According to one of our leading academics, Professor Gordon Lapping of the Department of Media and Cultural Studies, the recent report on the professoriate by the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education was "fatally flawed".
In an exclusive interview with our reporter, Keith Ponting (31), Lapping claimed that the foundation had "totally failed" to distinguish between "proper professors" and those he referred to as "jumped-up former poly teachers" and "johnny-come-lately pedants whose only discernible talent is knowing how to knock off a successful research grant application". "These people", said Lapping, "might be a professor to their mother and a professor to their children. But are they a professor to a professor?"
Lapping said it was the study's failure to distinguish between real and plastic professors that had led it to express concern about professors not offering advice to junior colleagues, not being team players and not even knowing colleagues in their own corridor.
"Proper professors", he told Ponting, "are actually distinguished by these very criteria. No proper professor wants to be seen dead with a junior colleague or to sink so low as to be a mere team player or to find themselves being nodded at in the corridors of their own department."
(At this point, Lapping concluded the interview as it was time for his usual mid-morning task of staring inconsequentially out of the window.)
Employee of the month award
Surprise has been expressed at the latest winner of a prized campus award. Doctor T.P. Burlap of our Department of Theoretical Physics for Business told The Poppletonian that he was quite shocked to discover while purchasing his lunch in the David Willetts Dining Hall that the photograph of the Employee of the Month next to the cash register featured the Poppleton vice-chancellor.
"It struck me", said Doctor Burlap, who specialises in the "impact" of string theory, "that there was something incongruous about making this award to someone who works a much shorter week than anyone else on campus for 33 times the average campus salary."
However, the award was defended by Jamie Targett, our Director of Corporate Affairs, who explained that the vice-chancellor had been chosen because of the morale-raising potential of "his broad and permanent smile".
Three held in 'illegal party' raid
Suspicions that a "get-together" that violated the university ban on "unauthorised Christmas parties" was taking place in the photocopying room of our English for Business department prompted a surprise raid by the newly constituted "party police force".
We understand that three members of staff were taken into custody and that the raiding party also seized a half-full bottle of Tempranillo and two bags of sea-salt crisps. Claims by the arrested dons that they were simply "getting together" appear to be at odds with police evidence that one of the suspects had been apprehended while still attempting to swallow a short but fully recognisable piece of tinsel.
Thought for the week
(contributed by Jennifer Doubleday, Head of Personal Development)
Next week's Sexual Healing class will deal with recovery from love bites.