You know, people often tap on the window of my limousine and ask if I can spare them a bob or two from my enormous salary. And my reply, as I wind up the window, is always the same: “Go and work for a living, you idle scumbag.”
There’s a message there for all of us. Gone are the days when academic staff could fritter away hours on such indulgences as thinking and reading and even (so legend has it) talking to students. Nowadays, it’s a case of all hands on deck, all shoulders to the grindstone and all noses to the wheel. (Mrs Dilworth. Is this right?)
It was hard work that made 2013 a year of triumph for Poppleton: a year in which we widened our participation, narrowed our focus, extended our reach, expanded our ambitions and shrank our outgoings.
It was also a year in which our application to join the 1994 Mission Group proved to be the rock on which that group finally foundered, a year in which our consistency was recognised by our occupancy of the same position in every university league table.
We also said “Hello and Welcome” to new members of staff, not only the extra managers who’ve been brought in to manage our existing managers but also the several hundred very part-time members of research staff who never actually made it on to campus to say “hello” but did such a great job bulking up our submission to the research excellence framework.
Sadly, we’ve had to say “Goodbye and Farewell” to our Philosophy Department. I’ve always had a soft spot for philosophy, even if its practitioners do constantly bang on about the need to define one’s terms. But at least there’s now one term they no longer need to fret about (their term of employment!). (Mrs Dilworth. Please leave exclamation mark to indicate presence of joke.)
You know, it was Shakespeare who so wisely said “Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow”. And that’s very much what we all need to have in mind as we face the future going forward. For tomorrow is a new day, tomorrow brings a new dawn, tomorrow (Mrs D. Could you pop in something here about our new vocational degree in Cuticle Management and hint at the imminent closure of the English, French and History Departments?).
The Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive (signed in his absence by Mrs Dilworth)