Shock transfer news!

June 17, 2010

Our Director of Curriculum Development, Janet Fluellen, has responded in kind to the news that Middlesex University's Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy is set to be transferred to Kingston University. Speaking to our reporter, Keith Ponting (30), she described the move as a valuable new way to unload departments that lacked "structural viability", and issued the following list of Poppleton departments that have been placed on the transfer list:


History

Following recent cutbacks modelled on the periodisation model adopted by the University of Sussex, this department now confines itself to offering teaching and research in European history from August 1783 to November 1786. The package includes one elderly professor, two aggrieved junior lecturers and a slightly tarnished portrait of Hugh Trevor-Roper.

Psychology

This package includes the Head of Department, Dr Fritz Itzig, three non-contract graduate tutors, a dozen T-maze-competent rats, a partially decorticated basset hound and instructions on the Muller-Lyer illusion.

Sociology

This eclectic package includes one slightly hysterical postmodernist, two vulgar Marxists and a seriously out-of-date functionalist. Also included is an ecological map of Chicago in the 1930s and a 24-volume bound set of introductions to sociology by Anthony Giddens.

(All permanent members of staff in the packages are in working order and come with an RAE test certificate. No tyre-kickers please.)

Bride challenged by Pric

Claims by Brunel University that it is the first institution to develop a "flexible tool" for the measurement of "research impact" have been hotly disputed by Gerald Thudd, our own Head of Research Impact.

Mr Thudd described Bride (Brunel Research Impact Device for Evaluation) as "considerably less sophisticated" than the Pric instrument developed by his team.

He pointed out that Pric (Poppleton Research Impact Calculation) followed Bride in using a four-point scale to assess impact on the two dimensions of "depth" and "spread" parallel to Hefce's criteria of "significance" and "reach". However, whereas Bride generated the impact rating by "simple multiplication", Pric calculated its rating by dividing the results by 3.72 and subtracting the number you first thought of.

Mr Thudd went on to say that his team would now be turning their attention to measuring the length of a piece of string.

'I'm backing Hefce' - Odgers

Ted Odgers of our Department of Media and Cultural Studies has issued a strong defence of Hefce after it declared in its annual report that its role as "an effective broker" between universities and the government "risks being compromised".

He told The Poppletonian that the consequences of such a development were "almost too horrible to contemplate".

"Imagine a state of affairs in which Hefce passed on instructions from government about which courses and research should be financially supported. Imagine a state of affairs in which Hefce were required by government to make universities increasingly defer to the nebulous needs of the economy rather than to the integrity of intellectual enquiry. I mean - just imagine."

Thought for the Week

(contributed by Jennifer Doubleday, Head of Personal Development)

"After a number of requests, please note that this Friday's seminar on 'Tackling Unhealthy Obsessions' will be followed by a special screening of edited highlights from the England-Algeria game."

lolsoc@dircon.co.uk.

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