'Nobody told me' - v-c claim

June 3, 2010

Our vice-chancellor is giving "serious thought" to following in the footsteps of Peter McCaffery, the vice-chancellor of Cumbria, who is leaving his job because at the time of his appointment he was "mis-sold" over the dire nature of the university's financial position.

In an exclusive interview, our vice-chancellor claims that he suffered from even more serious "mis-selling" than that which occurred at Cumbria.

Not only was he told that the university's deficit was a mere £132.50 when the figure was almost £255 million, but he was also assured that he would be taking on a university that enjoyed an international research reputation, structurally sound buildings, a contented and supportive staff and a prominent position in the league tables.

Only later did he discover that the university was a bankrupt, physically dilapidated, bottom-of-the-league institution staffed entirely by malingering and troublemaking academics.

In these circumstances, it was only continual reflection on the "enduring reality" of his £265,000 per annum salary that kept him at the helm.

Hats off to PR team!

"What a triumph." That was the reaction of our Head of PR, Gail Topping, to the speed with which our university moved to "preserve the Poppleton brand" after the revelation in a Sunday newspaper that our Director of Finance, Mr D.C.F. Tapstock, had been filmed enjoying a cocaine-fuelled S&M orgy with six naked hookers in the Magic Fingers Massage Parlour, Lower Poppleton.

Unlike University College Cork, which allegedly suffered from "brand attenuation" after its failure to respond promptly to the fellating bat incident, our PR department immediately issued a statement in which Mr Tapstock claimed to have "mistaken" the massage parlour for the Women's Institute, at which he was due to speak. He further declared that he believed the cocaine he was offered by his hosts to be a conventional hay-fever decongestant and regarded the complete nudity of his six companions as fully compatible with the WI's current readiness to disrobe for charitable purposes.

How cool is Poppleton?

Our Director of Corporate Affairs, Jamie Targett, has publicly regretted Poppleton's failure to feature in the recent list of the UK's coolest universities compiled by the CoolBrands council.

Targett admitted that Poppleton's current specialisation in root-canal dentistry and sanitary engineering militated against a cool image. And neither were matters "greatly helped" by its location in a part of the country traditionally associated with above-average rainfall, urban blight and a range of local amenities that had been unfavourably compared to those on offer in the Outer Hebrides.

However, he believed that these matters were "fully countered" by the Head of English's predilection for wearing canvas shorts to work, the forthcoming concert by a Brian Poole and the Tremeloes Tribute Band, and the recent discovery of a discarded spliff in the Sociology Department bike shed.

So is Poppleton cool? Targett has no doubts. "It's where it's at, man."

Thought for the week

(Contributed by Jennifer Doubleday, Head of Personal Development)

Our poet-in-residence, Marcia Flowering, has withdrawn her application to become professor of poetry at Oxford following allegations that she sent "compromising pictures" of her muse to the selection committee. Here's a small sample of what that committee will be missing:

Every second I spend with you

Really is a dream come true.

When I'm with you I feel so free

I truly am as happy as can be.

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