Power to the purple

October 9, 2014

Source: Alamy

Christine Hovis, our deputy head of corporate branding, has admitted to a “degree of professional jealousy” upon learning that Leeds Beckett University (formerly Leeds Metropolitan University) has decided to promote its newly selected identity by bathing all its campus buildings in a purple light, a colour that echoes the hue of the university’s “iconic rose logo”.

She’d also noted with approval that the university had not simply opted for anything so crass as a uniform purple but had rather selected a purple light that involved “dynamic yet subtle changes and variations in intensity across the installation, (thereby) creating a subtle simmer”.

However, she thought it was “regrettable” that cynics had chosen to describe this “subtle simmer” as equivalent to the type of “purple haze” traditionally associated with the ingestion of hallucinatory drugs.

She also admitted that while not familiar with the popular song of the same name, which contained the line “Is it tomorrow or just the end of time?”, she could see “absolutely no relation” between this fatalistic sentiment and the future of Leeds Beckett.

(NB: Those in the Leeds area who wish to avoid the purple simmer overhead can avail themselves of the “Double Canopy Umbrella with the Leeds Beckett logo printed on four panels”. Currently available from the university shop. Price: £25. Colour: Purple.)


Must get out more

“I have nothing but high praise for this groundbreaking innovative initiative.”

This was the refreshingly tautological manner in which Mike Cram, our Head of Spatial Optimisation, reacted to the news that Mark Huxham, director of academic strategy at Edinburgh Napier University, was encouraging lecturers to hold tutorials in unconventional places “to break up the monotony and regularity of timetabled teaching”.

Mr Cram, who pioneered the double-decker seminar seating plan that has now become such a familiar feature of our campus, said he’d also been delighted to learn that Professor Huxham had pioneered such practices by holding teaching sessions on beaches and in Edinburgh’s botanic gardens.

In answer to questions from our reporter Keith Ponting (30), Mr Cram said he believed that “a rather similar pedagogic philosophy” had informed his own recent decision to programme first year sociology seminars in the bike sheds round the back of David Willetts College.

Along with Professor Huxham, he believed that this change of setting could be a valuable aid to learning. “Concepts like social mobility, which can appear quite abstract in a seminar room, can become suddenly concrete when encountered in the same setting as a two-tiered galvanised bike rack.”

However, Mr Cram described Ponting’s suggestion that such a setting might also be conducive to a proper appreciation of a cyclical view of history as “on the facetious side of things”.


Thought for the week

(contributed by Jennifer Doubleday, Head of Personal Development)

Please note that those academics who were too shy to attend the first in our new series of lectures on “Overcoming Shyness in the Lecture Room” are cordially invited to enrol for our back-up series of seminars “Overcoming Shyness about Attending ‘Overcoming Shyness Lectures’ ”. Send your pseudonymous applications in a plain envelope, using the confidential code word “Loser”.


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