It's Not Easy Being Green!

July 10, 2008

Jamie Targett, our thrusting Director of Corporate Affairs, was quick to respond to criticism of our university's environmental policy that surfaced when Poppleton emerged in 125th place in the 2008 Green League.

He first rounded on those critics who had pointed to the apparent mismatch between the university's league position and the repeated references in our brochure and advertising material to "waste recycling", "low carbon footprint", "sensitivity to the environment", "fair trade policies", "renewable energy resources", "innovative approaches to sustainability" and "reduced emissions".

"What our critics should recognise", he told our reporter, Keith Ponting (30), "is that these phrases represent our strategic objectives going forward. Very few other universities have such a wide range of strategic objectives. And that in itself is a reason for self-congratulation."

Targett also claimed that the university's relatively low position in the league table was partly explained by his department's decision to recycle the second and third parts of the questionnaire.

I'm Sorry, I'll Read That Again

Concerns about academics passing off old work as new in an attempt to drive up publications came to a head at Poppleton last week when it emerged that there were considerable similarities between three books published by Professor Gordon Lapping of the Department of Media and Cultural Studies.

Although Lapping's three works - Media Studies in Crisis, Media Studies at the Crossroads and New Directions in Media Studies - were published over the last 20 years, experts in plagiarism were able to reveal that the books were distinguishable from each other only by their differing ISBN numbers and the colour of the covers.

Lapping described himself as "devastated" by this attack on his academic integrity. "It is my considered view", he told The Poppletonian, "that nothing very much of any interest, value or significance has occurred in Media Studies in the last 20 years. Taken together, my books provide a compelling and scholarly illustration of that contention."

Chancellor's Message

Here is an edited version of the speech given by our Chancellor, Mr D.T. Leverage of Allied Munitions plc, to all 20 graduation ceremonies held this month:

"As you go out into the real world ... well-equipped ... fresh challenges ... new horizons ... credit crunch ... cutbacks ... mass unemployment ... nuclear holocaust ... keep in touch ... send money."

Letter to the Editor

Dear Sir or Madam,

I do hope that readers of your august publication noted the valuable remarks made by Dr Rowena Murray of the University of Strathclyde at the recent "Writing in Higher Education Conference".

The excellent Dr Murray presented the results of three research projects that all showed that "writing in short bursts" can be "extremely valuable" for academics.

This very much confirms my own longstanding academic practice. Over the last 36 years I had made a point of only ever writing in very short bursts and also made sure to stretch these "very short bursts" over extended time periods.

It's good to see that "short burst" academics are at last receiving proper acknowledgement of their intermittent efforts.

Doctor Piercemuller
(Address withheld for security reasons).

Thought for the Week
(contributed by Jennifer Doubleday, head of Personal Development)
I do so love Graduation Days! his year, as I stood and watched all those happy graduates having their photographs professionally take outside the new Administration Block, my thoughts went back to the time when they first arrived at Poppleton. It was then that this lovely sentiment came to mind
We must view young people not as empty bottles to be filled but as candles to be lit

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