Laurie Taylor column

June 28, 2002

Good morning, and welcome to today's Board of Studies meeting, which will now reconstitute itself as the Board of Examiners. Any objections?

One point. Why every year do we go through this farce of reconstituting ourselves as the Board of Examiners when the members of the Board of Examiners are, bar the external examiner, the same as the members of the Board of Studies?

Thank you, Dr Quintock. I must remind you that the Board of Examiners is not a duplication of the Board of Studies. It is a sovereign body charged with "the determination of degree classifications in accordance with the procedural guidelines set down in the ordinances".

May we now reconstitute ourselves? Excellent. Good morning, and welcome to the Board of Examiners. Our executive secretary, Maureen, will now read out the candidates' marks.

Administrative .

What's that?

It was decided last year that I was the administrative secretary. I didn't want to be executive. It sounded like a briefcase.

Really? Well, in that case, let me now invite the administrative secretary to read out the marks. Yes, Mr Odgers?

I thought I was the administrative secretary to the Examiners Board .

You are technically correct, Mr Odgers. Maureen is the non-academic administrative secretary. That's right, isn't it, Maureen?

Absolutely. I merely gather the initial questions, correct faulty grammar, supervise exam procedures, collect and distribute the papers for marking, collate the agreed marks, produce the final mark sheet, and deal with student breakdowns after results are announced. All thoroughly non-academic.

Professor Lapping, this is rather unseemly. Such internal wrangling should be reserved for the Board of Studies .

You mean?

I'm afraid so .

Right. Welcome to today's Board of Studies meeting.

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