“A Daniel come to judgement.”
That was how Jamie Targett, our Director of Corporate Affairs, responded to the recent declaration by David Browne, an associate in the solicitors’ firm that advises the University of Warwick, that Liverpool Football Club’s decision to offload Luis Suárez was analogous to a university’s need to tackle “outspoken” academically “brilliant” employees who have the potential to “damage [the university’s] brand”.
Targett said that one could only be delighted that someone from the very firm that was helping Warwick over the suspension of Thomas Docherty, a professor of English, could so readily discern the “extraordinarily close connection” between a professor expressing controversial views and a Uruguayan footballer sinking his teeth into the shoulder of an Italian defender during a World Cup match.
“It’s a great pity”, added Targett, “that there is no such post as Professor of Analogy. One could imagine a man such as Browne slipping into it with all the ease of an oyster entering a parking meter. If you’ll excuse the analogy.”
Tie me kangaroo down
Kirk Swavely, our Senior Manager of External Relations, has been quick to deny the recent suggestion from columnist Janet Street-Porter, that the historic awards of honorary degrees to Rolf Harris by Liverpool Hope University and the University of East London stand as “a condemnation of the whole rotten system of dishing out tributes to those who don’t deserve it”.
“Obviously,” said Mr Swavely, “these universities made a minor error of judgement, which they have now remedied by revoking the degrees. However, to suggest that this undermines the whole system of handing out honorary degrees to mediocre entertainers with no academic credibility is clearly going too far.”
Neither was Mr Swavely prepared to go along with the suggestion from our reporter Keith Ponting (30) that this year’s choice for an honorary degree of Champion the Wonder Horse was an example of “playing it safe”.
Hatched, matched and dispatched
Suggestions that our university may have displayed a degree of callousness in the manner in which it chose to announce 60 new academic redundancies have been dismissed by Louise Bimpson, our Corporate Director of Human Resources.
She told The Poppletonian that she saw no connection whatsoever between the recent decision by King’s College London to update news of its own intended redundancies via a website comment on a Times Higher Education article, and her own department’s decision to announce the news of 60 upcoming academic redundancies in the Recent Deaths column of The Poppleton Evening News.
However, Ms Bimpson did agree that the addition of the phrase “No Flowers Please” to each entry in the column could be interpreted as “insensitive”.
Thought for the week
(contributed by Jennifer Doubleday, Head of Personal Development)
‘Although David Willetts will be able to look back only with shame at his botched attempts to create a marketplace in higher education, he can derive enduring comfort from the knowledge that there are several hundred thousand graduate students who will, for ever, be in his debt. Rest in peace.’