Double or quits

April 24, 2014

“It’s an extraordinarily exciting time for all those with a deep intellectual interest in the philosophy of branding.”

That was how Georgina Edsel, our Deputy Head of Brand Management, responded to the news that Trinity College Dublin was undergoing a major rebranding exercise.

Ms Edsel, who was recently at the centre of a “branding storm” following her controversial support for “the admirably authoritarian manner” in which Queen Mary University of London had instructed its staff to “start using QML on all documentation”, appears to be risking further controversy by expressing “unbridled enthusiasm” for Trinity College’s proposal to replace its current title “Trinity College Dublin, the University of Dublin” with the rebranded title “Trinity College, the University of Dublin”.

She told The Poppletonian that this “dramatic move”, part of Trinity’s £83,000 “identity initiative” project, would, “in the insightful words of Trinity College provost Professor Prendergast”, do much to “emphasise Trinity’s status as a university” rather than as a college that called itself a university as well as a college.

But she admitted to being “far less sure” about Professor Prendergast’s contention that the newly devised title also had the advantage of “eliminating the double use of the word, Dublin”.

For while she did not question the professor’s mathematics, she did feel the need to point out that repetition had an important place in branding history. “Would your average man in the street really remember Boutros Boutros-Ghali, Yo-Yo Ma and Lord Haw Haw quite so readily if they were respectively known merely as Boutros Ghali, Yo Ma and Lord Haw? I doubt it.”

It was, added Ms Edsel in what she described as an afterthought, also “somewhat perverse” to find a university that revelled in the name “Dublin” spending quite so much time and money “seeking to stress its singularity”.


First among firsts

Our Head of Mark Adjustment, Dr K. T. Rounding Upwards, has assured our reporter Keith Ponting (30) that “there are very good reasons” why over 90 per cent of our undergraduates obtain first-class degrees when analysis of their intellectual background would suggest that most would have difficulty arguing their way out of a paper bag.

Dr Upwards accepted that it was “statistically appropriate” for Poppleton to sit alongside Brunel, Coventry, Exeter, Liverpool Hope and Oxford Brookes in the Higher Education Funding Council for England list of “universities with more 2:1s and firsts than expected”, but he “utterly rejected” the suggestion by Professor Alan Smithers of the University of Buckingham that a university’s readiness to hand out firsts as though there were no tomorrow might be in any way linked to a wish to improve its standing in the major league tables.

“If we didn’t place the highest emphasis upon maintaining academic standards,” said Dr Upwards, “we would hardly have initiated our current policy of paying our external examiners three times the going rate for their invaluable adjudications.”

(Dr Upwards is a summa cum laude graduate of the American University of Tinseltown.)


Thought for the week

(contributed by Jennifer Doubleday, Head of Personal Development)

I am informed by the Head of the Staff Wellbeing Centre that he has decided to place the Centre’s treadmill on the market. This follows in the wake of the recent survey that revealed that more than 90 per cent of our academic staff already spend at least five and a half days a week on just such a machine.

Times Higher Education free 30-day trial

Please login or register to read this article.

Register to continue

Get a month's unlimited access to THE content online. Just register and complete your career summary.

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments