Poppleton University academics who are currently facing dismissal have been strongly criticised for "their lack of perspective" by Louise Bimpson, corporate director of our ever-expanding Human Resources Department.
In an exclusive interview with The Poppletonian, Ms Bimpson said that her department has introduced "a thoroughly modern HR consultative approach to redundancy planning, in which effective employee resourcing is aligned with a collaborative shared-ownership approach to imminent dismissal".
As part of this strategic plan, her staff had organised a series of consultative workshops in which academics under immediate threat of occupational transformation had been offered the chance to air their point of view about the proposed adjustment to their terms of employment.
Unfortunately, these workshops had been "marred" by what Ms Bimpson described as a "most unfortunate reversion by some attendees to practices that have no place in the current HR lexicon".
She instanced one meeting in which a group of "constructive dismissees" had interrupted an address by an external outplacement provider with chants of "One Two Three Four! No War But the Class War!" and the waving of posters bearing a distorted portrait of the vice-chancellor and the legend "Snouts out of the Trough Now".
Ms Bimpson confirmed that the workshop was successfully completed only after the demonstrators had been removed by some of the larger members of her terminal conciliation team.
Pig university moves nearer
"It's groundbreaking news for all those with an interest in pork studies."
That was the jubilant reaction of George Oliphant, managing director of Poppleton Pork Products, to the news that Britain is to have its first new private university for 30 years.
Mr Oliphant told a specially convened press conference that he believed the prospect of a pig university had been further enhanced by the recent call from Lord Digby Jones for more degrees that dealt with "the vocational challenges of today".
"For many years," boomed Mr Oliphant, "Britain has led the way in pork products, but a glance at the average university prospectus would reveal the total absence of any reference to pork pies, sausages or black puddings, not to mention cutting-edge developments such as marinated barbecue ribs and pork and apple burgers.
"It is salutary to think", he concluded, "that hundreds of thousands of young people can now graduate without ever having been inside a sausage factory."
What will a degree do for me?
In a move that will disconcert many other institutions of higher education, our vice-chancellor has announced that Poppleton will go "well beyond" David Willetts' recent call for universities to give more information about the kind of jobs students will obtain by taking specific degree courses.
"In the future," he explained, "the Poppleton prospectus will not only show that a degree in philosophy at this university is a passport to a successful career in retail marketing, but will also describe the statistical likelihood of other life-chance developments. So, for example, there will be figures showing the likelihood of other graduates succumbing to alcoholism, drug addiction and debt-induced suicide."
The vice-chancellor dismissed the suggestion that students may be discouraged by such insights. He revealed that he had been "positively encouraged" to accept his present post by the knowledge that whatever his performance, he could still count on an extraordinarily over-generous pension.
Thought for the Week
(contributed by Jennifer Doubleday, Head of Personal Development)
This little saying gave me pause for thought as I climbed aboard a holiday flight to Guernsey: "Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines."