Our Director of Corporate Affairs, Jamie Targett, was quick to find reassurance in the news from the 2008 National Student Survey that student satisfaction at Poppleton had decreased by only 4 per cent in the past year.
He told our reporter Keith Ponting (30) that he regarded this as "quite a triumph" in a year in which the university had been through a "major structural re-orientation" following the collapse of the Arts and Humanities building, the unfortunate outbreak of severe food poisoning in the student snack bar and the accidental death by drowning of 11 access students on a Biology field trip.
He also reminded Ponting that the results were totally at odds with an internal student satisfaction survey carried out by "someone or other" in the Office of Student Experience.
He criticised the failure of the survey to measure what he called the "positive dissatisfaction factor" (the strong sense among Poppleton students that things could only get better) and condemned the manner in which students at other universities had been cajoled into giving high satisfaction ratings for fear that poor ratings would undermine the value of their degree.
"All in all", he insisted, "it is refreshing to find that we have done relatively well compared with at least two other universities on a survey totally lacking in validity, reliability and credibility."
THE TENDER TOUCH
Many academics at Poppleton University are familiar with "hands-on" research but probably none has embraced the concept so radically as Dr Mike Furbank of our Philosophy for Business Department.
Last week it was revealed that the youthful and shock-haired Dr Furbank is working part-time as a catamite in Poppleton's Magic Fingers massage parlour. He told The Poppletonian that the job "did require a different kind of thinking from normal academic work", but pointed out that his current practice had obvious affinities with such current pedagogic concerns as "continuous development" and "exit velocity".
Following some unfortunate confusion with enrolment procedures at the beginning of the last academic year it has been decided that it would be appropriate this year to issue a Parent Identification Kit. This illustrated guide is now available from the Office of Student Experience on the twelfth floor of the new Administration Block.
THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK
(contributed by Jennifer Doubleday, Head of Personal Development)
I know that some of you will be a little upset when you come back to university and find that all the senior common rooms have disappeared and become administrative offices. But try to think positively. Remember
For every minute you are angry, you lose sixty seconds of happiness.
(I do hope that helps.)