A Very Happy New Year!
We regret that as our vice-chancellor has unexpectedly been placed on “gardening leave”, we are able to print his traditional New Year’s Message only in the unedited version that was made available to his personal assistant, Mrs Dilworth.
Dear Valued Colleagues and Zero-Hour Contract Workers [Mrs Dilworth – if we now employ more zero-hour contract workers than valued colleagues perhaps you could reverse this order].
A very happy and prosperous New Year to you all [omit “prosperous”]. I hope that you are all refreshed after your three days of statutory leave and feel as excited as I do about the future that lies ahead [omit “as I do”].
But before I talk about that exciting new year, let me recall some of our major achievements during 2016. Only a few months ago we learned that we had gained an honourable ninth place in GQ magazine’s Best University To Get Your End Away league table and had achieved a two-star rating on Trip Advisor for our “unrivalled access to open moorland”.
We were also delighted in 2016 by the expansion of our university across the globe. In October the first cohort of nine students enrolled at the Poppleton University College of South Yemen. Although progress on this groundbreaking development has been temporarily halted by the resumption of aerial bombardment, we have every confidence that a very bright future lies ahead for these new members of the Poppleton community [omit “very bright”].
This is the traditional time of year for saying farewell to all those who have left us for new destinations. Our thoughts and good wishes go out to the friends and families of Drs Wright, Phillips, Coates and Wilcocks [Self-destruction], Drs Lamphrey, Sutton, Invergordon and Dubbins [Drug Rehabilitation] and Professors Maugham and Sangfroid [Assisted Deaths].
But now let me turn to 2017. An especially Happy New Year to those members of staff who will be in the forefront of the new teaching excellence framework. We now realise that our teachers are the backbone of this great university. Whereas our primary focus was once upon research and experimentation, we must now shift our gaze to the exciting world of chalk and blackboards [should that be “whiteboards”?].
As usual, we want to hear your thoughts about these changes. And to that end, please note that there will be a Listening Event on Monday 16 January at which all staff [apart, of course, from those on short-term contracts and those with already well-rehearsed grudges] will be able, briefly, to air any concerns they might have about life on campus [underline “briefly”].
So, as we enter 2017, let me speak plainly. It is now more important than ever that we focus our attention upon developing the core synergies that will assist us in the leveraging of our ongoing enhancement agenda [perhaps omit “plainly”].
The Vice-Chancellor [signed in his absence by Mrs Dilworth].