Our New Year honours list

December 31, 2009

In a dramatic move, our vice-chancellor has announced that Poppleton will be following in the steps of the University of Cumbria and awarding academic titles to leading university managers.

One of those to benefit from the new awards will be our thrusting Director of Corporate Affairs, Jamie Targett, who will become Professor Targett. Speaking to The Poppletonian, he said that his elevation to a chair was a timely recognition of the manner in which "the science of management had finally come of age going forward".

Other managers to be honoured by the new awards include the Corporate Director of our ever-expanding Human Resources team, Louise Bimpson, who becomes a full professor, and our Head of Research Impact, Mr Gerald Thudd, who receives a Senior Lectureship.

Professor Bimpson said that she believed her new title would greatly facilitate the current restructuring process.

"In the past," she said, "some academics have resented being restructured by managers who lacked comparable titular status. They will now have the intellectual comfort of knowing that they have been moved to pastures new by someone of equal academic status."

We love students

All members of academic staff are reminded that the next National Student Survey will be under way from the beginning of next term.

After last year's allegations that some students were pressurised by staff into providing positive responses, please note that while it is appropriate to encourage students to participate, no guidance should be offered on the nature of their responses.

Our Head of Student Experience, Professor Nancy Harbinger, has compiled the following useful "Do and Don't" guide to best practice.

Do Say: "Hello students. You know, on the whole, it's rather important that you contribute to the new National Student Survey."

Don't Say: "Listen everyone and listen good. If this university gets a bad score on the National Student Survey, your degree won't be worth a pig's ear and your chances of getting a decent job when you leave here will be about the same as a snowball's chance in hell.

"So get out there and put a big tick by boxes 4, 7, 9, 14, 22 and 36. Students who've done just that in the past have always ended up with better grades. Coincidence or what?"

Rock around the clock

Professor Georgina Kunzite, the Head of our Department of Crystal Healing, has reacted strongly to the recent High Court ruling that the University of Central Lancashire must hand over teaching materials from its defunct homeopathy course to a campaigning sceptic.

Speaking to our reporter, Keith Ponting (30), she said she had no intention of acceding to any similar request for materials from her own oversubscribed course in crystal therapy. Such a move, she argued, risked undermining the power of the crystals, which were notoriously wary of attempts to question their curative validity.

She had initially been disconcerted by the court's decision. "But since then I've taken to sleeping with a large lump of pink rhodochrosite crystal under my pillow. This does mildly disturb my partner, but it has certainly helped to rebalance my chakra."

Thought for the Week

(contributed by Jennifer Doubleday, Head of Personal Development)

"We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called 'Opportunity' and its first chapter is New Year's Day."


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