Premature eradication shock

February 11, 2010

A leaked email indicates that the 42 Poppleton academics who were recently invited to apply for their own jobs have already had their applications rejected.

According to the email, which emanated from our ever-expanding Department of Human Resources, savings resulting from the loss of the 42 members of staff were "factored into" the university's staff budget three weeks before the applicants' scheduled interviews.

Our Corporate Director of Human Resources, Louise Bimpson, admitted the error. "Obviously," she told our reporter Keith Ponting (30), "in an ideal world, people who've been asked to apply for their own jobs would not expect to learn in advance that they'd already been rejected." She nevertheless argued that this "timing mistake" could be seen as welcome evidence of the university's commitment to "presumptive forward planning".

Maximum impact

One of our senior academics, Dr S.J. Lumpkin, has welcomed news that Hefce is using a new measure of research impact.

According to the council's document Pathways to Impact, a Dr Litvak of Queen's University Belfast has achieved high impact as a result of the large financial benefits accruing to his publisher from sales of his new edition of Our Mutual Friend. Additional impact was secured by the financial benefits his book brought to the Charles Dickens Museum, and his employment as a Dickens consultant on Sky TV.

Speaking to The Poppletonian, Dr Lumpkin said this development meant that his own recent study, A Brief History of Flagellation, which outsold Jade Goody's autobiography, would now "receive its proper academic due". He hoped that the funding council would also take into account the very large number of visits to his "Flogging and Whipping" website.

Knackers knackered

Our vice-chancellor has publicly apologised for "a regrettable error in security" that could have led to the identification of the special police who have recently been drafted on to our campus as part of Higher Education Minister David Lammy's new campaign to target student terrorists.

It appears that "an administrative error in registration" led to the appellation "PC" being mistakenly attached to the names of the undercover officers posing as students.

Chance would be a fine thing

"Downright plagiarism." That was the forceful response of the Head of our Psychology Department, Dr B.F. Itzig, to the news that psychologists at the University of Northampton were researching "telephone telepathy" - the experience of hearing the telephone ringing and knowing exactly who is calling.

According to Dr Itzig, colleagues in his own department are already working on such "closely related phenomena" as the experience of "imagining a bus is about to arrive a moment before one actually comes round the corner".

He claimed that the "alarming similarity" between the work of the Poppleton and Northampton psychologists would be "fully evident" when his colleagues' forthcoming paper on "bus telepathy" was published in The British Journal of Experimental Coincidences.

Thought for the week

(contributed by Jennifer Doubleday, Head of Personal Development)

Here's something to ponder when you're searching for that elusive campus parking space:

"Look at life through the windshield, not the rear-view mirror."

lolsoc@dircon.co.uk.

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