Stop asking silly questions

January 6, 2011

Janet Fluellen, our Director of Curriculum Development, has announced that Poppleton will "definitely not" be following the example of the University of Winchester and introducing a new degree in liberal arts.

Speaking to The Poppletonian, Ms Fluellen said that she had carefully studied the arguments used by Winchester's Nigel Tubbs in his promotion of such a degree.

"It was quite alarming", she said, "to find this distinguished professor of philosophical and educational thought suggesting that students needed answers to such fundamental questions as 'Why am I here?' Let's face it. Any serious student at Poppleton knows perfectly well why they are here. They are here because without significantly better A levels they couldn't possibly be anywhere else."

Ms Fluellen also dismissed the contention that a liberal arts degree would enable students to take an active part in society. "If taking an active part in society leads to such disgraceful actions as the recent student occupation of our vice-chancellor's private wine cellar then frankly the less we have of it, the better."

Divide and rule

Professor Gordon Lapping, the Head of our Department of Media and Cultural Studies and editor of The British Journal of Morecambe and Wise Studies, has vigorously defended his publisher's decision to replace the present journal with two new titles: The British Journal of Eric Morecambe Studies and The British Journal of Ernie Wise Studies.

"Quite frankly," Lapping told our reporter Keith Ponting (30), "the present peer-reviewed journal has proved far too broad-ranging to accommodate such specialised topics as the plays of Ernie Wise and the Eric Morecambe routine with the paper bag."

He added that there was "an important epistemological relation-ship between the growth in the number of ever more specialised peer-reviewed journals and the increasing availability of ever more specialised research papers". He denied, however, that there were any plans for the subdivision of such other peer-reviewed cultural journals under his editorship as the British Journal of Little and Large or The Quarterly Journal of Peter, Paul and Mary.

Thought for the Week

(contributed by Jennifer Doubleday, Head of Personal Development)

"A New Year's resolution is something that goes in one year and out the other."

An apple for the teacher?

"Let's keep a sense of perspective." That was the reaction of our Director of Corporate Affairs, Jamie Targett, to the suggestion by the Higher Education Academy that universities should favour promotion policies that encourage "good teachers".

Although Targett insisted that he had "nothing against teaching" and "fully recognised that it had some part to play in any modern university going forward", he believed that it must continue to take its proper place alongside such other essential university functions as estate management and logo development.

Targett also denounced the HEA suggestion that university teachers should have their teaching observed "more than once". He believed that this proposal not only constituted an "invasion of privacy" but might also prove "seriously inhibiting" to the several hundred totally untrained and seriously underpaid postgraduate students who currently carried out the bulk of the university's teaching functions.

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