Catch me if you can

February 3, 2011

Our Head of Overseas Recruitment, Geraldine Transept, has refused to apologise for an open letter addressed to potential EU students that would appear to encourage a degree of duplicity.

In the letter, Ms Transept tells potential students that they should not be deterred from applying to Poppleton by the new under-graduate fees. She advises such students that "you will be able to borrow a big fat chunk of tax-payers' money in the almost certain knowledge that no one will be able to find you when they want to get it back".

Ms Transept claimed that the bulk of her letter was "in tune with the entrepreneurial spirit of the times", but agreed that her further reference to the Student Loans Company not "even knowing the whereabouts of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia" was on "the provocative side of things".

A rose is a rose is a rose

One of our most senior academics, Professor Gordon Lapping of the Department of Media and Cultural Studies, learned this week that his application for a change of title had been rejected by the university's Promotions Committee.

In his application, Lapping referred to the recent contention by John Warren of Aberystwyth University in Times Higher Education that the title of Professor had been devalued by the dramatic increase in the overall number of professors and the failure to retain the title as "the badge of the respected elder statesman". In view of "these unfortunate developments", Lapping argued that his title should forthwith be amended to Professor Professor.

In its judgement, the committee acknowledged that the recent 240 per cent increase in the number of chairs at our university was prima facie evidence for Lapping's contention that "there were now more professors at Poppleton than you could shake a stick at". It was this recognition that had led the committee to agree to Lapping's "alternative suggestion" that his longevity in post should now be recognised by the addition to his title of "a moderately sized star".

Tempus fugit

Poppleton seems unlikely to adopt the Imperial College London working party proposal to extend the academic working day by an extra hour in order to maximise the use of teaching space. Mike Cram, our Head of Spatial Optimisation, told our reporter Keith Ponting (30) that before making any such move he wanted to see the results of the present study in which "spatial maximisation" on the university's more popular courses was being achieved by a selection policy that favoured students with a proven record of malnutrition.

Thought for the week

(contributed by Jennifer Doubleday, Head of Personal Development)

"Never underestimate the power of very stupid people in large groups."

No time for sympathy

Our vice-chancellor has refused to extend any sympathy to the 110 academic staff who are threatened with losing their jobs at Liverpool Hope University. In a brief statement to The Poppletonian, he described the decision of the university to use the word "hope" in its title as "a hostage to fortune".

lolsoc@dircon.co.uk.

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