According to the Higher Education Statistics Agency, .1 per cent of all academic staff in the UK are now on teaching-only contracts.
This figure was cited this week by Mike Cram, our university’s Head of Spatial Optimisation, as he announced that the senior common rooms on campus would no longer admit teaching-only staff.
Mr Cram said that relative harmony had existed in SCRs when some members of academic staff actually combined research and teaching. But the dramatic growth in teaching-only staff clearly meant that they now constituted a distinctive cultural group.
It was no doubt this development, said Mr Cram, that exercised the research-only academics who had complained to him about teaching-only staff contaminating the essential spirit of the senior common room by mentioning the names of actual students, leaving chalk stains on the seating and, in the words of one complainant, “introducing the unfortunate odour of the lecture room”.
However, Mr Cram firmly denied the suggestion that this new move constituted a form of “academic apartheid”. “This is really all about providing opportunities for separate development,” he insisted. “Teaching-only staff will still be free to enjoy co-presence with their research-only colleagues on the campus covered ways and in the non-segregated toilets in the Visitors’ Centre.”
You make me feel brand old
Dramatic moves to rebrand our university have been put on hold following recent remarks from Winston Kwon, chancellor’s fellow in strategy in the University of Edinburgh Business School.
It appears that there were plans afoot for Poppleton to enjoy the advantages in student recruiting that are conferred on universities that can cite great age or ancient architecture or links to royalty or proximity to London in their official titles. According to these plans, Poppleton was to be relaunched later this year as The Royal and Ancient Vaulted Ceilings Metropolitan Queen’s University of Poppleton.
However, Dr Kwon’s warnings about the likely failure rate of such rebranding exercises if they involve merely painting over “tired structures” prompted further research. This revealed that our new name would attract extra students only if it made no mention at all of our precise geographical location.
Following this insight, it was decided by a majority vote of the Branding team that the following should now be adopted as our formal name: The Royal and Ancient Vaulted Ceilings Metropolitan Queen’s University (near Poppleton).
Our ever-popular Corporate Director of Human Resources, Louise Bimpson, has announced that our university will follow in the steps of the University of Bristol, which recently drew additional attention to a post in its School of Social and Clinical Medicine by advertising the position as “Associate Dean of Eureka Moments”.
Ms Bimpson cited a number of currently advertised Poppleton posts together with their traditional titles:
Lord of Very Fat Emoluments
Professor of Unfounded Optimism
(chair of neoliberal economics)
Inventor of Euphoric Hyperbole
Mr Tambourine Man
(deputy head of pharmacology)
Thought for the week
(contributed by Jennifer Doubleday, Head of Personal Development)
Want to learn how to get rid of those deep-set lines and that sallow complexion without recourse to the surgeon’s knife? Then book early for next week’s special seminar. Mark your application “Early Retirement”.