Laurie Taylor Column

September 20, 2002

"Civil servants are already working on plans to link salaries with student appraisals of their lecturers" - THES, September 13 .

Dear Dr Quintock,

As you will be aware, this university has recently introduced a scheme that links your salary directly to student appraisals of lectures. I am now writing as secretary of the PRP committee to bring to your attention the most frequently made student comments on your first-year course "Introduction to media studies":

"Gives the impression of knowing more than the people he is teaching." (72 per cent)

"Makes references to people some of us don't know, like Kant." (53 per cent)

"Starts so promptly that those who arrive late miss the first bit." (61 per cent)

"Very patronising - told someone who asked a question that she had missed the point!" (72 per cent)

"Made several references to 'forthcoming exams' in a way that might arouse anxiety." (52 per cent)

"Used Greek letters on the board instead of 1, 2, 3, 4." (81 per cent)

"Makes no allowance for people who missed lectures - starts on a new topic every week." (62 per cent)

"Takes up the full hour of the lecture so that we are last in the coffee queue." (93 per cent)

"Has a slightly squeaky voice and wears old-looking clothes." (69 per cent)

"Isn't as much fun as Dr Fairboys from psychology who tells jokes and hands out sweets." (82 per cent)

In view of these comments, the PRP committee has made the appropriate adjustment to your present salary and we look forward to receiving a refund from you of £2,320 within the next seven days (cheques should be made payable to the bursar).

In its overall assessment of your case, the committee was of the opinion that you were unlikely to improve your appraisal marks in the near future unless you recognised that you were now no longer lecturing merely to first-year students but to your paymasters.


J. Broomhead
(PRP Adjuster)

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