Laurie Taylor Column

June 20, 2003

POPPLETON EVENING NEWS

Town celebrates yet another university

A shock government announcement means that Poppleton can start celebrating the arrival of its third university.

Within a year, Poppleton Institute will be able to take its proud place alongside the town's two other citadels of graduate learning, the University of Poppleton and City University of Poppleton (formerly Poppleton Polytechic).

Mr Ron Targett, the current principal of the Poppleton Institute, told the Evening News that he was "dead chuffed" by the news. "It's about time we got some proper recognition," he continued. "For far too long we've had to look up to all those snotty buggers with their hired gowns at the University of Poppleton and all those superannuated plumbers and brickies who still run the City University."

Mr Targett, who has already adopted the title of vice-chancellor-designate, admitted that he had not yet decided upon a new name for his institution.

"We had thought of the Central University of Poppleton, but the town's current lack of anything resembling a centre led us to think again.

"We might go for something prestigious that can't be pronounced, like Poppleton Caius University, or perhaps follow the Liverpool John Moores approach and use the name of our main benefactor, Mrs Wendy Hubbins."

The vice-chancellor-designate hit out at critics who have described this latest development as a dilution of the proper meaning and purpose of the university.

"Not that one again," Mr Targett told reporters assembled in the Quad (formerly the staff car park). "Do they call it dilution when they open another Pizza Hut or another KFC in Poppleton? Of course they don't. They call it expanding the number of retail outlets. Just like our new university will be expanding the number of degree outlets."

Poppleton Institute's good news was also warmly welcomed by Mrs Doreen Layton, the principal of the Poppleton School of Tap Dancing. "Although we received a negative response to our last request for university status," said Mrs Layton, "this has done much to renew our hopes."

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