Laurie Taylor – 19 May 2016

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

May 19, 2016
Chalk outline of a man
Source: iStock
Scene of the crime


Double marker tragedy

We regret to report the death by strangulation of Dr Gerald Robards of our Department of Philosophy.

There is still no official account of this tragic event, but we understand that Dr Robards’ assailant was Dr C. E. M. Cummings, his co‑marker on the BA Finals Epistemology paper.

We further learn that although Dr Robards was only the second marker on this paper, he had regularly accused Dr Cummings of systematically down-marking finalists who chose to describe knowledge as a system of justified truth propositions rather than as a system of justified truth sentences.

Dr Cummings apparently rejected this allegation with some vigour and then took advantage of Dr Robards’ advanced age and pronounced stoop by throttling him with a university scarf.

Records show that Dr Robards is the first truth propositions epistemologist to lose his life in this manner at Poppleton, although in previous years our Philosophy Department has witnessed the unfortunate marking-related deaths of a senior transcendental idealist (drowned in the Biology Pond), a Cartesian (shot at close range) and two Neo-Platonists (suspected hemlock poisoning).

Our Head of Human Resources, Louise Bimpson, told The Poppletonian that although Dr Robards’ position was currently under review by the Staffing Committee, not even “his worst enemy” would have wished to see his life concluded by what Ms Bimpson chose to call, with a nod towards Dr Robards’ discipline, “existential redundancy”.


Woven baskets

Start weaving!

Mrs Doris Champing, the head of the Lower Poppleton College of Weaving, has praised “the prescience” of Professor Aldwyn Cooper, vice-chancellor of Regent’s University London.

Speaking to our reporter, Keith Ponting (30), Mrs Champing said that she had read Professor Cooper’s remarks in last week’s Times Higher Education on the likelihood that the government White Paper on higher education would offer new opportunities to smaller private providers. In particular, she had noted his prediction that this would mean ending up “with an institution that specialises in Latvian basket-weaving and with 50 students getting university title”.

“Professor Cooper must have had our little college in mind,” said Mrs Champing. “For although we have nearly 150 students and offer a choice of weaving options, our second-year Latvian basket-weaving is an ever-popular choice.”

Mrs Champing was delighted to learn from the White Paper that her college could now become a university and charge £9,000-a-year tuition fees without going through “the bother” of outside validation and despite its modest student enrolment.

She also welcomed the news that these new, relatively unchecked private-for-profit-student-loan-accessing-universities would be known as “challenger institutions”. However, she described Ponting’s suggestion that the name was particularly well suited to a development that in so many respects challenged comprehension, as “deeply cynical”.

A good day for bad news?

Our Deputy Head of Brand Management, Georgina Edsel, has condemned suggestions that student recruitment to our university might be adversely affected by Poppleton FC’s recent relegation to Division Two of the Datsun Spare Parts League.

Ms Edsel said she was au fait with the Leicester Syndrome (the systematic use of entirely unrelated local events to boost the standing of one’s own institution) but very much hoped that the “bad news” of Poppleton FC’s relegation would soon be buried under “the exciting but still unconfirmed” news that the statue of David Willetts in the atrium of the Management Complex currently appears to be weeping real tears.

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