Making up is hard to do

December 6, 2012

Janet Fluellen, our Director of Curriculum Development, has admitted to feeling "shock and outrage" upon reading Frank Furedi's confession in Times Higher Education that he "makes up" his learning outcomes and then proceeds to "ignore them".

She told The Poppletonian that this was "just the type of disregard for the truth" that could give contemporary universities a bad name. "Imagine a university where you couldn't trust in the reality of the courses listed in the prospectus, where duplicitous accounts of quality control were made up to please the Quality Assurance Agency, where bogus claims about enjoying an international reputation were included in job adverts, where sleight of hand was employed to minimise the size of the vice-chancellor's emoluments, where students were taught by graduate assistants rather than the promised high-flying dons, where plain old academic sackings were disguised as restructuring, where there was a conspiracy of silence about the unsavoury background of its leading benefactor. Can anybody tell me what sort of university that would be? Anyone?"

(We regret that the phone lines are already closed.)

Santa is on his way

We are delighted to report that our vice-chancellor, arrayed in the traditional robes of Santa Claus, will leave his suite in the Administrative Centre at midday next Tuesday to commence his annual ritual of dispensing small token gifts to the poor and underprivileged.

This year he will travel in a motorised sleigh bearing the new university logo - "Experience the Experience" - and bear his festive gifts to those outlying regions where the recipients of his largesse can most readily be discovered.

In a brief statement, our vice-chancellor justified this year's choice of beneficiary.

"At this special time of year," he writes, "it is only appropriate for our thoughts to incline towards those who are unable to enjoy the considerable financial and status benefits that accrue to those fortunate enough to hold managerial and research positions within this university. And that is why this year I will be bestowing my gifts upon that largely overlooked group of servants known colloquially as 'university teachers' or, more formally, as 'learning outcome supervisors'.

"In an institution like ours," continues the statement, "it is all too easy to overlook such labourers in the vineyard. University teachers, not unlike the ancient troglodytes, are often hidden from view because of their tendency to work away in dilapidated lecture halls and cramped seminar rooms rather than in the grand mansions of REF Research and Administration.

"But we should never forget that some of the recipients of my gifts this year were once members of a proud tribe. Back in those olden days, they gave themselves honorific titles such as 'academic' and 'don' and dressed in flowing gowns and strange ill-fitting caps. Some even contrived to have some say over the courses they taught, and one or two entertained ideas of actually influencing university policy.

"God Bless Them Everyone."

(NB. This beneficence is intended purely for those designated "teaching-only". Please ensure that your badge is fully visible when you kneel to receive your gift.)

Thought for the week

(contributed by Jennifer Doubleday, Head of Personal Development)

Christmas is nigh but let us all give ecumenical respect to those whose spiritual commitment is to alternative belief practices. In the words of the poet:

Roses are reddish

Violets are bluish

If it wasn't for Christmas

We'd all be Jewish

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