No happiness at Poppleton - official

November 26, 2009

One of our leading low-scoring RAE academics has joined in the debate about the value of the ESRC's £4.4 million project investigating the relationship between work and happiness.

Dr Quintock, of the Department of Media and Cultural Studies, told The Poppletonian that he fully agrees with those critics who are cynical about the possibility of measuring "happiness".

"My own research", he explained, "has revealed that not a single member of academic staff at Poppleton describes themselves as being made happy by their work."

This finding had led him to abandon "happiness" as a measure of workplace experience in favour of the less subjective concept of "fair to middling".

"My current survey shows that 18 per cent of academics who are asked how much they enjoy their work select 'fair to middling' as their favoured response. This compares with the 51 per cent who opt for 'Haven't you got anything better to do with your research time than ask silly questions?'."

Dr Quintock was also dubious about policy attempts to increase happiness. "This is mere utopianism," he declared. "We should content ourselves with a much more realisable operational aim of moving people towards the 'middling' end of the 'fair to middling' spectrum."

Can you positively identify this face?

According to the recently published Futuretrack study of 50,000 full-time students, more than 40 per cent of those sampled complained that "hardly anyone on the academic staff knew their name".

This disturbing news has prompted our Deputy Director of Student Satisfaction, Christine Jollyboys, to announce a brand new collaborative project with The Poppletonian which she believes will do much "to increase the current nominal recognition factor".

Each week until further notice we will be printing a series of photographs of students who currently claim to fall into the "unknown" category and asking staff in the relevant department to provide positive identification.

This week it is the turn of the Department of Forensic Murder. Take a good look at the pictures below. Do you recognise any of your own students?

Send your entries (which must include full first and second names) to Spot that Student.

Not in our gang

Disappointment has been expressed by senior administrators at the news that Poppleton University's application to join a university mission group has once again foundered.

Speaking to our reporter, Keith Ponting (30), our thrusting Director of Corporate Affairs, Jamie Targett, revealed that following the university's failure to secure admission to the Russell Group and the University Alliance and the Million+ groups, application had been made to join the GuildHE and 1994 groups. These had also been unsuccessful.

This was not, however, the final disappointment. Pressed by our reporter, Targett also admitted that our university's subsequent bid to join the group of Unaffiliated Universities had also been rejected on the grounds that although these unaffiliated universities were united only by their unreadiness to ally themselves with any of the mission groups, Poppleton still failed to meet the membership criteria for belonging to a non-membership group. Targett said he was contemplating an appeal.

Thought for the Week

(contributed by Jennifer Doubleday, Head of Personal Development)

"The only place where Success comes before Work is in the dictionary."

lolsoc@dircon.co.uk.

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