Mind your own FoI business!

Shocking new statistics reveal that our university leads the field in the number of times it has refused to answer Freedom of Information requests

January 16, 2014

These new figures show that while the universities of York and Cumbria are major offenders, with respective refusal rates of 36 and 38 per cent, Poppleton easily tops the league with a rate of 72 per cent.

However, a member of our corporate staff with special responsibility for this area, who refused requests for his name, told our reporter Keith Ponting (30) that this high rate was largely a result of Poppleton being the recipient of an exceptionally large number of Freedom of Information requests that could only be described as “provocative”.

He listed such requests as the following:

  • How many times a week on average is your vice-chancellor seriously intoxicated?
  • When is Dr Piercemüller going to resume his duties?
  • What on earth was going on between Jennifer Doubleday and Dr Derek Quintock in the Squash Court changing rooms last Thursday evening?
  • Who exactly is responsible for the pervasive smell of marijuana in the Senior Common Room of Michael Gove College?
  • Considering the cost of taking a degree at Poppleton University and considering the likelihood of obtaining any sort of employment after graduation, wouldn’t a potential applicant be better off altogether if they stayed at home in bed for the next three years?
  • When is Keith Ponting’s birthday?
  • When are you going to answer any of these Freedom of Information requests?

In response to further questions from Ponting, the anonymous spokesperson insisted that there was no particular significance in the news that the official title of his current post was Head of Freedom of Information Refusals.


What kind of fraud am I?

Ruth Barcan, a senior lecturer in the department of gender and cultural studies at the University of Sydney, has identified a form of academic anxiety that she describes as “feelings of fraudulence”, the sense among academics that they are somehow not in the right job.

One of our own academics, Mr Ted Odgers of the Department of Media and Cultural Studies, described this finding as having “revolutionary import”.

He told The Poppletonian that he “often felt” that he was in the wrong job. “I look at the headed notepaper on my desk with the university logo at its head. I look at the signs in the car park that announce that it is a university car park. I look at the noticeboard that details university seminars and university lectures and university examinations. But despite all this evidence, I am constantly assailed by the thought that I am working on a fast-moving factory conveyor belt.”

Louise Bimpson, the Corporate Director of our ever-expanding Human Resources team, said that this was not the first time that individual academics had suffered from the unfortunate delusion that they were working on an assembly line. However, she claimed that she and her staff had successfully restored many of these deluded sufferers to full psychological health by allowing them to handle the university mace.


Thought for the week

(contributed by Jennifer Doubleday, Head of Personal Development)

Please note: In last week’s column on “How to lose five pounds in 24 hours without willpower”, the phrase “ruthlessly cut out those large chunks of fat” was, of course, a culinary rather than a surgical injunction.


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