Laurie Taylor Column

June 15, 2007

"Universities are ranked according to their environmental performance in a new 'green' league table" - Times Higher , June 8

University of Poppleton

From: The Chief Environmental Officer (formerly Tom Dugelby of Maintenance)

To: All academic staff

At a recent video meeting of the environmental committee, the following staff members were commended for their exemplary contributions to "saving the planet".

1. Central Library Staff

Following its recent spatial and logistical reorganisation, the library was under considerable pressure to send its large number of "low-utilisation"

books to the nearest landfill site. This pressure was resisted, and as a result the books were successfully pulped and reconstituted as paper cups for use in the newly privatised Grab-a-Bite snack bar in the former Reference Section.

2. Doctor Piercemuller

Although Doctor Piercemuller's own research has been bedevilled in the past by environmental disasters (forest fires in Provence, high winds in Jamaica and a plague of jellyfish in Portofino), he has consistently contributed to the future of the planet over the past 30 years by his principled decision to recycle all his lectures and tutorials.

3. Maureen (Departmental Secretary, Media and Cultural Studies)

Maureen is honoured for her decision to discontinue the practice of sending paper circulars to members of staff reminding them of their essential duties. This not only saves on the initial paper outlay but also incurs extra saving by obviating the need to send paper reminders to staff reminding them of their reminders and further paper reminders reminding them of the reminders of their reminder.

4. The vice-chancellor

The committee wished to recognise the contribution made by the vice-chancellor to the control of unnecessary emissions on campus by his decision to close several of its democratically constituted committees and invest their former power in a single emittance source (himself)

5. Jamie Targett (Head of Corporate Development)

Mr Targett and his 40-strong staff are to be congratulated on halving the size of the university prospectus by the simple expedient of removing all glossy photographs of smiling mixed-race students playing with test tubes.

I hope this clears the air, Tom Dugelby

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