43 lecturers accidentally 'imprisoned'

October 23, 2008

What was described by Mike Adobe, our Deputy Head of Advanced Computer Services, as "a technological blip", led to the unfortunate overnight retention in our Central Library of 43 members of academic staff.

The incident occurred last Thursday when these staff members entered the library using their 6.22.1 bar-coded staff cards without being aware that these were replaced later that day by the new 6.22.2 cards. This meant that when the unfortunate dons attempted to obtain egress they were not recognised by the electronic security turnstile.

Matters were further complicated by the absence from duty that day of the only remaining human member of library staff.

"In a way," claimed Mr Adobe, "this can be seen as a positive test of our advanced security systems going forward."

He praised the overall fortitude of the lecturers, but was quick to condemn the small breakaway group who tried to effect an escape by tunnelling through the ventilation system in the reference section.

One of the "imprisoned" 43 was Elizabeth Parteger, Reader in the Department of Medieval Studies for Business, who described the experience as "traumatic".

"It wouldn't have been so bad," she told our reporter Keith Ponting (30), "if only we could have found something in the place with which to pass the time. Like a book."

Trust me - I'm a Vice-Chancellor

In an unexpected intervention, our Vice-Chancellor has rushed to support the University of Buckingham. Responding to the news that Buckingham had been criticised by the Quality Assurance Agency for its lack of decision-making committees, he declared that he thoroughly sympathised with Buckingham Vice-Chancellor Terence Kealey, who insisted that "the high level of interpersonal trust" existing within his university "rendered committees superfluous".

"How very like our own dear University of Poppleton," said the Vice-Chancellor, "where there is now such a high level of interpersonal trust that I am able to make vitally important decisions without any consultation whatsoever."


In last week's Poppletonian, we provided the following formula for calculating teaching workload points:



where N equals the total number of students on the module; W is the number of those students who are full time; D is the extent of involvement in module leadership; V is the amount of time allocated to student support; G is the overall workload average for departmental members; R is the special exemption for small module teaching; P is the probability of modules concluding because of lack of students; and Z is the degree of module administration.

We unfortunately omitted S from the bottom line of this equation, where S is the number of members of staff reduced to dysfunctional hysteria as a direct result of failing to understand the new method for calculating staff workloads. We apologise for this error.

Thought for the Week

(contributed by Jennifer Doubleday, Head of Personal Development)

I'm sure that we were all saddened by the recent news that Dr L.E.G. Tremlett had collapsed and died under the weight of his department's Annual Monitoring Forms. Perhaps, though, there's a little lesson for us all in this unfortunate incident. Keeping fit is not an option in the modern university. It's a duty. Remember:

Those who think they have not time for bodily exercise will sooner or later have to find time for illness.

Please login or register to read this article

Register to continue

Get a month's unlimited access to THE content online. Just register and complete your career summary.

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

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments