When budget cuts happen at a University, usually they must eliminate entire departments, as you can't selectively fire tenured faculty within a department, outside of reasons like gross misconduct. Otherwise, you're picking some pretty serious fights with accreditors, civil courts, and faculty professional organizations (AAUP, etc.).
But why was computer science chosen? Usually, it's low-enrollment, low-income (from grants, etc.) programs like philosophy or entomology that fall under the axe, often at smaller campuses within a state system. Does the computer science department not bring in enough government grants and private development money? Enough tuition-paying students? A good enough track record with placing students in professional careers that make use of the education?
Is this part of a game of University - Legislature brinksmanship where the University is threatening to cut desirable programs in a thinly-veiled effort to shame the government into coughing up more money?
Stinginess with privileges is kindness in disguise. -- Guide to VAX/VMS Security, Sep. 1984