Laurie Taylor column

December 17, 2004

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, we should not lose sight of the many achievements made by Poppleton University over the past 12 months.

This has been an excellent year. Only last month, our position as one of the leading provincial universities in this country was confirmed by our absence from The Times Higher list of leading universities of the world. Earlier in the year, we were equally delighted to have our contribution to improved access acknowledged by our third place in Which University's "When All Else Fails" league table.

There were, necessarily, a few changes that occasioned some brief moments of regret. We were forced to say "goodbye and good luck" to our colleagues in the chemistry and the music departments, but we were consoled by the knowledge that the departure of chemistry would make the campus a great deal less smelly and by the thought that at this busy time of year our colleagues from music would have no difficulty finding public outlets for their diverse skills.

We were also delighted to say "hello and welcome aboard" to our new director of corporate development, Mr Jamie Targett (). Mr Targett, who joins us from one of this country's leading manufacturers of tyre retreads, told a crowded press conference that he was "excited by the future challenges that lay ahead going forward".

Of course, such achievements would not have been possible without your contributions. Once again you have taken everything that has been handed out by our ever-growing management team without complaint or demur. Even in a profession with such a distinguished record of acquiescence, this is exemplary passivity.

As one small way of saying thank you, may I announce that the university car parks will be "free of charge" on Boxing Day this year. Enjoy!

Happy Christmas to you all.

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

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