Have cheque, will qualify

September 24, 2009

"Quite outrageous." That was the immediate reaction of our Head of Outside Funding, Georgina Flourish, to the news in Times Higher Education that a Cardiff University report was recommending "a minimum gap of at least two years between a gift being donated to the university and the donor being considered for a fellowship".

"Here at Poppleton," said Ms Flourish, "we've always found that it takes less than a few days to recognise the distinctive qualities of anyone who donates a lump sum to the university. Quite frankly, there is something about the very nature of their cheque that has 'fellowship' written all over it."

Ms Flourish recalled the case of Mr Vhole, a local community moneylender, whose donation secured him a doctorate of letters cum laude and the re-naming of the library as the Vhole Information Centre. "In this particular case," said Ms Flourish, "the size of the cheque made such an immediate academic impression that we were actually able to offer the honorific awards to Mr Vhole by return post."

Business as usual

In common with other business schools throughout the country, Poppleton has received a record number of applications for its highly priced MBA programme.

Graham Tokek, Head of the Business School, told our reporter Keith Ponting (30) that he saw nothing paradoxical in such an increase in applications to a department which last year offered such courses as "Making a Bomb out of Hedge Funds" and "Safe as Houses: Leveraging Sub-Prime Mortgages for Painless Profit".

"All that proves", he claimed, "is the need for more education in business studies, not less." He went on to praise Stefan Szymanski, the outgoing director of the MBA programme at City University, for his assertion that "whether or not we were part of the problem, we have to be part of the solution".

Professor Tokek also drew an analogy between the situation in his business school with that which recently arose in the Golf Studies Department at Poppleton, where it was discovered that tutors had for several years been erroneously instructing students to hit the golf ball with the wrong end of the club. "Learning from your mistakes is a fundamental feature of academic life," declared Professor Tokek, before driving off to attend a modest credit-crunch welcoming party for a selection of his new students.

Vice-Chancellor to the rescue

Our Vice-Chancellor has issued an open invitation to the several thousand hungry and ragged over-quota first-year students who are currently attempting to handle their new life at Poppleton without the benefit of either loans or accommodation.

In a bold gesture, he has announced that he will make a public appearance at 10am next Tuesday morning on the grand balcony of the New Administrative Block, from where he will issue an official welcome to the massed crowd of unfortunates below before proceeding to distribute a selection of complimentary cakes.

Thought for the Week

(contributed by Jennifer Doubleday, Head of Personal Development)

I'm sorry to sound a sour note this week, but I must wholly condemn the anonymous academic author of the widely circulated email claiming that the Personal Development Office was currently seeking to preserve the future of this university by securing a loan of the relics of St Thérèse of Lisieux.


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