Laurie Taylor – 16 February 2017

The official weekly newsletter of the University of Poppleton. Finem respice!

February 16, 2017
A woman about to be fired out of a cannon
Source: Rex

We gotta get out of this place

A recent survey carried out by The Student Room website reveals that one in five students currently enrolled at university would choose a quite different university if they were offered a second choice.

However, our Deputy Head of Student Experience, Nancy Harbinger, while admitting that a similar survey at Poppleton had shown one in three students wanting to be “anywhere else than Poppleton”, claimed that such findings were no more than evidence of the common psychological phenomenon known as “the grass is greener”.

As further evidence of this phenomenon Ms Harbinger cited a recent survey of Poppleton academics which revealed that more than 98 per cent of those sampled would have opted for “anywhere else but here” if they’d known in advance about the nature of their present place of work.

She described the suggestion from Dr D. W. Dingbat of our Philosophy Department that such results indicated the urgent need for the establishment of a “University of Elsewhere” as “dispiritingly fatuous”.

Burning issues

One of our leading academic rabble-rousers, Ted Odgers, has suggested in a recent blog that “setting fire to money” is now a key plank of the Conservative approach to higher education.

Mr Odgers cites the case of the University of Cambridge student Ronald Coyne, who was expelled from the Cambridge University Conservative Association for burning a £20 note in front of a homeless man – an act that was said to have formerly been the manner in which students indicated their ideological suitability to become members of the Conservative Bullingdon Club.

But Mr Odgers describes this public money burning by a Conservative as “very much a minor conflagration” compared with the several million pounds of public money that was being reduced to ashes by the present Conservative government’s policy of allowing students at private for-profit universities to access public funding even though there are currently no figures available on what are believed to be the high dropout rates of such students.

(Our Head of Assisted Retirement, Cecilia Bodkin, described Mr Odgers as “pontificating in the last-chance saloon”.)


End of the peer review

“Not guilty.”

That was how Professor Lapping of our Department of Media and Cultural Studies responded to the suggestion that he might be one of the journal editors accused by an article in Publishing Research Quarterly of keeping academics “in limbo” for up to eight years as they await the peer review that would allow their research to proceed to publication.

Professor Lapping, who edits the British Journal of Relatively Mundane Media Findings, admitted that there had been some slight delays occasioned by his failure to find peer reviewers who were prepared to read long and essentially tedious articles for what he colloquially described as “bugger all”.

One disgruntled author, Dr W. L. Wilbraham of the Private For Profit University of Old Sarum, claimed that he had submitted his article “Implicit racism in contemporary British television” to Professor Lapping’s journal nearly three decades ago but had received news of its rejection by peer reviewers only late last Wednesday afternoon.

Professor Lapping agreed that this delay was “unfortunate”. However, he made no apology for the final rejection, which was based on the peer reviewer’s finding that the paper had relied “far too extensively” on an analysis of The Black and White Minstrel Show.

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