Laurie Taylor Column

February 23, 2007

From: The Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive

Subject: Surge in science applications

I am sure you will wish to congratulate the management of this university for the dramatic 2 per cent surge in applications for undergraduate places in the core sciences. In the words of our Director of Corporate Affairs, Mr Jamie Targett, this surge can only be understood as a vote of confidence by would-be students in this university's "ongoing commitment to its newly formulated value orientations and strategic objectives".

Consequent to this surge, the university has identified a number of functional exigencies I now wish to bring to your attention.

Chemistry Laboratories . As part of our recent faculty rationalisation programme, there was a structural relocation of certain items from the main chemistry laboratory. This has produced a temporary apparatus shortfall. If, therefore, you, or your significant partner, are in possession of any of the following items please contact the chemistry department a.s.a.p.:

  • Test tubes (various sizes)
  • Bits of glass and rubber tubing
  • Wax pencils (for writing on test tubes)
  • Glass beakers (measuring jugs)
  • Pipettes (medicine droppers)
  • Tongs (for picking things up).

Veterinary Medicine . The surge in applications for this course has created an animal decrement. Although the university has already secured the return of the two goats and the llama, which were relocated to Poppleton Zoo, it still means that a number of new students will lack experimental animals.

Can you help? The head of department reports shortages in the following categories:

  • Medium-sized dogs
  • Amenable parrots
  • Immature gerbils
  • Well-maintained horses.

Anatomy . I regret to report that the surge in science applications does not extend to the anatomy department, which reports a 20 per cent decline in applications. This means the department has a small surplus of body parts for disposal. Choose from:

  • Large intestines (6)
  • Arms (2)
  • Rib cages (14)
  • Deltoids (2 - one slightly damaged)
  • Lungs (14).

I hope this clarifies the situation.

The Vice-Chancellor (signed in his absence by Mrs Dilworth's hand)

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