If...

April 17, 2014

If you can keep your head, when all about you
Are losing theirs because of QAA
If UEG cannot survive without you
With Provost, Deans and PVCs at play
If you can wait, and not be tired by waiting
Hoping one day Senate will decide
Or cope with Council endlessly berating
Without the urge to run away and hide

If you can REF, but not make REF your master
If rising up the rankings is your aim
If NSS is once again disaster
And everyone says you must be to blame
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Misquoted by the folks at UCU
If all the staff say everything is broken
But rather than repair it, look at you

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
Then see that published in the THE
If student numbers suddenly are thinning
Or not enough have managed ABB
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
When jet-lagged at a campus overseas
Or always have the right quotation in you
When asked of Labour’s plan for £6K fees

If you can talk to Ministers with virtue
If Student Union reps pop in and chat
If rows with Deans of Faculty don’t hurt you
If Head of Legal says “You can’t do that”
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds fighting off adversity
Yours is this place, and every problem in it
You are the v-c of a university

Gavin Costigan
Director of the vice-chancellor’s office
University of Southampton

Times Higher Education free 30-day trial

You've reached your article limit

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Most Commented

Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford will host a homeopathy conference next month

Charity says Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford is ‘naive’ to hire out its premises for event

women leapfrog. Vintage

Robert MacIntosh and Kevin O’Gorman offer advice on climbing the career ladder

Woman pulling blind down over an eye
Liz Morrish reflects on why she chose to tackle the failings of the neoliberal academy from the outside
White cliffs of Dover

From Australia to Singapore, David Matthews and John Elmes weigh the pros and cons of likely destinations

Michael Parkin illustration (9 March 2017)

Cramming study into the shortest possible time will impoverish the student experience and drive an even greater wedge between research-enabled permanent staff and the growing underclass of flexible teaching staff, says Tom Cutterham