A rose is a rose is a rose

February 6, 2014

Once again, serious conflict has broken out on campus over our university’s proposed submissions to the Times Higher Education Leadership and Management Awards.

Regular readers of The Poppletonian may recall last year’s contention by senior management that it was inappropriate for Poppleton to put forward a contender in the Outstanding Library Team category in that our original library had long since been converted into 32 en suite conference bedrooms and that the only remaining member of the library staff, assistant librarian Ms Doreen Tomelty, had been redesignated as Deputy Director of Advanced Technological Retrieval Systems and Open Access Futures.

This year the argument concerns the department formerly known as Human Resources. In line with higher education’s continuing commitment to nominal inflation, this ever-expanding department has, following in the footsteps of Plymouth University, recently changed its name from Human Resources to Talent and Organisational Development. But does this mean that it is no longer eligible for the Outstanding Human Resources Team award?

According to Louise Bimpson, formerly corporate director of Human Resources but now Creative Corporate Director of Talent and Organisational Development, the fault lies with THE for clinging to out-of-date categories.

“ ‘Human Resources’ ”, she insisted, “is now as anachronistic a term in a modern university as ‘Bursar’ or ‘Professor of Philosophy’. We might as well be back in the bad old days of the personnel officer when all our time was spent looking after employees and their problems rather than our current ongoing commitment to finding novel ways in which they might be rendered redundant.”

 

I say, I say, I say

Our Head of Computing Algorithms, Dr A. B. C. D. Everett, has admitted to being “angered” by recent reports that a team of Finnish scientists at the University of Helsinki is hoping to create a computer algorithm that will enable computers to tell jokes.

Dr Everett told The Poppletonian that he believed that his own work on computer joke-telling was already well ahead of that described by the Finnish team.

He instanced a typical joke compiled by the Finnish computer algorithm:

“What is the difference between Finnish weddings and Finnish funerals?”

“At the funerals, there is one less drunk.”

This, maintained Dr Everett, was “poor stuff” compared with the joke that had only recently been generated by his own computer algorithm.

“What do you call an Englishman in the knockout stages of the World Cup?”

“A referee.”

Dr Everett also contended that his computer algorithm not only produced better jokes but after the joke had been told also emitted what he described as “a terminating humour closure utterance”: a clearly audible “Boom, Boom”.

 

Thought for the week

(contributed by Jennifer Doubleday, Head of Personal Development)

Congratulations to all those members of university staff who successfully forsook alcohol for the whole of the month of January. One of the leading abstainers, Dr Derek Quintock, has arranged an intimate gathering of his fellow non-drinkers for tomorrow evening. If you would like to attend, please apply to the Personal Development Office marking your communication “Major Piss-up”.

lolsoc@dircon.co.uk

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

Featured Jobs

Post-doctoral Research Associate in Chemistry

University Of Western Australia

PACE Data Support Officer

Macquarie University - Sydney Australia

Associate Lecturer in Nursing

Central Queensland University
See all jobs

Most Commented

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

Mitch Blunt illustration (23 March 2017)

Without more conservative perspectives in the academy, lawmakers will increasingly ignore and potentially defund social science, says Musa al-Gharbi

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