Laurie Taylor

July 6, 2001

That concludes the formal examinations business and it is now time for the external examiner's report. Let me thank our new external examiner for stepping in at the last minute after Professor Sidlow resigned in a dispute over our remuneration structure and after Doctor Munford was made redundant at the University of Middlesex. Mr Connor comes from the University of Uttoxeter. I'm sure you'll join with me in hoping that his short-term contract there will be renewed in the near future. Mr Connor.

Thank you, Professor Lapping. It's a great pleasure to be here in the department of media and cultural studies. Let me commend you on your policy of admitting students with inadequate qualifications and your commitment to value-added teaching. At the moment you take in students with inadequate qualifications who obtain inadequate degrees. But at least you have one half of the equation firmly in place. Let me turn to the papers. I was rather alarmed by some of the marking disparities. On the semiology paper, the internal marker, Mr Odgers, covered a wide range of marks in his assessment, whereas the other internal marker, Doctor Piercemuller, gave every one of the 42 candidates a mark of 57. I'd welcome your comments on that.

I'm afraid that Doctor Piercemüller is away on Erasmus business, but Maureen will get in touch with him and convey the essence of your remarks.

What!

Thank you, Maureen. Yes, Mr Connor.

I was rather disappointed by the overall tone of the papers. No matter what the issue at hand there was very little sense of wonder or enthusiasm. Every topic seemed to be approached with a very critical, negative, cynical attitude.

Good heavens. I wonder where the little buggers got that from. Well, thank you, Mr Connor. I'll make certain that your remarks are copied to all concerned subject to time availability on the Xerox. Talking of time availability, I see there's only half-an-hour before the departure of the last train on which you can use your Super Saver ticket, so may I ask everyone to acknowledge your contribution in the traditionally muted way and wish you a safe journey. Did you have a coat?

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