Laurie Taylor Column

February 6, 2004

"Many heads of department are ashamed to be managers and avoid their managerial responsibilities" - Wolverhampton University survey of academic staff. THES , January 30.

From : The head of department
To : All members of department (yes, Mike, that means you as well!)

Subject : A few little things

Sorry to bother you at this busy time, but I thought it might be an idea to remind you of a couple of issues that we need to get sorted out (no mad rush):

1. We've had all these students coming into Maureen's office and saying that individual lecturers didn't turn up to give their lecture (no names, no pack drill). I'm not saying that there aren't good reasons for skipping the occasional lecture or suggesting that I'm in any position to cast the first stone, but let's see if we can do a little bit better in the future. All right?

2. We've had yet another letter from the vice-chancellor saying that we must increase the number of students in the department or lose some members of staff (his words, not mine). I don't want to sound too authoritarian about all this, but it would be useful if we could come up with some sort of answer before the end of term. Any ideas gratefully received.

3. One last thing. My stint as head of department comes to an end this summer, and that means we have to start thinking about a replacement. You will remember that it wasn't really my turn to do it this time around and that I only took it on again (third time actually, but who's counting?) because of Dr Piercemuller's extended research leave. Do we have any volunteers? (I thought not.) No, seriously, this is something we need to sort out. We must not let this department just drift along (at least that's my tentative opinion).

4. If you do have a moment, it would be nice to know that you actually got this email. (Nag, nag, nag!) Every good wish to you and yours,

Gordie (head of department)

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