Request: The faculty of the College of Computing, Engineering, and Construction request to change name of the Department of Computer and Information Sciences (CIS) to the School of Computing.
Rationale: The change in name would give UNF’s computing programs more visibility in the information technology/computer science/ information systems/ software engineering communities. UNF’s CIS Department now has separately accredited degrees in computer science and in information systems. Beginning in fall 2006, CIS will offer a new degree in information technology, which is a newly accredited discipline. UNF’s new program will be a candidate for accreditation once it graduates at least one student. CIS also offers a graduate track in software engineering, which also now is an accredited discipline. UNF is not yet planning a BS degree in software engineering, but likely will over the next few years.
Names such as computer science, information systems, information technology, and software engineering are no longer suitable for units as diverse as UNF’s CIS Department. The term “computing” has become a general umbrella name for academic units with several related programs, much like the term “engineering” serves that collection of disciplines.
Further, the unit’s current department designation does not adequately reflect the diversity of its programs or allow for the certain future reorganization CIS needs to manage its range of relatively independent sub-disciplines. Other US universities already having schools of computing (or similar names) include The University of Utah, Carnegie Mellon University, Florida International University, and the University of Central Florida. Some US universities already have established college-level computing units, though that degree of autonomy is not part of UNF’s or CCEC’s plans now. Universities with computing colleges include Georgia Tech ( College of Computing), Northeastern University ( College of Computer and Information Science), RIT ( College of Computing and Information Sciences), and New Jersey Institute of Technology ( College of Computing Sciences). Others, such as George Mason University ( School of Information Technology and Engineering) use the term school to designate a unit with several formal departments within it.
If approved, the School of Computing will join UNF’s other Schools of Nursing and Engineering [assuming the School of Engineering recently submitted request is approved by UNF’s upper administration and its Board of Trustees; the UNF faculty Association has approved the request.
Cost of the Change: The change would be minimal. Stationary, business cards, promotional material, and signage would need to be changed. These costs would be absorbed within our existing budget.
Faculty Votes: Seventeen of 21 CIS faculty members eligible to vote all cast ballots in favor of the proposed name change. CCEC faculty members voted 20-0-0 in favor.