Rub a dub dub

April 29, 2010

One of our senior redundancy-package-available academics, Professor Gordon Lapping of the Department of Media and Cultural Studies, has strongly backed the recent plea from the London Mathematical Society for the retention of the blackboard in undergraduate teaching.

Lapping pointed out that the blackboard not only provided lecturers with a regular and valuable opportunity to turn their back on the class in order to collect their thoughts, but also enabled them to demonstrate the practical real-time difficulties involved in the correct spelling of Nietzsche and Xenophanes of Colophon.

He suspected, however, that some anti-blackboard dons were currently engaged in sabotage. In particular he cited Dr Itzig of the Psychology Department, his predecessor in the David Willetts Lecture Hall on Thursday mornings, who repeatedly purloined all the white chalk and maliciously concealed the board rubber behind the fire extinguisher. Dr Itzig claimed to be too busy with his PowerPoint to comment.

Automatically speaking - You're fired

Our university has achieved another first. In the wake of reports that universities are using software such as Genesis or SITS:Vision as a way of dealing with the increased volume of undergraduate applications comes the news that Poppleton is pioneering the use of software to process staff redundancies.

Critics of this development claim that the new software, ONYOURBIKE, fails to provide valuable "contextual information" about those selected for dismissal. However, our thrusting Director of Corporate Affairs, Jamie Targett, denied that such information was relevant. "Quite frankly, knowing that a lecturer comes from a disadvantaged background counts for nothing when the software unequivocally confirms that it's time for them to be restructured," he said.

No need for panic

Rumours that Poppleton University might be following in the footsteps of the University of Cumbria and asking Hefce for a substantial cash advance to pay staff wages at the end of the month have been vigorously denied by our Director of Creative Finance, Mr D.C.F. Tapstock.

Speaking to our reporter, Keith Ponting, Mr Tapstock did, however, acknowledge that such rumours might have been "unreasonably prompted" by the recent appearance of the university mace in the Accessories section on eBay.

An apology

In last week's coverage of the university's new Vision Statement, we described the Poppleton Experience as "a vibrant, innovative, creative learning environment underpinned by a business- facing impactful research programme based on internationally relevant criteria".

We regret that because of pressure on space we omitted the following key phrases from the original statement: "sustainable portfolio", "broad-based strengths", "groundbreaking initiatives", "corporate social responsibility", "strategic objectives" and "shaping the future".

All members of staff are asked to make the appropriate additions to their copy of the Vision.

Thought for the week

(contributed by Jennifer Doubleday, Head of Personal Development)

"Please note that the inspirational message posted last week on the Personal Development Notice Board was Follow Your Dreams. The phrase 'Except that one where you're naked in church' was a gratuitous addition."

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