Never having to say sorry

November 28, 2013

Should our university be ashamed because it occupies such a lowly rank in the current list of UK universities?

That was the question our reporter Keith Ponting (30) put to Deputy Head of Brand Management Georgina Edsel following the revelation that a leading brand agency had condemned London South Bank University for “constantly apologising” for being near the bottom of university rankings.

Ponting pointed out that the agency in question – Frank, Bright & Abel (sic) – had rebranded South Bank as “the brighter choice”. According to agency partner Rebecca Price, this meant “not everybody’s choice, not the first choice, but the brighter, smarter choice for those in the know”. Shouldn’t Poppleton be following a similar path?

Ms Edsel told Ponting that she had no plans at present to terminate Poppleton’s contract with brand agency Bland, Daft & Cockup, an agency that “very much shared” Frank, Bright & Abel’s emphasis on selling a university in a manner that eschewed any reference to such peripheral matters as student satisfaction and employability, or research capability and teaching quality.

This was precisely why Poppleton was currently rebranding itself “unapologetically” as a university that enjoyed a reputation known only to privileged insiders.

From now on, Ms Edsel told Ponting, Poppleton would not be the “first choice” or “everybody’s choice” or even “the brighter choice”. It would be marketed as “the choice that dare not speak its name”.

She hoped this clarified the situation.


We’re all packed for impact

Our Head of Research Impact, Gerald Thudd, tells The Poppletonian that he is “over the proverbial moon” about our university’s impact submission to the REF.

“When I press the Send button on this Friday’s deadline,” said Mr Thudd, “I will relax in the certain knowledge that my office staff, together with the two dozen copywriters who have been specially hired to help with the more confabulatory aspects of the submission, have done an all-round splendid job of work.”

Mr Thudd highlighted this submission from the Philosophy Department’s impact portfolio as an example:

Impact case study template
(Ref 3b)

Title of case study:
Public Lecture on Søren Kierkegaard

Summary of case study:
This one and three quarter hour lecture by Dr D. W. Dingbat of our Philosophy Department dealt with Kierkegaard’s The Sickness Unto Death with particular reference to his delineation of three kinds of despair. It was given in July this year to an audience of more than 14 people in the upstairs room of the George and Firkin, Middle Poppleton.

Details of the impact:
A questionnaire distributed at the end of the session revealed that seven members of the audience had, as a direct result of the talk, lost the will to live despite having been in full possession of this faculty when entering the room.

Two other audience members who had been teetotal for years admitted that they would now be returning to heavy consumption of alcohol, while a further four members confessed to small amounts of actual self-harming during the course of Dr Dingbat’s address.

Corroboration of impact:
A&E Department, Poppleton General Hospital.


Thought for the week

(contributed by Jennifer Doubleday, Head of Personal Development)

“Next week’s Tuesday Lecture in our Life After Compulsory Retirement series is called ‘Virility for the over 60s’. Standing room only.”

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