Laurie Taylor Column

December 20, 2002

From: The Office of the Vice-Chancellor

To: All Members of Academic Staff

Dear Colleagues

Yes, it is Christmas once more. But as we look forward to the festive pleasures of yuletide we should not lose sight of the many significant achievements that have been made by Poppleton University during the past 12 months.

This has, indeed, been an excellent year. Not only did we move two places up the Sunday Times league table (overtaking the City University of Poppleton and the University of Old Sarum) but we were also singled out in What University? as "an institution that can only get better".

There were, necessarily, a few changes that occasioned some brief moments of regret.

We said "goodbye and good luck" to 132 members of staff (including the entire departments of philosophy, medieval history and archaeology) and learnt with great sadness of the suicides of Professors Dibley, Pallister and Sugden, and Doctors Reglen, Toots and PalgraveI But, on the positive side, we were delighted to say "hello and welcome" to our brand new department of window dressing, and the 14 newly appointed members of our senior management team.

Of course, a list of achievements such as this would not have been possible without your personal contribution throughout the year.

On behalf of all the members of the management team may I, therefore, thank you all for showing such admirable passivity throughout the year. Your readiness to sit back in silence and take anything that was thrown at you is greatly appreciated.

As one small way of saying thank you for all your efforts may I announce that the university will be closed this year on the morning of Christmas Day. I trust this will allow you to spend more time with your loved ones on such a traditional family occasion.

Happy Christmas to you all (except, of course, those of an alien faith).

The Vice-Chancellor (signed in his absence by Mrs G. W. Dobson)

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