One of our leading psychologists, Dr Fritz Itzig, is currently languishing in a police cell after a day-long series of attempts to increase the research impact of his work on short-term memory among caged rodents.
On the day in question, Dr Itzig initially confined himself to giving a brief shouted description of his research findings to the morning queues at Poppleton bus station. He then moved to the high street, where he used a loudhailer to address shoppers queueing outside Poundland.
No further sightings were reported until midday, when Dr Itzig was spotted in the cockpit of an aircraft behind which trailed a large banner bearing the words: “Shock Research Findings: Rats Have Poor Short-Term Memory.”
By this stage, the police had been alerted and were able to arrest Dr Itzig after he appeared in the window of the Koh-i-Noor Indian Restaurant wearing nothing at all but a recent copy of the British Journal of Experimental Rat Findings.
This is not the first time that the impact agenda has led to criminal charges. Only last month the head of our Theology Department was fined £50 for endeavouring to enhance the impact of his thesis by nailing it to the door of Poppleton Cathedral.
And is there honey?
“David Willetts may never visit Poppleton University!” That was the shock prediction made by Jamie Targett, our Director of Corporate Affairs, after learning that the minister spent a disproportionate amount of his visiting time at Russell Group universities and had never visited a single university in the group to which Poppleton currently belongs (The Post- 1992 Drowning not Waving Group).
Targett did not believe that this imbalance was connected to Mr Willetts’ “understandable preference” for scientifically checking the success of his higher education policies by visiting only successful universities. It was more a matter of ambience.
“Like the rest of us,” said Targett, “the minister needs to feel at home. And where better than a Russell Group university to enjoy the type of food and wine and conversation and ancient portraiture that was so much a part of his own dear student life in the Tudor Banqueting Hall at Christ Church? Quite frankly, a typical Poppleton meal of Savoury Pork Pie washed down with a half of lukewarm lager in the staff annex to the Hugo Chávez Refectory just can’t compete.”
Targett believed that our university might have better luck with Vince Cable, the business secretary, who could be expected to feel a degree of empathy with Poppleton’s long history of financial blundering.
“Hats off to the York History Department!”
That was how Dr Piercemüller of our Department of Media and Cultural Studies reacted to the news that students on a history course at the University of York receive fewer than 100 teaching hours a year.
Dr Piercemüller pointed out that York was “stuffed with history”. This meant that students with no lectures to attend were free to wander around looking at “historical things”. He instanced the York history student with no courses at all this term who told the press that she did not mind at all because she could use some of her hours of spare time “visiting libraries in the historic city”.
Dr Piercemüller revealed that he had brought this pedagogic philosophy to bear on his own teaching commitments by deciding that there was no longer any point in giving lectures on the media to students who were perfectly capable of watching television all by themselves.
(Dr Piercemüller was speaking via Skype from his research base in the Seychelles.)
Thought for the week
(contributed by Jennifer Doubleday, Head of Personal Development)
Jennifer Doubleday is working from home.