One of our leading academic contenders for involuntary redundancy, Ted Odgers of the Department of Media and Cultural Studies, has apologised for circulating an email containing the claim that Queen Boudicca fought her last battle against the Romans in the area of Poppleton now known as the Arndale Centre and was subsequently laid to rest in the vicinity of our university’s Russell Brand College.
However, Louise Bimpson, the Corporate Director of our Human Resources Department, has insisted that “an apology is hardly enough” to compensate for the two members of our marketing department who were crushed to death by earth-moving machinery as they raced to the nominated site. Neither, she said, did an apology adequately atone for such further disruption as the wholesale excavation of three college car parks and the issuing of a formal university invitation to the Archbishop of Canterbury to preside over the reburying of the great queen’s last remains.
Mr Odgers has now agreed to supplement his apology with a formal admission that Boudicca never came anywhere near Poppleton. He explains that, according to Tacitus, she poisoned herself after a military defeat at St Albans and was “very probably” then laid to rest in a spot that is rumoured to lie immediately below the house currently occupied by the vice-chancellor of the University of Hertfordshire. Odgers said he hoped that this additional response would do something “to exacerbate the situation”.
A lemon for the teacher
According to Jamie Targett, our Director of Corporate Affairs, it is “wholly inappropriate” to implement the current proposals for a teaching equivalent of the REF.
In his Easter address to the university, Targett argues that while he has “no wish to disparage those less fortunate members of the university who engage in this sort of activity”, he wonders if a form of behaviour that involves little more than reading out a set of old notes for the best part of an hour is any more capable of meaningful evaluation than the average person’s capacity to walk in a straight line. In Targett’s words, “Distinguishing between those who engage in such a modest activity would be not unlike differentiating between members of the Gadarene Swine”.
Targett was not without his critics. One academic, who wished to remain anonymous for fear of being a victim of the University of Bolton Protocol in which academics are summarily dismissed on the grounds that they just might possibly have done something wrong, told The Poppletonian that he’d been so outraged by Targett’s portrait of teachers that he’d contacted our vice-chancellor for a comment. Unfortunately this failed to produce any satisfactory development as the vice-chancellor in his reply frankly confessed that he was unaware that teaching was still one of this university’s functions.
Thought for the week
(contributed by Jennifer Doubleday, Head of Personal Development)
This week’s seminar is entitled “Dealing critically with the myths of the menopause”. No dirty stinking men welcome. All right?