Laurie Taylor column

April 21, 2006

Each week The Times Higher is assessing the progress of the national pay dispute by reporting on the industrial action being taken by individual universities. This week, we visit the University of Poppleton.

  • Department of English : Major disruption. Shakespeare and Thomas Hardy exams have been set but not marked. The unseen paper on Milton has been cancelled and Evaluation in Language will not be evaluated.
  • Sports Centre : Minor disruption. AUT and Natfhe representation is modest at the centre, but staff have shown solidarity with their colleagues by refusing to release the final scores from last week's staff five-a-side football competition.
  • Department of Environmental Studies : Very minor disruption. No industrial action is being undertaken by members of this department, but there are rumours that an early hosepipe ban may be introduced.
  • Department of Mathematics : Some disruption. Although all examinations have been set in the traditional manner, members of staff are systematically declining to put ticks by the right answers.
  • The Library : Minor disruption. Members of the AUT are still date-stamping and issuing books but are absolutely refusing to take them back again.
  • Department of Sociology : Indeterminate disruption. Although the department has issued a 14-page document outlining staff views on public sector industrial relations in a globalised age, it is not at all clear if anything else is going on.
  • Department of Film Studies : Minor disruption. Only Parts 1, 2 and 3 of Star Wars will be set and marked. Next week's advertised showing of Some Like it Hot will be replaced by a special screening of Battleship Potemkin .
  • Department of Philosophy : Major disruption. Only half of Sartre and less than one fifth of Heidegger has been possible to assess while Reason and Argument has gone out of the window and Truth put on hold.

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