Don's bogus claim shock

May 28, 2009

Shock waves rolled around our campus this week as a special investigation by The Poppletonian revealed serious and possibly fraudulent misuse of the Conference Expenses Fund.

Records obtained by us under the Freedom of Information Act show major discrepancies in the claim submitted by Professor Gordon Lapping of the Department of Media and Cultural Studies for his attendance at this year's Annual Conference of Media Studies in Skegness.

In a total claim of £132 which included Senior Railcard travel to and from Skegness, three nights accommodation in Student Block H, and nine canteen meals, there is an entry of £2.50 for "ginger biscuits and cup of tea", although these items of refreshment were part of the inclusive conference price.

When confronted with the documented evidence, Lapping admitted that his claim was "a mistake", but pointed out that the £2.50 expenditure had been incurred by the necessary consumption of a Regular Latte in the Bide-a-While station buffet at Skegness following the cancellation of his returning train.

However, our Director of Corporate Affairs, Jamie Targett, described Lapping's explanation as "a totally unacceptable case of flipping", and added that it was no wonder that members of the general public were losing confidence in academia when dons like Lapping were to be found "with their noses in the trough".

Next week. Who took all the Biros? The Breaking Scandal in the Philosophy Stationery Cupboard

External affairs

Following the QAA's suggestion that there should be greater transparency about the selection procedures for external examiners, we are now pleased to announce the following Poppleton appointments to these prestigious positions together with a brief summary of the principal selection criteria:

  • Dept of Theology for Business

New External Examiner: Reverend Professor S.J. O'Hagan

Appointment criterion: Advanced senility

  • Dept of Aromatherapy

New External Examiner: Doctor Mike Smallpiece

Appointment criterion: Proven record of gullibility

  • Dept of Business for Business

New External Examiner: Professor G.D. Greenshoots

Appointment criterion: Where's my free dinner?

We hope this clarifies the situation.

No plans to off the 'Of'

Our Deputy Head of Logo Development, Mr P.G. Winsome, has responded with alacrity to the news that the University of Teesside has rebranded itself as Teesside University in a move which the university's vice-chancellor, Graham Henderson, described as helpful to the institution's "national and international visibility".

Speaking to our reporter, Keith Ponting (30), Winsome said that although suggestions had been made in the past that the University of Poppleton might similarly benefit from rebranding as Poppleton University, survey results to date indicated that both names "enjoyed identical levels of invisibility".

However, he confirmed that a specially constituted committee was currently considering a compromise solution in which the impact of the word "of" in the present formulation might be diluted by placing it in inverted commas. He expected an interim report to be available early in 2010.

Thought for the Week

(contributed by Jennifer Doubleday, Head of Personal Development)

Sorry, no thought this week. Only an apology.

In last week's alphabetical list of inspirational leaders the name Hitler should, of course, have come after and not before Hannibal.

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