"An important and exciting breakthrough." This was the reaction of Jamie Targett, our thrusting Director of Corporate Affairs, to recent research by Dr Catherine Hakim of the London School of Economics showing the vital importance of "erotic capital" in human relationships.
Targett told our reporter, Keith Ponting (30), that Dr Hakim's groundbreaking discovery that more attractive people tended to be, on the whole, more attractive to other people than people who were less attractive to other people, had immediate implications for Poppleton's academic staff.
He revealed that assessments of "erotic capital" would now play a "significant part" in the forthcoming "restructuring exercise". Academics, who had previously been evaluated only in terms of their research output, teaching proficiency and administrative competence, would now be rated on an "erotic scale" that ranged from a top mark of 10 ("Phew, what a scorcher") all the way down to zero ("Frankly, I'd rather sleep with a dead policeman").
Not everyone, however, was happy with the new proposal. Professor Lapping (EC rating 1) claimed that his own ranking had been made on what he described as "a bad hair day" and failed to take into account the views of those who enjoyed fuller access to the extent of his erotic capital (Mrs Lapping).
The green green grass of management
It looks as though our university has recorded another first. According to a new study by PricewaterhouseCoopers, fewer than half of university staff in Wales are involved in teaching or research. But the suggestion that this may constitute a UK record has been fiercely disputed by Louise Bimpson, Corporate Director of our ever-expanding Human Resources Department.
Ms Bimpson pointed out that, according to the latest estimates, our university was now "edging" towards its target figure of two members of management staff for every serving academic. She denied that this was in any way indicative of a burgeoning bureaucracy.
"What people often fail to take into account is the requirement for managers to be managed. This necessarily means that the more managers we appoint, the more managers we need to manage those managers who are themselves already managing other managers."
Does my angst look big in this?
The suggestion by Professor Peter Osborne of Middlesex University that the current cutbacks in philosophy departments are prompted by "a capitalistic dread of things that can't be measured or quantified" has led to a new initiative from Janet Fluellen, our Director of Curriculum Development. Speaking to a hastily convened press conference in the atrium of the David Willetts Centre, she announced that this autumn Poppleton would inaugurate the very first UK MA course in Quantitative Philosophy.
Although some details were still be finalised, she could reveal that courses would address vital quantitative matters such as the length of a categorical imperative, the width of a sufficient condition, the approximate weight of a lump of noumena and the relative circumference of a Leibnizian monad.
Thought for the week
(contributed by Jennifer Doubleday, Head of Personal Development)
"I'm delighted to announce that our brand new course 'Adding to one's erotic capital' will begin next Thursday when Dr W. B. Aspinall (EC rating 9) will address the vexed question of nasal hair. All welcome."