"This is a timely and most welcome recognition of Poppleton University's distinctive contribution to UK higher education."
That was the enthusiastic response of our vice-chancellor to the news that Poppleton had been shortlisted in the 2010 Times Higher Education Awards.
Poppleton will be competing against five other universities in the newly established category "Outstanding contribution to reminding people that almost any university can be nominated for some sort of an award".
The vice-chancellor confirmed that the university would be marking the occasion by booking a suite of tables at the gala ceremony in November so that senior managers could toast the university's success.
'Tis the season to be jolly
Our Head of External Relations, Kirk Swavely, has strongly supported the claim by Zahir Irani, dean of Brunel Business School, that fear of wasting money on "jollies" was preventing universities from networking with possible financial donors.
Speaking to our reporter Keith Ponting (30), Mr Swavely said that he regarded Professor Irani's comments as welcome support for the university's recent decision to host a corporate box for the Poppleton Light Opera's much-praised production of Mamma Mia!, and its future plans for a joint management/business executive charabanc excursion (with complimentary fish supper) to the Blackpool Illuminations.
He insisted, however, that his enthusiasm for networking "jollies" should not be seen as implying any significant relaxation of the internal hospitality rules that restrict biscuit provision to one per person in all university committees.
But he did confirm that, as a concession to "popular opinion", he would now be amending the "in absentia biscuit rule", which requires any biscuits left over after the one per person rule has been enforced to be returned to the central biscuit depository. In future, "in absentia biscuits" can be "carried over" to the next meeting of the designated committee.
Thought for the Week
(contributed by Jennifer Doubleday, Head of Personal Development)
Here's a little reassurance for those slightly older members of staff who might be worrying about waning powers: "I can see clearly now the brain has gone."
Move over, darling
Our Psychology Department has received an unprecedented degree of national publicity following the publication of research findings that show that couples who occupy smaller beds are likely to engage in sexual congress more frequently (p=0.5) than those who enjoy more commodious nocturnal resting places (the so-called "Big Bedders").
However, Dr Ted Thorndike, the leader of the research team behind the findings, has cautioned against premature causal interpretations of the results. "Without further research we have no way of knowing if the increased congress among the Small Bedders arises because of the manner in which a smaller bed contingently facilitates bodily contact or because high-congress couples positively select a smaller bed in order to maximise the possibility of such contact."
(Watch out for Dr Thorndike this Saturday on Channel Five's S for Sex.)