“Good things are here to stay!”
That was how our Deputy Head of Student Experience, Nancy Harbinger, responded to the recent declaration by David Willetts, the universities and science minister, that the dramatic increase in the number of student complaints and academic appeals in 2012-13 was a “good thing”.
Ms Harbinger said that the “good thing” was particularly evident at Poppleton, where the number of student complaints last year rose by 22 per cent compared with the national average of 10 per cent.
This “good thing”, said Ms Harbinger, had largely been achieved by removing all teaching duties from leading members of academic staff so that they could concentrate entirely on improving the university’s research ranking and then replacing these leading academics with inadequately trained and poorly paid graduate teaching assistants.
She was also delighted by evidence of “good things” elsewhere at Poppleton. The number of complaints by staff against the vice-chancellor had gone up by per cent, while complaints against the “fascistic management” had recorded a massive 42 per cent rise.
As Ms Harbinger observed: “We can now only look forward to the day when nearly everyone at Poppleton is complaining about something or other. Quite frankly, one can never have too much of a good thing.”
(Editorial note: It has been brought to our attention that this newsletter has, in recent weeks, published a record number of complaints about Mr Willetts’ inept higher education strategy. We now realise that this also is “a good thing”.)
Back to basics
Our Head of Mark Adjustment, Dr K. T. Rounding Upwards, has defended his decision to appoint an elderly sheepdog called Brock to the position of senior invigilator for this year’s final examinations at Poppleton.
Dr Upwards said that the decision to appoint Brock had been “solely prompted” by the lack of academic staff prepared to take on such invigilation duties for the fee of £1.20 an hour and a complimentary jug of tap water.
He pointed out that Brock had so far “done a fine job” in ensuring that no students left the hall during the period of the examination, although his tendency to nip latecomers on the ankle had been “unfortunate”.
He, was, however, totally dismissive of the claim by one finals sociology student that her “missing” theory paper answer on postmodern epistemology had been eaten by Brock.
Dr Upwards told The Poppletonian that he had carefully studied what remained of the rest of the candidate’s script and found it “almost completely indigestible”.
Thought for the week
(contributed by Jennifer Doubleday, Head of Personal Development)
Next week’s seminar is specially designed for all those more mature members of academic staff who feel in any way concerned about a possible decline in their cognitive abilities. We are assured that our carefully chosen visiting speaker will treat the subject with full regard to the individual sensibilities of those attending. Please apply through the usual channels, marking your application “GAGA”.