Contrary to some reports, Florida is not eliminating its computer science department. Instead, it is proposing a radical restructuring that will kill the research arm of one department, scattering its faculty and leaving any left behind with an expanded teaching burden and fewer teaching assistants. Whether it would be better to simply kill it isn't clear.
The University of Florida, as with many state institutions, has seen its financial support plummet over the past decade (Forbes indicates it's down 30 percent over the last six years). This has triggered a number of cuts to academic programs; this year, the cuts fell on the Computer & Information Science and Engineering Department, which is home to an active research program. Under the plan proposed by the Dean, a bit less than half the faculty will be the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, and a few others will be spread among three other departments.
The faculty that's left in Computer & Information Science and Engineering will be converted into teaching only. All teaching assistants in that department will be eliminated, and their duties will be taken up by the remaining faculty. Realistically, most faculty who are actively engaged in a research program are unlikely to accept that sort of change, and will probably look for work elsewhere. Although this plan would seem to gut the department and leave its remains in chaos, the Dean concludes by stating, "this new mission would allow us to devote more faculty time to grow both the size and excellence of the Computer Science degree program."
The students remaining in the department have organized various protests, from a letter writing campaign to demonstrations.