioners in the field actually do. I could see where a person of a certain mindset (a mindset that is becoming all too common in our universities) might think that it just doesn’t have any relevance. It is (remotely) possible that this budget cut is offset by increases in departments that teach skills that are more directly applicable in the workforce.
On the other hand, I’m just old-fashioned enough to think that there are certain scholarly pursuits that an institution of higher learning has to include if it wants to be taken seriously as a “university.” There’s a place for purely vocational institutes of higher learning. You could even argue that many of our students would be better served by going to such programs instead of to traditional universities. It’s less clear to me that we should be turning the University of Florida into such a vocational school, but maybe we should be. If, however, that’s the way we’re going to roll, then let’s change the name to reflect the new reality. A “more relevant” UofF has no more business being called a “university” than the institution we grew up admiring had being called the East Florida Seminary.