Laurie Taylor Column

May 12, 2006

" Academics have got to get real. Space costs a lot of money ." - Head of estates at Glamorgan University, The Times Higher , May 5

University of Poppleton

From: The Head of Space Management

I am writing with the latest recommendations from the Spatiality Committee going forward.

(1) Open plan : The project to abolish all academic private offices is well on track. Over 90 per cent of all teaching staff have been spatially reallocated to open-plan facilities releasing 10,000 square metres for additional administrative and conference facilities. (Those who experience difficulties locating their desk in the open-plan milieu may obtain precise co-ordinates from the "Find My Space" website.)

(2) Spatial overlap : A number of academics have complained that their allocated open space is affected by overlap from neighbours. To reduce this problem, all academics entering the open-plan area will be required to check their spatial suitability on the newly installed "Does My Body Fit This Space" apparatus.

(3) Elevator usage change : All main campus buildings are currently served by three lifts. This has become spatially unacceptable. In future, the middle lift will be used as additional teaching and administrative space. Even if it is on your floor, do not attempt to enter this lift when a seminar or departmental meeting is in progress.

(4) Confidential supervisory sessions : Concerns that open-plan spatiality does not allow for confidential meetings with students have been met by the purchase of six free-standing confessional booths. A conveniently placed grille ensures confidentiality while hierarchy is maintained by the need for the student to describe their personal problem from a kneeling position.

(5) Pigeonholes : Following a survey into the manner in which e-mailing has increased spatial redundancy in pigeonholes, it has been agreed that all individual pigeonholes in departmental offices will be replaced by three collective spatial aggregations (A-G, H-L and M-Z). The space thus saved will realise 26 new conference en-suite bedrooms.

(6) The vice-chancellor's drinks cabinet : The committee noted the vice-chancellor's generous agreement to allow half his drinks cabinet to be converted into a new learning resources centre.

I hope this clarifies the situation.

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