Goodbye, Bertrand Russell!

June 26, 2008

Hot on the heels of a newspaper report that New Hall Cambridge will be changing its name following the receipt of a very large donation, comes news that Poppleton will soon be saying farewell to one of its own traditional college names.

From this September our much-loved Bertrand Russell College will be renamed Pork College in recognition of the large donation recently made to the university by Poppleton Pork Products plc.

Apart from the usual changes in signage and pointage that will be carried out by Mike Doppel, our Deputy Head of Signage, there will be some other modest alterations to existing features. The bust of Bertrand Russell in the atrium of the college will be replaced by a stuffed pig and the motto above the main door that currently reads "Science may set limits to knowledge, but shouldn't set limits to imagination" (Russell) will make way for a frieze in Graeco-Roman lettering which depicts a wide range of porcine products.

Announcing the changes to our reporter, Keith Ponting (30), the vice-chancellor said that he hoped that this would be another small step in the rapidly developing association between higher education and mass butchery.

Jamie Targett, our thrusting Director of Corporate Affairs, has asked us to publish an open letter to examiners. Happy to oblige, Jamie!

Dear Internal and External Examiners

As I'm sure we all recognise, undergraduate performance at Poppleton has improved vastly in recent years. From a low point in the mid-1970s when only 9 per cent of our students achieved first-class degrees, we moved to the favourable situation in 2007 when only 9 per cent of our students failed to obtain firsts. This advance was achieved without any decline in the strict objectivity of our marking.

It is therefore alarming to read in the press that some universities may have been awarding large numbers of firsts to improve their ranking.

It is obviously important that our university (which leads the national league table in "firsts awarded") should not be tarred with this brush.

I urge all examiners to exercise strict objectivity in their marking this year so as to reduce our overall number of firsts by approximately 10 per cent. That should do the trick.

Very sincerely

Jamie Targett, Director of Corporate Affairs


(contributed by Jennifer Doubleday, Head of Personal Development)

I realise that I've snatched this one a little out of context but it somehow seemed so well suited to our examination season.

A bold onset is half the battle (Giuseppe Garibaldi)


Here's an exciting way to brighten up an evening.

Doctor Andrea Perselow (Environmental Studies) will be hosting an Ann Summers party on Wednesday 2 July in aid of the Biology Extension Fund. The party starts at 7.30pm prompt at 34 Ferndale Avenue, Middle Poppleton. All welcome. Dress: optional.


We learn that the university mentoring scheme has run short of people to mentor. If you're the sort of person who would enjoy being systematically patronised by a senior member of staff, do contact us a.s.a.p., marking your letter "Mentee".

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

Most commented

Recent controversy over the future directions of both Stanford and Melbourne university presses have raised questions about the role of in-house publishing arms in a world of commercialisation, impact agendas, alternative facts – and ever-diminishing monograph sales. Anna McKie reports

3 October