Caesar adsum iam forte

December 3, 2009

In a shock move, our thrusting Director of Corporate Affairs, Jamie Targett, has announced "a major quantitative upsurge" in the amount of Latin to be used in our graduation ceremonies.

Targett told The Poppletonian that his decision followed extensive research, which revealed a positive correlation between the total number of Latin words used in graduation ceremonies and the "relative status of the university going forward".

At the moment the only Latin used in the Poppleton ceremony is the phrase "in absentia", which was introduced in 2002 to coincide with the deployment of the new university mace. But Targett argued that confining the use of Latin to what was essentially "a negative feature of the ceremony" (the failure of large numbers of students to attend) was "situationally inappropriate".

He revealed that at next year's ceremonies Heads of Department would be required to replace their present formulation ("Vice-chancellor, I'm really very pleased to present the following students for the BA in Sports Studies") with the following:

"Dignissima domina, Domina Procancellaria et tota Academia praesento vobis hunc virum (or different if it is a woman) quem (or different if it is a woman) scio tam moribus quam docrina esse ideoneum (or different if it is a woman) ad gradum assequendum Sports Studies, idque tibi fide mea praesto totique Academiae."

Targett denied that the addition of such extra Latin might prove alienating to the parental congregation.

"Our research shows that most parents who attend our present ceremony have no idea what is going on, so the addition of large chunks in an incomprehensible language can hardly heighten their general mystification."

Horses for courses

Senior academics at our university have given a warm welcome to the £13,500 four-module course on entrepreneurial leadership to be offered by the Entrepreneurial University Leadership Programme at the University of Oxford's Said Business School.

Speaking to our reporter, Keith Ponting (30), one pro vice-chancellor who wished to remain anonymous said that "one could never have too many leadership courses". He himself had already attended courses on Management Leadership, Leadership for the Future, Dynamic Leadership, Interpersonal Leadership, Emotional Leadership and Leadership for Leaders.

"Frankly," he told Ponting, "I don't know how I'd have got through the past few years of academic life without the opportunity to regularly spend all-expenses-paid away-days at country hotels listening to people talking about how important it is to attend courses on leadership."

Suspicious death?

Claims that our university's only incumbent philosopher, Professor L.G. Buridan, was "assassinated" have been "vigorously" rejected by our Head of Curriculum Development, Janet Fluellen.

Ms Fluellen pointed out that Poppleton's decision to axe its entire Philosophy Department earlier this year was "very much in line with pedagogic developments at other major universities" and did not mean that there was "anything sinister" about the sudden death of Professor Buridan.

She agreed that her office had written to the professor complaining about the manner in which he had sought to corrupt students with ideas about the intrinsic value of knowledge but insisted that his decision to drink a cup of hemlock was entirely a matter of personal choice.

Thought for the Week

(contributed by Jennifer Doubleday, Head of Personal Development)

"Success comes in cans, failure in can'ts."

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