Rising above the crowd

January 15, 2015

Source: Getty

Preserving the dignity of office

“I’m pleased to say that our own vice-chancellor esteems his office far too highly to allow it to be diminished by involvement in any such demeaning behaviour.”

That was the positive assurance provided by Jamie Targett, our Director of Corporate Affairs, following the news that a Freedom of Information request had uncovered minutes of a University of Northampton governors meeting that “noted the regrettable media interest and publicity” arising from their own vice-chancellor’s behaviour at a student event: behaviour that included drinking several Jägerbombs and allowing himself to be “crowd-surfed” across a dance floor.

Mr Targett went on to vehemently reject the “vulgar” suggestion from Ted Odgers of Poppleton’s Department of Media and Cultural Studies that our own vice-chancellor would never be able to participate in any such sociable activities “because he wouldn’t recognise one of his own students if they bit him on his wedding tackle”.


Jammy dodgers

Our Head of Student Recruitment, Nathan Prest, has warmly praised the attack upon the “dodgy providers” of higher education recently launched by Aldwyn Cooper, vice-chancellor of Regent’s University, London.

Although he recognised that Professor Cooper’s principal concern was with the “very dodgy” private for-profit institutions, he believed that there were also grounds for concern in the state sector of higher education. He had accordingly compiled a brief “dodginess” questionnaire together with an indication of the number of institutions that might be deemed “dodgy” as a result of their responses.

Q. Has your university or college of higher education ever banned an academic from campus for more than a year for “rubbing his nose in a provocative fashion”?
Number of indicted institutions: 1

Q. Has your university ever placed its vice-chancellor on extended leave without providing any explanation and then, again without any explanation, proceeded to reinstate her?
Number of indicted institutions: 1

Q. Has your university ever fiddled the results of the research excellence framework in such a manner as to promote its own research standing?
Number of indicted institutions: 154


Caveat emptor

Professor H. M. P. Leeming, one of the leading academics in our ever-expanding Department of Criminology and Serial Killer Studies, has admitted that the manner in which he reported his recent research on Theft Reduction Strategies may have been unfortunate.

He told our reporter Keith Ponting (30) that he had been influenced in his write-up by the recent claim from Professor Jonathan Shepherd of Cardiff University that “obfuscation, confusion and uncertainty” frequently characterised academic research on crime reduction.

In line with this concern, he had omitted the “caveats” relating to his findings that Professor Shepherd had explicitly cited as likely to reduce the chances of its policy proposals being implemented.

He now realised that this omission could have led some readers to believe that the strong correlation that his research established between theft and limb amputation constituted a policy recommendation.

In view of this unhappy outcome, he had now recommitted himself to the criminological tradition of obfuscation, confusion and uncertainty.


Thought for the week

(contributed by Jennifer Doubleday, Head of Personal Development)

The answer to last week’s ‘Beat Off Dementia with a Crossword Clue’ competition was as follows:

Clue: Consider an imaginary animal.
Answer: Bear in mind.

Many congratulations to this week’s winner, Dr Napoleon.


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