Mission possible

November 22, 2012

In a shock move, our university has decided to jettison its current mission statement.

This is not the first such change. Founding members of the university who have not yet taken advantage of a retirement package will recall that our initial mission statement - "We Aim to Please" - was phased out after mounting evidence that it was being confused with a popular urinal injunction.

Our university's more assertive identity was subsequently epitomised by the 2002 statement "Bugger the Russell Group". When this was deemed too negativistic, it was replaced in 2009 by a more conventional formulation: "We aspire to be a dynamic global enterprising university engaging our students and partners in a community of learning. We also enjoy excellent transport links."

It now appears, according to our Head of Mission Statements, James W. Kirk, that this statement does not sufficiently differentiate Poppleton from the pack. So what might better serve this purpose? Mr Kirk has no doubts. He points out that our current prospectus refers to the "teaching experience" and the "learning experience" and the "research experience" and the "student experience".

Our thoroughgoing commitment to "experience" will now be represented in our new mission statement: "Poppleton University: Experience the Experience."

The statement will be officially unveiled on Friday afternoon by our vice-chancellor in a ceremony in the Human Resources Hub. If you'd like to attend, please apply to the Mission Statement Department - mark your correspondence "Unveiling Experience".

Online and out of order

Following hard on the heels of the discovery by psychologists at the universities of Sheffield and Nottingham that about 80 per cent of university employees surveyed had experienced cyberbullying comes news that one of our departmental secretaries is being charged by the university's newly constituted Virtual Denigration Committee.

According to leaked minutes, Maureen, from our Department of Media and Cultural Studies, stands accused of sending members of her own department emails that contain "seriously derogatory phrases". These include:

  • Email to Dr Quintock re timetable revisions

"Unless you respond to this sixth request regarding next term's teaching timetable, I will be forced to conclude - along I suspect with most of the students who attend your lectures - that you are paralysed from the neck up."

  • Email to Professor Lapping re mistakes in his budgetary forecasts

"Are you always this stupid, or are you making a special effort this week?"

  • Email to Ted Odgers re his persistent refusal to complete a new prospectus entry

"Please try to act your age and not your shoe size."

  • Email to Dr Piercemüller re the reasons for his failure to appear in the department

"Think before you write. It'll save you the humiliation."

In her defence, Maureen claimed that her messages were "fair comment" but admitted that she might have "stepped over the bullying line" by accompanying each message with a realistic portrait of a loaded revolver.

Your competition answers

Here are the correct answers for our "How Well Do You Know Your Own University?" quiz.

1. Behind the cooling tower

2. Next to the vice-chancellor's office

3. Underneath the bursar

Thought for the week

(contributed by Jennifer Doubleday, Head of Personal Development)

"Next week's seminar on Tantric Sex Techniques will take place in the Personal Development Suite from 4.30pm on Tuesday until just after midnight on Wednesday."


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