Laurie Taylor column

January 11, 2002

Why not make a career in the burgeoning world of university administration? - Headline in careers pamphlet.

Morning, Maureen. Any news from the bursar about that mistake in the departmental grant?

He's not the bursar any more.

What's the trouble? Hand in the till?

No, the actual person is still there but he's no longer called the bursar. It's all in the latest Administrative Centre Bulletin . He's now finance director.

Is he? No matter. Give him a ring and push for an answer.

Not possible. According to the Bulletin , the point of contact for academic inquiries about finance is now the assistant deputy finance director.

Where did he come from?

It's a "she" actually. The title should have given you a clue. She's part of the new academic staff liaison team.

But her boss is the person who until last Thursday was bursar?

It depends how you look at the management chart. You can see there is a line going up from her via the deputy finance director and the assistant finance director, but there is another line that goes up to the assistant director academic staff relations and director academic staff relations.

But what about this line here?

That has nothing to do with finance. That goes over to deputy director and director of marketing and then on to assistant director and director of staff recruitment and then across to assistant director and director of public relations.

Who are all these people? Whatever happened to the good old days when there was nobody but the bursar and the registrar and 20 discontented assistants who sat about chatting about the vice-chancellor's sex life?

You'll need talk to someone else about that.

Who exactly?

It's a shot in the dark, but have you considered the assistant deputy director (staff counselling)?

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