Our vice-chancellor has described attempts to compare his own £347,599 pay packet with that enjoyed by top bankers as "grossly misleading".
He told our reporter, Keith Ponting (30), that he was aware of the recent report into Scottish university governance that had cautioned universities against making payments to their principals that might be perceived as similar to the bonuses awarded to executives in the financial services industry.
However, he described his own recently allotted bonus of £43,000 as of "a different order entirely" to that enjoyed by prominent bankers. For whereas fat-cat, greedy, unscrupulous bankers had been responsible for the collapse of an entire international economic system, as vice-chancellor of Poppleton he had merely been in charge of the much more modest transformation of a single national institution of higher learning into total insolvency.
He also cautioned against "v-c bashing" and spoke of the "very real danger" that vice-chancellors might well choose to work abroad if they felt that they could no longer uncritically earn very large amounts of money for ineffectually presiding over British universities.
Smile - you're on NSS
As many of you will know, the highly consequential National Student Survey will be taking place over the coming weeks. In forthcoming editions of The Poppletonian, we will be making some recommendations to academic staff that might help to ensure that the survey provides a realistic picture of student life on campus.
Psychological literature suggests that students are favourably impressed by tutors who remember their names. Clearly, it's impossible for individual academics to remember the names of all their supervisees, let alone everyone in their tutorial group. It is therefore recommended that any names that are known are extensively used (e.g. "Ah, Dobson, there you are!", "Well done, Dobson!", "Anyone like to have a shot at this question? Yes, Dobson!").
Comparative studies show that students may fail to appreciate the amount of feedback they receive because of their failure to recognise it as such. It is important, therefore, to use the term on all possible occasions (e.g. "Well, let's start this seminar with some feedback", "Now then, let me give you some feedback on that", "Right. Anyone in the group want any feedback on their feedback? How about you, Dobson?").
Next week: Smiling at students - problems and prospects
Letter to the Editor
Dear Sir or Madam
I was shocked to read in a recent edition of your organ that there were plans to abandon our present campus-wide practice of anonymous marking and revert to the old system of allowing students to place their names on assessment work.
In my considered opinion, such a move would risk the reintroduction of personal bias.
However much we may pride ourselves on our sense of fairness and our intellectual integrity, there is always the danger that the mere sight of a particular name can arouse subconscious evaluative resonances.
Department of Computing for Fun and Profit
Thought for the Week
(contributed by Jennifer Doubleday, Head of Personal Development)
Beware of a man with a gleam in his eyes - it may just be the sun shining through the hole in his head.