"A serious setback for empathy." That was how our Head of Personal Development, Jennifer Doubleday, described the tragic outcome of last Thursday's exercise in campus role-playing.
Ms Doubleday told our reporter, Keith Ponting (30), that she had decided to initiate a role-playing session after learning of the successful use of the technique by Kim Cassidy of Nottingham Trent University's Business School. She had been particularly impressed by Dr Cassidy's view that role-playing "is about engaging with other people in a professional context and trying to understand where they are coming from".
All went well during an opening session modelled on Dr Cassidy's programme in which professional actors played the parts of leading members of the university. But the trouble began when academics were asked to take over the roles. It appears that Mr Odgers of Media Studies, who was playing the part of a senior lecturer under threat of involuntary redundancy, took issue with a statement made by Dr Itzig of Psychology, who was playing Jamie Targett, our Director of Corporate Affairs.
In the ensuing brawl, fatal injuries were sustained by Dr T.P. Burlap (Physics), who was playing our Head of Human Resources, and by Justin Fetterling (Alternative Medicine), who had been cast as our Finance Director.
As we go to press, we learn that the tragic events will be investigated by Chief Inspector Morse from Poppleton CID.
'Armageddon out of here,' says v-c
Our vice-chancellor will shortly be joining the growing number of major figures who have spoken publicly about the future of higher education after the latest round of cuts.
At next Thursday's meeting of the Lower Poppleton Royal Antediluvian Society, he will deliver an address titled "The End is Nigh".
The Poppletonian has obtained an advance copy of this speech and we are delighted to print the following edited extract of the vice-chancellor's main points.
"Standing on the brink. Debacle. The Great Flood. Finger in the Dyke. Genocide. Ice Age. Steve Smith. Apocalypse Now. Meltdown. Michael Arthur. New Ice Age. Cataclysm. Nicola Dandridge. Black Death. Library of Alexandria. My salary is irrelevant. So is the university wine cellar. Thank you for listening. Raise your glasses."
Our campus UCU representative, Ted Boalerges, has asked us to correct an inaccuracy in our report last week of the industrial action to be taken by Poppleton staff over the recent decision to enforce 250 redundancies.
Whereas our report described the decision by academics to withhold examination results as an "action short of a strike", we are now informed by Mr Boalerges that the decision was for academics to "consider" withholding some examination marks. This meant that the action was more correctly described as "action short of an action short of a strike". We hope this clarifies the situation.
Thought for the Week
(contributed by Jennifer Doubleday, Head of Personal Development)
"Happiness is like jam. You can't spread even a little without getting some on yourself."