Although our university failed to make the shortlist in any of the categories in this year's Times Higher Education Awards, as we go to press we learn that there may be a pleasant surprise in store for the 56-person senior management team from Poppleton that is currently making its expenses-paid way to the Grosvenor House Hotel for this Thursday evening's grand occasion.
According to well-informed sources, Poppleton will be declared winner of the brand-new Special Award for Attendance at Award Ceremonies, a distinction based on our university's unique readiness to send ever larger delegations of managers to the event despite its persistent failure to secure a single successful nomination. (Readers may recall that our 2002 nomination in the Most Innovative Teacher of the Year category was invalidated following Dr Quintock's failure to provide a satisfactory urine sample.)
A member of the management team who will be attending the Park Lane event told The Poppletonian that he had no knowledge of the special award but if the news were true, "it would very much be the sauce on the slow-cooked Aylesbury duck leg" that, according to his invitation, constitutes the main course of the gala dinner. (Vegetarian option is also available if pre-ordered.)
Stop me and borrow one
Our Deputy Head of Signage, Mike Doppel, has announced that he "strongly supports" the current requirement for librarians at the University of Oxford to wear large yellow badges bearing the phrase "Ask me".
Mr Doppel told The Poppletonian that he looked forward to the day when other members of the university showed such recognisable commitment to the essential nature of their job specifications.
"It could," he said, "only enhance the university experience if similar badges were made available to other members of the campus." Although he insisted that the matter was "still in the planning stage", he did admit that discussions had already taken place about the manner in which philosophers might be more readily recognised if they sported a badge bearing the phrase "Define your terms".
He did not, however, wish to be associated with the "somewhat tendentious" suggestion from Ted Odgers, of the Department of Media and Cultural Studies, that members of the university management team should have their distinctive preoccupation recognised by the placement of large pound signs in the middle of their foreheads.
Letter to the editor
From D.W. Dingbat,
Chairperson of the
I am currently in serious dispute with an esteemed colleague in my department about one aspect of Poppleton's new mission statement, "Experience the Experience". While she insists that "the student experience" actually refers to the experience experienced by Poppleton students themselves, I argue that it refers to the actual experience that others have of Poppleton students in much the same way as "the teaching experience" refers not to the experience of teaching but the experience of being taught. Could you throw any light on this complex experiential issue?
(No, we can't. Ed.)
Thought for the week
(contributed by Jennifer Doubleday, Head of Personal Development)
I regret to say that only two members of staff attended last week's seminar "Developing a Resilient Mindset". Stuff the rest of you.