Laurie Taylor column

September 14, 2001

From: The Vice-Chancellor

To: All Academic Staff

I am pleased to report that the Bursar has at last finished reading Professor Ramsden's research report, Patterns of Higher Education in the UK.

It was hoped that his summary of the report's key recommendations would be available this week on the university website but this has unfortunately been delayed by the need to re-design the site following an act of electronic vandalism that led to our pages being accessed by significant numbers of rubber fetishists.

I am, therefore, writing to say that we are already making constructive moves to implement the report's call for new forms of strategic regional collaboration between institutions of higher education. In our case, this obviously means closer links than we have previously enjoyed with the City University of Poppleton (formerly Poppleton Polytechnic). At a recent meeting involving myself and the vice-chancellor of City University it was unanimously agreed that we should proceed to consider the merger of the two universities into a single entity to be known as The University of Central Poppleton.

Such a merger would enable us to capitalise on the distinctive academic strengths of each institution so that the University of Poppleton's established excellence in hotel management and golf studies would be complemented by the City University's relatively successful courses in basic English for overseas graduates, and horse psychology. Further and more precise information on this merger (including details about those faculties at both universities that will be re-deployed as a result of their failure to reach the appropriate "critical mass") will be made available in the near future.

Members of academic staff who are concerned about the possible loss of institutional identity resulting from these developments, will, no doubt, find considerable comfort in the news that this university's crest and logo will dominate in the signage for the University of Central Poppleton and that, following extended discussion, I will retain my university car and chauffeur.

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