Laurie Taylor Column

March 30, 2007

"Leeds Metropolitan University plans to impose a set of 'attitudes and behaviours' that includes the expectation that academic staff will 'go the extra mile', show 'courtesy and respect' and have a 'shared identity'. These 'core behaviours' will be linked to pay and promotion" - The Times Higher, March 23.

From: Jamie Targett

Director of Corporate Affairs

Subject: Core Behaviours

I am pleased to tell you that the university committee on staff development has recently issued the following set of core behaviours for all academic staff.

Going the extra mile

All staff will be expected to go the extra mile. Regular measurements of the distance actually travelled by academics will be taken by management, and those who fall short of the target by more than 100 yards will not be considered for advancement.

Courtesy and respect

All staff will be required to show standardised degrees of courtesy and respect. Salutes should be confined to senior management. All other members of management should be acknowledged by a small tug of the forelock.

Shared identity

All staff will be required to demonstrate their shared Poppleton identity by conforming to the following requirements.

1. All excessive signs of individuality should be avoided. These include short skirts, long beards, clashing colours and divergent opinions.

2. All members of staff will be required to wear standardised badges indicating their name and the service they intend to offer ("Hi, I'm Professor Gumpertz and I'm your lecturer for this morning").

3. Every morning, staff should gather in their respective senior common rooms for a short motivational talk from senior management followed by the collective singing of the new Poppleton chant (to the tune of Land of Hope and Glory )

We hate West of England

We hate Exeter, too

We hate Anglia Ruskin

But Poppleton we love you.

I'm sure you will agree with me that adherence to these behaviours will help to ensure that the university can successfully "align individual performance and organisational culture".

Have a nice day.

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