Here's looking at you

May 20, 2010

In a shock move, our Head of Spatial Optimisation, Mike Cram, has announced that our university's three senior common rooms will shortly be replaced by a single "ambient interaction locus" in the atrium of the Business Impact Building.

Mr Cram told The Poppletonian that the senior common rooms (or "staff rooms" as they were known before Poppleton Polytechnic received its Royal Charter) were a legacy of the times when academic staff regarded relaxed informal conversations with colleagues as part of their terms of service.

"Quite frankly," insisted Mr Cram, "there is now no room for such restrictive practices in a modern business-facing university going forward. Our new CCTV-controlled standing-only ambient interaction locus will help to ensure that future conversations between academic colleagues are brief and instrumentally oriented."

Mr Cram denied rumours that sanctions might be applied to staff who spoke to each other outside the designated ambient area but agreed that such a development might be "fully consonant" with the HR Department's ongoing commitment to creating "a climate of fear".

Climate change shock

"It's a major step forward in HR practice." That was the response from Louise Bimpson, Corporate Director of our ever-expanding Human Resources Department, to claims that staff at London's University of the Arts are working in "a climate of fear".

Ms Bimpson told our reporter Keith Ponting (30) that HR was seeking to implement a similar climate change at Poppleton. "We have managed to develop a very solid atmosphere of all-round anxiety and apprehension. But the University of the Arts raised the bar by placing 163 members of staff on an 'at risk' list."

She said Poppleton would shortly issue its own "at risk" list of over 200 staff. In the meantime, a start on creating a fully fledged climate of fear had been made by her decision to suspend three academics who had registered modest and well-reasoned objections to the university's restructuring plans.

Who nicked my concepts?

In the wake of the row at Newcastle University in which a former professor claims that his successor made use of his teaching materials comes news of a similar alleged copyright infringement at Poppleton.

According to documents obtained by this newsletter, it appears that Dr Piercemuller of our Department of Media and Cultural Studies gave a series of lectures that "drew heavily" on essays written by one of his first-year students.

"I felt something odd was going on", said a student, "when Dr Piercemuller concluded one lecture with the phrase 'A minus. Very promising work'."

Dr Piercemuller was not available for comment. He is believed to be on research leave in the Seychelles completing a major work on postwar working-class life in a northern British city with the provisional title The Uses of Literacy.

Thought for the Week

(contributed by Jennifer Doubleday, Head of Personal Development)

"Next week's lecture on first steps in multitasking is entitled 'Reading in the Bathroom'. All welcome."

lolsoc@dircon.co.uk.

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