February 25, 2010

"We welcome anything that helps bring staff closer together." That was the positive response of our Corporate Director of Human Resources, Louise Bimpson, to calls made at the recent Leadership Foundation conference for more "serendipitous" encounters across disciplines.

Ms Bimpson told our reporter, Keith Ponting (30), that she was already in the process of arranging an event that would help to facilitate just such encounters.

She revealed that academics from all disciplines would be invited to attend this evening function at which, upon arrival, they would be asked to compose themselves into two concentric circles, one containing scholars from the Arts and Humanities and the other made up entirely of scholars from the Sciences.

Upon the commencement of a piece of music, the circles would be invited to move around each other in opposite directions until the moment when a whistle sounded. They would then pair off with the person standing opposite them in the adjacent circle and promptly retire to a corner of the room to discuss their current research projects.

Ms Bimpson believed that this new method for achieving "serendipitous encounters" constituted a significant improvement upon a previous attempt in which blindfolded members of rival disciplines were invited to collaborate in affixing a tail to a cardboard donkey.

Stock still

Our university has responded with alacrity to Lord Mandelson's contention that many of the academics who objected to his recent cuts in university funding were "set in aspic".

Speaking to The Poppletonian, our thrusting Director of Corporate Affairs, Jamie Targett, said that steps were already being taken to identify those staff who, in Mandelson's words, were "people who don't like change" and who persist in believing that they have some sort of right to go on teaching and researching their subject in "the same old way".

However, Targett admitted the process was taking longer than expected. It appears that the university's original intention to identify such "set in aspic" academics by means of their glazed expression had been bedevilled by an inability to find serving Poppleton academics who currently manifested any other demeanour.

Matters arising

Following recommendations from the university's Committee on Committee Rationalisation (CCR), please note that the Student Experience Committee (SEC) will now be combined with the Student Satisfaction Committee (SSC), the Student Survey Solicitation Committee (SSSC) and the Standing Committee on Student Development (SCSD), to form the Student Experience Satisfaction Survey Solicitation Development Committee (SESSSDC).

Although the move represents what the CCR describes as "a logical implementation of the university's continuing drive toward cost- and time-effective management structures going forward", there are unconfirmed reports that the decision was prompted by the current price of biscuits.

Thought for the week

(contributed by Jennifer Doubleday, Head of Personal Development)

"Please note that the next Sexual Healing clinic will take place on Friday at the usual time and place. Please bring a change of clothing."

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