"A devastating setback for the entire science of human resource management." That was how the Corporate Director of our ever-expanding Human Resources Department, Louise Bimpson, reacted to the recent ruling that universities must discuss the possibility of redundancies with staff before making them redundant.
Ms Bimpson went on to describe the ruling, in an action brought by Geoffrey Darnton of Bournemouth University, as "seriously perverse". "We have", she told our reporter Keith Ponting (31), "a long tradition in human resources of keeping staff on their toes by the judicious issue of sudden and unexplained redundancy notices.
"Consider Professor Knebworth of our Department of Redaction. Only a few weeks, ago he was happily strolling across campus without an apparent care in the world, and yet today, he's out on his ear with no discernible future. That's what we like to call the firm smack of HR management."
Asked if she knew whether anyone else apart from Professor Knebworth was due for sudden and unexplained dismissal this week, Ms Bimpson touched the side of her nose with her index finger but otherwise chose not to comment.
Shock soccer logo boost
When the players of Poppleton Town FC run on to the pitch for their first game next season against Dunnington Rovers, they'll not only be carrying the hopes of their fans on their broad backs but also a message from this university on their shirt fronts.
Speaking to The Popple-tonian, Mr Roger Placement, our Deputy Director of Logo Development, said he was delighted that the University of Poppleton would be following in the footsteps of Bucks New University, which recently concluded a similar deal with Wycombe Wanderers FC.
He believed that the demographic composition of the typical Poppleton FC crowd would enable the university to fulfil its widening participation mission by taking its message to a group characterised by economic disadvantage, a predisposition to wanton violence and a very low expectation of success.
It was largely for this reason that the university had replaced its traditional logo (University of Poppleton: Finem Respice) with the more customer-oriented slogan, University of Poppleton: A Good Place to Score.
Letter to the Editor
I hope you will forgive your very own reporter intruding upon valuable editorial space, but I wish to write in response to several recent emails that point out that references to me in your pages since May of this year should have described me as Keith Ponting (31) rather than as Keith Ponting (30).
Although I respect the editorial reason behind the original decision to attach my age to my name whenever my reporting appears in The Poppletonian, I am now of the opinion that constant updates might constitute a source of confusion to your readers.
May I therefore respectfully ask you to extend to me the privilege currently accorded purely fictional characters and allow me to maintain my present age for the immediate future?
Keith Ponting (30?)
Thought for the Week
(contributed by Jennifer Doubleday, Head of Personal Development)
Please note that next week's personal development seminar will be given by our Deputy Chief Librarian and entitled "Getting in touch with your hidden shelf". Admission free on production of a valid library card.