Word from Tallahassee is that oceanography may be out at FSU!
Florida State administrators this afternoon released a draft of proposed wide-sweeping cutbacks at the university, based on current reductions in state revenue. If enacted, they would dramatically alter the university as we know it. Twenty-one degree programs at FSU would be eliminated including… oceanography….
What? This is not Billy Boy Foothills College with an oceanography program with 5 students. This is bloody f’in Florida State University Oceanography Program!…I could go through the list [of professors] but let me finish by saying that you would be hard pressed to find a month without a publication from this group in the most prominent journals.
So where does this leave us? Honestly, it is too depressing to consider.
The latest word in an email from an inside source
Florida State has [officially] eliminated Oceanography and Geology as departments. Untenured faculty are to be let go as well as two senior faculty members. There will be a 1 or 2 year phase out for these people. The remaining faculty will be put into an Earth and Atmospheric Science unit.
What? I can’t even begin to express the shortsideness of such a decision to eliminate an oceanography program in light of the programs prominence. It is even more alarming in light of changes occurring in the world’s oceans, the need to understand the roots of our impacts, and the consequences of these for both the oceans and our daily lives (yes it will impact your daily life). Removing such programs greats a gap in training. I am also concerned about the excellent untenured faculty members being cut in a market that is unlikely to provide new oppurtunities for positions in the forseeable future.
But the modern university has often become a money making machine not a center for education. From my inside source, “Economically…oceanographers just don’t create many jobs, get valuable patents, or invent Gatoraide.”