Mistake costs us top mark

November 10, 2011

Our university secured yet another first place last week.

A report into stress at work carried out by the University and College Union found that 81 per cent of higher education members surveyed are now finding their jobs "stressful". However, a detailed analysis of the UCU figures shows that the percentage of Poppleton members finding their job "stressful" has risen to a record 99.4 per cent.

Further examination reveals that the only reason Poppleton failed to secure an unbeatable 100 per cent mark was a single positive response by Gordon Lapping of our Department of Media and Cultural Studies.

When pressed, Professor Lapping claimed that his response had been "an error". Far from lacking stress, he had been so stressed when the UCU questionnaire arrived that he had mistaken it for the daily Senior Common Room menu and placed his tick by "no stress" in the belief that he was indicating a sandwich preference.

Taken for granted

Our vice-chancellor has offered his "unstinting support" to Malcolm Grant, provost of University College London, who is under attack for adding the post of chair of the new NHS Commissioning Board to his existing duties.

Speaking to our reporter Keith Ponting (31), the vice-chancellor noted that Professor Grant would "generously" be donating his £63,000 NHS salary to UCL and continuing to survive on his unreduced university salary, which with benefits amounted to £317,779 in 2009-10.

Mr Ponting pointed out that based on a three-day week, this was equivalent to a daily salary of £2,302. Apart from the size of the pay cheque, weren't there also concerns about Professor Grant's capacity to perform his UCL administrative duties in such a dramatically reduced time period?

Our vice-chancellor vigorously rejected both concerns. He told Mr Ponting that the essential character of higher managerial university posts was that "nobody has the faintest idea how their incumbents ever came to attract, let alone earn, such disproportionately huge salaries in the first place".

He did not believe that this view of the size of Professor Grant's UCL remuneration would be "greatly affected" by the new arrangements.

It's our secret and we're not telling

Jamie Targett, our Director of Corporate Affairs, has said that he "quite understands" the LSE's unreadiness to make public the results of its inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the award of a doctorate to Saif Gaddafi.

He told The Poppletonian that a similar non-disclosure policy would be adopted in relation to our own university's inquiry into suggestions that a fat endowment from Poppleton Pork Products Plc had played some part in securing a successful doctorate for Mike Bludgeon, the firm's Deputy Head Slaughterer.

That inquiry is now well under way and Mr Targett indicated that it might further emulate the LSE example by "going on and on until quite a lot of people had forgotten about the whole business".

He also suggested that the eventual findings might exonerate the university.

"There is every reason to believe", he claimed, "that those who awarded Dr Bludgeon his doctorate were largely unaware of his slaughtering background."

Thought for the Week

(contributed by Jennifer Doubleday, Head of Personal Development)

I very much regret that this term's academic coach outing to the University of Wales has been cancelled following the recent announcement that there is no longer any such place.

lolsoc@dircon.co.uk.

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