We can exclusively reveal that a high-level investigation into the possible presence of “extremists” on our campus has detected at least four members of academic staff who not only display an unquestioning adherence to a monolithic faith but also persistently seek by any means available to convert others to their warped ideology.
According to the final report of the investigating team, these individuals all share an unqualified belief in a supreme being they choose to describe as Independent Thought.
In his response to the report, our Director of Corporate Affairs, Jamie Targett, referred to these academics as “historical relics”. “Their beliefs”, said Targett, “have never been subject to the great University Reformation that overturned such other ancient absolutist gods of higher education as Curiosity, Imagination and Knowledge for Its Own Sake.”
Anyone who doubted the dangers of such extremism, said Targett, should know that subscribers to the cult of Independent Thought had no appetite for compromise. “They actively seek the destruction of some of the most revered monuments of contemporary higher education: the Great REF Maze, the Sacred Bull of Management Directives and the Soaring Pyramid of the Vice-chancellor’s Annual Salary.”
Targett announced that those named in the report as “extremists” would be sent on a newly designed “Re-education Programme”. He declined to go into precise details but confirmed that part of the course would involve stuffing words of contrition down the throats of the offenders. It was a technique that, with a nod to other innovative extremist-countering initiatives, he liked to describe as “mortar-boarding”.
No times for heroes?
One of our leading pro vice-chancellors, Professor Mike Bloke, has warmly welcomed Janet Beer to the post of vice-chancellor of the University of Liverpool.
Professor Bloke told our reporter Keith Ponting (30) that he believed his sentiments were very much shared by his fellow pro vice-chancellors Dr Reg Mate, Professor Bill Cobber and Professor Dave Mucker. He even foresaw the day “in the not too distant future” when Poppleton itself might be ready to take such “a leap in the dark”.
In the meantime, he wanted to endorse Professor Beer’s suggestion that contemporary vice-chancellors were sometimes too concentrated on “some kind of heroic model of leadership”. It was precisely this sentiment that had only recently led him to advise our very own vice-chancellor to dispense with the sword, shield and plumed helmet that he traditionally chose to wear on Graduation Days.
All in all, he believed that it was only now “a matter of time” before he could persuade our vice-chancellor to abandon his “residual heroic predilection” for being conveyed to the ceremony on the back of an elephant.
Thought for the week
(contributed by Jennifer Doubleday, Head of Personal Development)
After yesterday’s campus showing of the film Still Alice, the Personal Development office has received a record number of anxious emails from academics who fear that they have contracted dementia. If you can’t remember now whether or not you sent such an email, please contact the office again, marking your application “Terminal”.