Urgent attempts are being made to contact Dr Piercemüller of our Department of Media and Cultural Studies following allegations in a Sunday newspaper that he is the author of the explicit blog depicting the adventures of an elderly academic gigolo who appears under the pseudonym "Big Bad Don".
Could it be true, as the blog alleges, that Piercemüller "serviced" more than 300 ladies in the past two years and yet still managed to maintain his research profile?
One anonymous university source thought it possible. "Anyone who looks at Piercemüller's research output over the past few years would be forced to conclude that he had bigger things on his mind than regression analysis," they said.
There is also some textual evidence in the anonymous blog that suggests Piercemüller's authorship. One passage from March this year, for example, describes "Big Bad Don" having to go back to a recently serviced widow in order to retrieve his copy of Fred Inglis' Cultural Studies (a standard textbook in this disciplinary area). And in another blog, "Don" describes his general reputation as "the biggest one on the Riviera" as constituting "a veritable hegemonic discourse" (a phrase favoured by cultural theorists).
If "Big Bad Don" is unmasked as Dr Piercemuller, can we expect the university to impose sanctions?
One senior member of our ever-expanding Human Resources team thought it unlikely. Speaking "off the record", she said: "Now that an increasing number of academics are being asked to prostitute themselves in order to meet the new research excellence framework impact criteria, it would be invidious to discipline legitimate members of the profession."
Our vice-chancellor has praised the University of Cambridge's decision to sell the name of its library to the highest bidder. Speaking to our reporter Keith Ponting (30), he said that he also agreed with Cambridge's statement that this was "the ultimate commemorative naming opportunity".
"This was very much the thought in our mind when we changed the name of Thomas Aquinas College to Gerald Bloating College in ultimate commemorative honour of the man who pioneered the development of the over-greased blood sausage at Poppleton Pork Products. And I must say that ultimate commemoration was also very much in our minds when we named the new Humanities Block "Old Grandma Batty's Pork and Ham Double-Decker Meal-in-One Building".
However, the vice-chancellor told Ponting that he was cognisant of those who thought that too close an association with commercial enterprises could jeopardise the independent standing of the university.
"This is precisely why I resisted the suggestion from Poppleton Pork Products that on Graduation Day the traditional university mace should have its processual place taken by a raised sausage. As I'm sure they'd agree at Cambridge, there are some standards still worth preserving."
Thought for the Week
(contributed by Jennifer Doubleday, Head of Personal Development)
Here's a little gem that certainly had me thinking during this morning's Transcendental Meditation session: "If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you."