Goodbye to all that

October 8, 2009

Yes, it's a brand-new academic year and we mark the occasion by reprinting this address to incoming undergraduates by our Head of Student Satisfaction, Damian Snagsby - "Greetings. And welcome to Poppleton. Anybody here from France? Ne personne? Anybody here from Germany? (Other countries deleted for reasons of space - ed.)

"Well, no matter where you come from, you're all equally welcome at Poppleton. I'm sorry. I didn't mention where? Moldova? Sorry about that. Hello, Moldova.

"Now, where was I? Ah, yes. No matter where you come from, including Moldova, you are now embarking upon a great adventure, perhaps the greatest adventure of your life. But before you can embark upon that adventure, you must say goodbye to the life you knew before university.

"No longer can you expect to be molly-coddled in the way you were at school and at home. No longer can you expect to be told what to do. No longer can you expect the answers to your questions to be readily available. No longer can you rely upon someone else to help you out. No longer can you expect to know where you are or what's happening to you or why it's happening to you and where you might go to find any sort of answer.

"Now, for the first time in your life, you are on your own. Left to your own devices. In a jungle without a map. At sea without a rudder. Up a creek without a paddle. Totally abandoned. Thrown to the wolves. Hung out to dry. Welcome to higher education at Poppleton. And may the god of your choosing go with you."

Impacted wisdom

As part of this university's new outplacement strategy, the following members of staff have been offered immediate severance on the grounds of "non-impacted research". Announcing their departure, our Director of Corporate Affairs, Jamie Targett, spoke of the need for "greater impact orientation". "As we enter the brave new world of the REF," he continued, "it is vital that each member of staff constantly assesses their impact factor going forward."

No more for me. I'm researching

Our Vice-Chancellor has declared himself "fully behind" Cardiff University's ban on staff getting drunk when working at home. Speaking to our reporter Keith Ponting (30), he said: "Ash far ash I'm consherned this is a dishgusting practish and musht be shtamped out ash shoon ash posshible."

Outplaced staff

Dr Mavis Critchley (Dept of English)

Research: "Knowing and not knowing: the authorial voice in Emma"

Impact rating: 6 (one name check on Radio 3's Night Waves)

Geoff Parker (Dept of Politics)

Research: "The myth of social mobility in Britain"

Impact rating: -3 (negative impact rating indicates that research not only made no impact but was also pointedly ignored)

Dr E.G. Swansong (Dept of Mathematics)


Impact rating: 0 (lack of understanding has so far hindered impact assessment)

Thought for the Week

(contributed by Jennifer Doubleday, Head of Personal Development)

I much regret the fracas in the university bar after last week's Self-Help seminar. This appears to have occurred as a result of a syntactic error in the seminar's instruction leaflet where the recommendation "Don't get Bitter - get Better" erroneously appeared as "Don't get Better - get Bitter". I apologise for the error.

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