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Via Alex Tabarrok:

Wow, no one saw this coming.  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?

Well, we do need to make sure we can keep funding Cherokee Poetry Studies. How else would the students come up with the intellectual firepower to produce these words of wisdom:

Professor Rizzo, I apologize for my recent comment which criticized your response to a student in the Campus Times. I realize now that my criticism was based on a presupposition that you should be held to the same standard of other professors who are too busy teaching, researching, and publishing to respond to a freshman’s article. As with you being a non-tenure track adjunct hired to teach introductory courses and with obviously copious amounts of time on his hands, this was an unfair assumption on my part. Responding to undergraduates and anonymous comments may qualify as your most academic endeavor to date. Keep up the excellent work.

Given the fact that the median number of citations of academic papers is zero maybe this kid is onto something! Gotta go back to play some Angry Birds.

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14 Responses to “We’re Doomed:Episode 48477619”

  1. LE says:

    I’m sincerely disappointed that a classmate would treat a professor with such disrespect. The school would be much improved if more professors took the time to be as involved with the lives of their students as you do, and if more students were interested in honest debate. Please keep up the excellent work you do…Illegitimi non carborundum.

  2. Speedmaster says:

    What LE said. Ditto.

  3. jb says:

    Who says undergrads don’t learn quickly? He clearly understands that if you can’t argue the facts, go straight for charcater assasination…

  4. xyang says:

    It’s funny to see an undergraduate complaining about professors paying attention to students. It’s akin to buying a book and complaining that the author put too much effort into the writing and should take his wife to vacation or something. (Not to mention that the marginal contribution to the vast and mostly unread literature is hardly worth the time and money that society spends on academic professors.)

    One wonders what exactly they’re paying their tuition for. I have this feeling that their phony feel-good activism, and the transcripts full of entertaining and useless ideological courses, do not really signal them as the higher type in the separating equilibrium.

  5. Harry says:

    There is a frequent letter writer to our local newspaper who writes earnestly but poorly. Everything appears to be a first draft. The result is that he is unconvincing and tiresome to read. He thinks of himself as influential.

  6. ZT205 says:

    Why is everyone assuming this is an undergrad? Speaking as one (admittedly, a Freshman, who may inhabit a different universe altogether) we really don’t tend to gossip about who has tenure or who’s doing sufficient amounts of researching and publishing. Generally we care about who makes sense in class and how hard a grader they are.

    So while a comment like “Professor X jumps around a lot” or “Professor Y doesn’t make sense” or “Professor Z grades harshly” sounds like it comes from a Freshman, this language really sounds like a grade student or even another faculty member to me. I’ve never once heard a complaint about the amount of research someone did. And I’ve REALLY never heard complaints about professors not paying too much attention to undergraduates.

    Oh wait, I lied. I’ve heard lots of people b*tching that the lines at Rizzo’s office hours are longer than anyone else’s, even in other departments. I think that speaks volumes more than one anonymous troll, doesn’t it?

  7. Harry says:

    Xyang, my phone did not want me to spell your name correctly. You threw me with the separating equilibrium part, but I can see what you were getting at, and you made a great point. For a minute there I thought you were talking about Paul Krugman’s separating equilibrium.

    Alex’s droll observations were well-put, too.

  8. Anastacia says:

    This anonymous hater is beyond ridiculous. Many students including myself feel extremely blessed to have a professor as dedicated to students’ learning as Prof. Rizzo. The enormous time and effort he volunteers for students in addition to all his teaching commitments is invaluable and should not go under-appreciated.

    Mr/Ms Anonymous, whoever you are, you should really hang your head in shame.

    Zhao Li

  9. cmprostreet says:

    Prof. Rizzo came to the school in my last year of undergrad and I was unfortunately unable to take any of his classes. However, in the two times I went to his office I gained more insight than I did from visiting nearly any other professor over the course of 6 years and two degrees.

    Also, if responding to a student in the Campus Times is a waste of a Professor’s time, what does it say about all the times I saw administrators responding to students in the CT? I don’t even understand this line of attack- is the complaint that Rizzo is so intellectually well armed it’s an unfair fight? If so, I’ll grant him/her that premise. Still, I’d rather see a CT full of articles that CAN stand up to scrutiny, rather than one ripe for a weekly game of “spot the logical fallacies, factual errors, and ad hominems.”

  10. Rod says:

    Hmmm. Maybe it is another faculty member or a grad student aspiring to get a teaching job at U of R. Speaking in union terminology, Professor Rizzo has “spoiled the job” by meeting with so many students instead of poking his nose in one of those PhD theses that get read only by university “peers.”

    Wintercow knows the differences between good corn silage and bull manure.

  11. Josef says:

    The IP was from U-of-R, hence it’s not a faculty/grad student from another school.

    I also highly doubt that someone with experience teaching undergraduates would refer to Rizzo’s students as “indoctrinated”. Anybody who has taught undergrads knows that is basically impossible. Students come into class with strong personal ideologies. If they like Rizzo’s ideas, it’s either because 1. they want to use them to justify their own ideology and gave it a sense of authority; or 2. they are genuinely convinced by his arguments.

    I’d guess that the asshole’s one of those activist-types on campus who spent some time trying to dig up dirt on Professor Rizzo, hence what he figured out about his teaching responsibilities in the department (the part about being a “joke” in the department is plainly untrue, however; I can attest to this). Most of these activists are also unemployable postmodernist/literary theory majors with nowhere to go but graduate school and a permanent career of indulging in the ivory tower academic bubble, so it’s not surprising that they know a thing or two about tenure.

  12. Harry says:

    Let’s not forget Alex’s point about the university cutting out computer science. Not everybody is cut out for nanophysics or engineering, and maybe there are enough places nationwide for the U of F not to be in the business, but then why are they in the business of education at all?

    This would be none of my business if government did not wash public and private institutions with oceans of money.

  13. Mark says:

    Where is the outrage from seligman? Where does this kid live on campus? Let’s go and disrupt him from sleeping or something and wear all black and hand out fliers!

  14. Mark says:

    Ok this was clearly on the wrong post my apologies!

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