Honour and Offa

May 26, 2011

Although our university's decision to charge the full £9,000 fee enjoys the unanimous support of the educationally illiterate group of business executives who make up our Court of Governors, doubts about the likelihood of Poppleton satisfying the Office for Fair Access' widening-access requirements have been prompted by this recent statement:

From the Office for Fair Access

"Offa acknowledges the very detailed accounts of widening-access plans provided by English universities. Our currently documented staff of three (plus one part-timer and someone called Janet who pops in when she can get a babysitter) have meticulously studied the lengthy submissions from all 119 institutions.

"As you can imagine it's quite a job and already we're finding that some naughty universities haven't quite widened their access enough and may have to be told that they can't charge the full £9,000. Such a pity. Although, of course, it's utterly scurrilous to suggest that there might be a connection between the number of universities that fail our newly devised access tests and the number of universities that the coalition originally believed would offer lower fees.

"But even so, as we wade through yet another submission, it's difficult not to imagine the sheer pleasure that might be felt by staff members if they were to learn that their arduous analysis had fortuitously provided a senior minister with the paddle that could extract him from his current creek."

Say 'no' to negativity

Our thrusting Director of Corporate Affairs, Jamie Targett, has rounded on the "naysayers and pessimists" who have recently implied that the government's plans for higher education are two clowns short of a circus.

He particularly focused his attack on David Green, vice-chancellor of the University of Worcester, who recently asserted with reference to government statements that "young people and their parents became bemused by the half-baked ideas that were advanced and withdrawn on a virtually daily basis".

Targett insisted that the phrase "virtually daily basis" was "seriously misleading". He noted that no half-baked ideas were advanced by the government on either last Tuesday or Thursday. What is more, the half-baked idea that had been introduced by universities and science minister David Willetts on Monday was not actually withdrawn until Wednesday. "This", asserted Targett, "is hardly 'a daily basis'."

Targett also noted that only one half-baked idea had been introduced by the government in the current week and that this necessarily meant a reduction in the number of half-baked ideas that could then be withdrawn.

Let me tell you something...

"Calm down, dear. It's certainly not true of Poppleton." That was the vigorous reaction of Michael "Butch" Cassidy, our Head of Staff Experience, to the recent assertion by Mary Evans of the London School of Economics' Gender Institute that universities were full of men "suffering from Moses syndrome", a condition she described as "speaking very assertively without argument".

Mr Cassidy told The Poppletonian: "Look, with all due respect to the fairer sex, let's get this absolutely straight. I've been working in universities for a pretty long time and during that time I've got to know a lot of men and so you can take it from me without fear of contradiction and straight from the horse's mouth that they always jolly well know what they're talking about. And that's a fact. Now, are there any questions?"

Thought for the Week

(contributed by Jennifer Doubleday, Head of Personal Development)

Next week's seminar on the Freudian path to self-advancement will consider the anal period. (Of particular interest to those who are currently behind in their work.)

lolsoc@dircon.co.uk.

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