Publish and be dumped?

February 18, 2010

According to well-informed sources meeting after dark behind the squash courts, Professor Doug Gunter of our Politics for Business Department faces disciplinary action over statements made during his recent inaugural lecture on academic freedom. It is alleged that these statements contravened Section 9 of the university edicts by "bringing the university into disrepute".

However, in his defence, Professor Gunter will argue that his lecture was an exploration of the paradox that it was now possible for academics to say anything they liked about this university in that it was "impossible to think of anything which might be said that could bring the university into any more disrepute than it currently enjoys".

Jamie Targett, our thrusting Director of Corporate Affairs, condemned Professor Gunter's threat to refer the matter to Academics for Academic Freedom as "provocative", and described his defence as a perfect example of the academic obsession with rational argument that currently threatened to undermine the new management plan going forward.

News in brief - you're fired

"Incomprehensible." That was the reaction of our Corporate Director of Human Resources, Louise Bimpson, to the news that the Redundancy Committee at the University of Warwick had advised its Governing Council that the case for axing three members of staff in the Centre for Translation and Comparative Cultural Studies "had not been made".

Speaking to The Poppletonian, Ms Bimpson said that this decision was "very much out of line with the well-established rubber-stamping function of normal redundancy committees".

She also attacked academics at Warwick who had complained that the arguments justifying the cuts in staff had covered just one A4 piece of paper.

"Our own current formulation in the case of planned redundancies - 'Come in (name to be inserted), your time is up' - is not only refreshingly unambiguous but also constitutes a valuable step towards achieving the green goal of a paperless Office of Redundancies."

Clickety-clack

Our Deputy Director of Staff Time Management, Gloria Chopard, has welcomed the spirited defence of the Transparent Approach to Costing by Stuart Palmer, the chairman of the Higher Education Funding Council for England's Trac Development Group (Hefce TDG).

Speaking to our reporter, Keith Ponting (30), she said: "It is quite shocking to learn from Mr Palmer that 'some academics see accounting for their time as a chore, done purely for external purposes, which produces results that they do not believe'."

Ms Chopard was particularly critical of those academics who had "cynically exploited" the latest Trac exercise by claiming to spend up to 30 per cent of their "appropriate-activities" time filling in their Trac submissions.

Thought for the Week

(contributed by Jennifer Doubleday, Head of Personal Development)

How refreshing it is to learn that Eileen Carnell and Caroline Lodge of the Institute of Education, University of London, have written a book describing retirement as an exciting new chapter in a person's life, a time when they can "dare to dream". Here's another lovely thought for all those in our university currently pondering a retirement package.

"My work is done, why wait" - George Eastman of Kodak (in a suicide note)

lolsoc@dircon.co.uk.

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