In a shock move, the Higher Education Funding Council for England has issued a strong condemnation of the postgraduate course on The Crisis of Contemporary Capitalism currently being taught by Mr Ted Odgers of our Department of Media and Cultural Studies. According to the Hefce spokesperson, the course not only lacks "business awareness" but is also dangerously low on "impact".
This new move by Hefce against unsatisfactory courses is seen as a logical development of the recent proposal that the council should now enjoy the power to sack individual vice-chancellors.
Critics who described the condemnation of Mr Odgers' course as "excessive interference" were dismissed by Hefce. "In the last few years," declared its spokesperson, "our totally unelected board of seriously well-paid managers has very much placed interference in academic affairs at the top of its agenda. We like to think that our success in this regard is well attested by the ever-growing smile on the face of the secretary of state for business, innovation and skills."
Alone and so lonely
"We can only hope that this is a solitary aberration." That was the reaction of our newly appointed head of REF submissions, Jade Linklater, to the discovery that one of our leading academics had been the sole author of a recently published research article.
Dr E.P. Timpson, of our History for Business Department, described his decision to publish the single-author article as "an unfortunate oversight". Speaking to The Poppletonian, he admitted that he had nominated himself as the only author because "no one else had made any contribution to his research". However, he now realised that his action was not only "an unfortunate lapse into excessive individualism" but had also contravened the university's current policy of "maximising research collectivism".
He promised to ensure that his future articles would include the names of at least 12 non-contributing colleagues "who were in need of research attribution".
Getting to grips with gripers
Our thrusting Director of Corporate Affairs, Jamie Targett, has confirmed that he will be attending the two-day May workshop on "Negotiating Change in a Constrained Environment" organised by the Universities and Colleges Employers Association.
Speaking to our reporter, Keith Ponting (30), Targett said that he particularly welcomed the news that the workshop would include a session on "dealing with academic hostility". However, he hoped that the workshop would also cover other vital HR matters such as "riding roughshod over individual sensibilities", "trampling on academic integrity" and "undermining contractual agreements".
Thought for the week
(contributed by Jennifer Doubleday, Head of Personal Development)
"Please note the following change to our seminar series on 'Living Happily and Creatively with Unemployment'. Owing to indisposition, next week's session on 'Freshwater Aquaria: The Role of Guppies' will be replaced by 'Softwood Whittling for Pleasure and Profit'. Will all attendees please remember to bring their own sticks."