No business like business

March 5, 2015

Source: Getty/Alamy Montage


In what those with an eye for a telling headline are already calling “A shock mission admission”, our Director of Corporate Affairs, Jamie Targett, has confirmed that our university is applying to join the University Alliance group.

Targett reminded our reporter Keith Ponting (30) that at the moment, Poppleton was not a member of any of the four university mission groups on the grounds that none of them appeared to cater for the “unique business-facing expedient instrumentalism” that lay at the heart of what our new prospectus characterised as “The Poppleton Experience”.

But, said Targett, all that had changed with the arrival of Maddalaine Ansell as chief executive of the University Alliance. Although only recently in post, Ms Ansell had already nailed her colours to the mast by describing the alliance as “business-facing”.

Targett said that he also greatly admired Ms Ansell’s concern with finding a name for the group that better epitomised its selling strengths. In her succinct words: “We need to find what is the thing that we can say we are the UK’s leading universities for.”

He was, however, mildly surprised that Ms Ansell in her “refreshingly forthright approach to the business imperatives of higher education” had not recognised that the new name for her group was already staring her in the face.

“It is so very simple,” said Targett. “Goodbye, University Alliance. Hello, CBI Group.”


The sound of campus

Man holding ear trumpet (black and white)

One of our leading producers of relatively self-evident research findings, social psychologist Dr Mike Goshworthy, has successfully completed a two-year investigation into the distinctive sound made by our university.

Dr Goshworthy – who recently hit the headlines with his research finding that men with larger than standard-sized feet do not statistically enjoy other anatomical advantages (“Big Feet Don’t Mean Big Willies”, Journal of Tabloid Impact, Vol. 22, 2015) – explained that his interest in the topic had been aroused by the number of people who referred to the existence of a “buzz” about their university. (He cited the recent reference by the new head of the University Alliance to the “real buzz”about Alliance institutions.)

To check for the existence of any such “real buzz” at Poppleton, Dr Goshworthy placed sensitive recording apparatus in such key areas of the campus as corridors, tutorial offices, senior common rooms and the Premature Retirement Suite.

He subsequently played the tapes to a matched group of academics. No buzz at all was detected by any member of the sample, but a junior lecturer in English claimed that he could distinctly make out “a melancholy long, withdrawing roar”. In the circumstances, said Dr Goshworthy, it was clear that “more research was needed”.


Thought for the week

(contributed by Jennifer Doubleday, Head of Personal Development)

Do you increasingly get the uneasy sense that you are no longer as bright as your own students? You do? Then why not restore your former mastery with a revolutionary new form of cognitive therapy. Apply to the Personal Development office now. Mark your application “Brain Supplement”.

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