Lapping tops Kant

April 2, 2009

Our Vice-Chancellor has "warmly welcomed" the news that Professor Gordon Lapping of our Media and Cultural Studies Department triumphed over Immanuel Kant in the newly published league table of the most cited authors in the humanities. Lapping's position in the table also left Martin Heidegger, John Rawls, Ludwig Wittgenstein and Karl Marx trailing in his wake.

Lapping himself was quick to deny the rumour that his citation count had been boosted by the Reciprocal Citing Agreement recently adopted by the Association of Media Researchers and attributed his success to a lifetime of working "at the cutting edge of soap-opera content analysis".

Nothing but blue skies

One of our university's leading "blue-skies" researchers, Dr Piercemuller, has backed the letter from leading chemists objecting to the EPSRC's decision to "blacklist" academics with a less than 25 per cent success rate in their grant applications.

Speaking by satellite from his research base in the Seychelles, Dr Piercemuller said he regarded the EPSRC's move as "the thin end of the wedge".

"Very soon," he declared, "we can expect this policy to be adopted by other research councils and thus discriminate against those such as myself whose specialist interest in 'blue-skies' work ensures a very large number of wholly unsuccessful applications."

In the past decade, Dr Piercemuller has conducted blue-skies research in Tuscany, Tahiti, Hawaii and the British Virgin Islands.

University Management Plan

Our thrusting Director of Corporate Affairs, Jamie Targett, has asked us to point out that there was "an unfortunate error" in our reproduction last week of Schedule 14 of the university's new Management Plan. In the above diagram, there should obviously be a double arrow between Balanced Portfolio and Sausages, and a single positive directional arrow between Changement Potential and Marmalade. Please also note that the line between Marmalade and External Orientation should be dotted rather than solid so as to indicate its contingent nature. We hope this clarifies the situation.

Mind your own

Our Director of Curriculum Development, Janet Fluellen, has reacted angrily to the declaration by Peter Williams, Chief Executive of the Quality Assurance Agency, that the agency may in future look more at "primary" rather than "secondary" evidence of standards and move away from its present reliance on self-evaluation documents.

She told our reporter, Keith Ponting (30), that there was no better way of finding out how well standards were being maintained than by asking academics about how well they were being maintained. There was, she contended, nothing to be gained by looking at what Mr Williams called "the actual processes in action". Such a project could result only in a dangerous undermining of Mr Williams' simultaneously expressed view that standards were already being maintained.

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