Brand on the run

March 17, 2011

Our Head of Brand Development, Norman Bovril, has responded forcefully to the news that the Times Higher Education Reputation Rankings place Poppleton as the 8,914th highest-regarded university in the world, falling immediately below the Latter-Day Saints University of Northern Uppsala and the Cluj-Napoca Mechanics Institute.

Speaking to our reporter Keith Ponting (30), Mr Bovril pointed out that although our university currently lacked "international reputation", the work of his 14-person branding team had already had "significant impact" on its local brand recognition. He instanced a recent survey in which the university's recognition factor had been compared with that enjoyed by other Poppleton institutions. This produced the following ranking:

1. Magic Fingers Massage Parlour

2. Just the Plaice Fish Restaurant

3. Curl Up and Dye Hairdressers

4. University of Poppleton

5. Lettuce Eat Vegetarian Bistro

According to Mr Bovril, this ranking showed that Poppleton University was now better known in the local area than other high-profile outlets such as Freeman, Hardy and Willis and John Collier, John Collier, the window to watch.

Recognise me? I'm a manager

Our Department of Social Sciences has made "a significant breakthrough in quantifying cultural understanding".

That was how our Professor of Sociology, Dirk Hyme, described the improvements his research team had made to the Imitation Game, which is being used as a research tool by Professor Harry Collins at Cardiff University.

Professor Hyme explained that in the Cardiff version of the game, two people leave a room and respond in writing to a series of questions. One of those leaving the room is of a particular race, occupation or religion, while the other is merely pretending. The task of the questioners is to establish which person is genuine.

In the Poppleton variant, two genuine university managers left the room and the questioners had to decide if either was a manager.

Although he admitted that "more research was needed", Professor Hyme said preliminary results pointed to the "exciting finding" that although university managers might have the name "manager" on their doors and on their business cards and call each other "managers", they were unable to persuade anyone else that they were indeed managers.

Thought for the Week

(contributed by Jennifer Doubleday, Head of Personal Development)

"Next week's seminar in the series 'Appreciating Diverse Sexual Orientations' will consider the missionary position."

Subterranean news

"We believe that it constitutes an important milestone in our university's ongoing commitment to improving access."

These were the stirring words uttered by our Head of Improving Access, Georgina Sessamy, as she cut the ribbon to mark the opening of the new structure that she believes will enhance Poppleton's reputation as "a university for absolutely anyone".

The structure, which has taken two years to complete, takes the form of a three-mile underground tunnel that leads directly from the university's administration block to the saloon bar of The King's Head in the centre of Poppleton's largest council estate.

Ms Sessamy insisted that estate residents would be invited to enter the tunnel on "a purely voluntary basis" and denied rumours that so far the tunnel had been used only by university academics leaving the campus surreptitiously.

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