Save CISE fundraising for College of Computing - pledge form

*Scroll down to enter your pledge information* The SaveCISE community invites you, as a stakeholder in the success of the Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) Department at the University of Florida (UF), to pledge your financial support to the SaveCISE at UF campaign. One of the options that has gained the most backing from external supporters is for the CISE department to transition into an independent College of Computing at UF with CISE at its core Here is the link to the Foundation of A Vision for the College of Computing(http://bit.ly/IK4y8w). This transition will need a fund. Here we are reaching out to individuals and organizations interested in contributing financially to maintain a nourishing environment for Computer Science at UF through this College of Computing at UF with CISE at its core. WE ARE NOT ACTUALLY COLLECTING ANY MONEY AT THIS TIME. Through this form, we are assessing the level of support available from external donors who would be willing to contribute financially to our cause, in a time of need. So please pledge to our cause in a manner you can honor if the College of Computing - with CISE at its core - becomes a reality. *Scroll down to enter  your pledge information*

Background:

On April 11th, 2012, Dean Abernathy of the College of Engineering at UF announced a restructuring proposal that would have destroyed the Computer & Information Science and Engineering (CISE) department at the University of Florida. http://saveufcise.wordpress.com. Thanks to supporters nationwide and globally, who reached out to our decision makers, the “Abernathy Plan” is off the table. However, CISE is still in a perilous situation. UF President Machen has strongly favored one alternative proposal that involves some conjoined form of ECE (Electrical and Computer Engineering) and CISE. CISE faculty and ECE faculty have been working to explore the details and feasibility of such a proposal. They have been forced to arrive at a decision in just 2 days (ending 27th April, 2012). Here is a history of previous attempts at merging/forming school of ECE and CISE at UF. Here is an analysis of the structures for these departments at 61 AAU universities (http://dl.dropbox.com/u/72753329/ComputerScience%26AAU.pdf). All proposals exist only to address the College of Engineering’s budget cut. President Machen continues to treat the cut as a recurring cut, despite explicit statements from legislators and the Board of Governors to treat the cut as a one time cut and spend UF’s massive reserves. The proposal for a College of Computing promises to set up a revenue generating entity outside of the College of Engineering, and has received extremely strong backing from alumni and external stakeholders. The details of this College starting from the current CISE Department have been worked out in the past. The College of Computing would ensure autonomous teaching and research in Computer Science at UF, while serving as a hub for interdisciplinary study across various colleges at UF.

CISE department at UF:

The CISE department has consistently demonstrated its excellence. In 2010, CISE graduated 25 PhD students, (3 times more than that number at 2000). We are bringing in 5.5 million per year on research funding, (almost 4 times the amount in 2000). We have 2 ACM Fellows,4 IEEE Fellows and 2 AAAS Fellows; many faculty have won other awards and are on prestigious editorial boards and program committees. Almost all have active NSF or NIH funded research programs. 12 young faculty have won NSF Career Awards, which is 22% of College total, (also 5 times more than 2000). Over the last 5 years, we have won 11 “best paper” awards. we teach thousands of nonmajors, and approximately 600 undergraduate majors, 400 masters and 131 PhD’s with 32 tenure track faculty and at this moment, only 3 nontenure track faculty! CISE is generating 17% of the college’s primary source of income (weighted student credit hours) while only costing only 10% of the college. CISE faculty are actively collaborating with researchers in almost every UF College, along with many national and international universities, as befits the flagship research institution of the state.

Future:

It is impossible to overemphasize the importance of a strong Computer Science and Engineering program in today’s economy. The predicted growth rate for Computer Science positions over the next ten years is 30%, almost 3 times the predicted growth rate for all engineering occupations. Software engineering jobs have consistently achieved high national rankings (#1 in 2011 and 2012). Gainesville’s technology job sector has exploded in the last three years, with the founding of companies such as Grooveshark, Infinite Energy, and Shadow Health. MindTree recently selected Gainesville as the site for its US expansion largely due to the presence of the CISE program. The opening of the UF Innovation Hub on January 11th promises to draw even more high-tech companies to Gainesville. Now is the time for our supporters to call for robust support and autonomy for Computer Science teaching and research through an independent College of Computing. By doing so, the University as a whole will gain significant collaboration opportunities, the City of Gainesville will vastly improve its edge in the competition to become the Silicon Valley of the South-East, and the State of Florida can make a shining example of its flagship Computer Science research institution.
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