Laurie Taylor column

June 18, 2004

From: The Office of the Vice-Chancellor

To: All Academic Staff
Subject: Moral Values

As you will know from last week's Times Higher , the Council for Industry and Higher Education has called upon vice-chancellors to take a stand on moral issues. I am, therefore, writing to you with a list of the ten ethical injunctions that constitute the moral core of this university.

Thou shalt... not judge any department other than by reference to its academic value unless, of course, it is failing to make money.

Thou shalt... not make unto oneself research grants from institutions involved in the manufacture of tobacco or weapons of mass destruction unless, of course, that money be offered.

Thou shalt... do unto all labourers in the academic vineyard as one would wish to be done unto oneself unless, of course, they are in the chemistry department.

Thou shalt... reward all labourers in the academic vineyard according to their talents unless, of course, they are vice-chancellors or departmental secretaries.

Thou shalt... encourage all academics to use their talents according to their own devices - unless that use fails to produce four refereed ears of wheat a year.

Thou shalt... not revere false gods, unless, of course, they are well-established market forces.

Thou shalt... not murder members of staff, unless, of course, they have thrice been offered early retirement.

Thou shalt... not covet thy neighbour's ox, unless, of course, that ox enjoys a higher place than thou in The Times League Table.

Thou shalt... keep holy the evenings and weekends unless, of course, they are required for the satisfaction of the needs of part-timers.

Thou shalt... honour only this Lord and God because only he knows about the university's goal-oriented strategic objectives going forward.

I hope that this clarifies the ethical situation.

The Vice-Chancellor (signed in his absence by Mrs Dilworth).

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