Laurie Taylor Column

July 15, 2005

From: Jamie Targett, Director of Corporate Development

Subject: The Chancellor

Following last Friday afternoon's degree ceremony, there have been a number of allegations made about the behaviour of the Chancellor.

1. It is claimed that the Chancellor tripped as the platform party was mounting the stage steps. This fall led him into contact with the back of the university mace bearer, who was propelled at high speed across the stage until he came to rest beneath the scroll table on the far side of the platform.

2. It is claimed that the proceedings were also undermined by the Chancellor's tendency to slump in his seat until his head and neck were no longer visible above his ceremonial robes. This apparently caused considerable anguish among a number of impressionable younger children who formed the erroneous idea that he had been spatially transported.

3. It is further alleged that the Chancellor's address to the congregation was marred by his description of the new graduands as people who "in my day would have been lucky to have run a whelk stall".

4. There was a strong feeling that the university choir's customary performance of Jerusalem at the conclusion of the ceremony was not enhanced by the Chancellor's simultaneous decision to embark on a boisterous rendition of The Great Escape .

5. After the congregation had been dissolved ( summa cum laude ), there were complaints from a number of mothers that their attempts to obtain a traditional group photograph had been vitiated by the Chancellor's repeated demand that they sit on his knee.

When these allegations were formally put to the Chancellor, he insisted that none of the alleged incidents had occurred and that, in any case, he was on a new exercise regime and would now be taking an extended holiday.

I am pleased to confirm that this extended holiday will start with immediate effect. Please note that in his absence the part of the Chancellor will be played by Mrs Dilworth.

I hope this clarifies the situation.

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