Last Tuesday was a very special day for our university's "teaching only" staff. In the early morning, over 400 "only" dons climbed aboard the specially laid-on executive coaches and set off for what organiser Jamie Targett, Head of Corporate Development, described as "a celebration of the contribution that 'teaching only' staff make to the university going forward".
After a buffet lunch at the recently refurbished Viking Bide-a-While Motel, the well-fed dons retired to the Blood-Axe conference suite where the assembled company was treated to a presentation on leadership by top motivational speaker Arthur Dick, who recently became the first man to reach the summit of Ben Nevis on a unicycle. Dick explained to his audience how the lessons he'd learnt from cycling pointlessly up and down mountains on a unicycle could readily be applied to daily life at Poppleton University.
After Dick's presentation, the 400 "teaching only" delegates were divided into 40 separate "task groups". Each group was allocated a pair of scissors, an elastic band, two coat hangers and a domestic frying pan and asked to make a working model of the Forth Bridge.
Our reporter Keith Ponting (29) asked Targett about the possibility of such an exciting awayday being created for those "teaching only" academics who had recently been designated "maintenance only". Targett assured him that the idea would be carefully considered. "Now that more and more academics are becoming 'only' in one way or another, it is important to show them that 'only does not mean lonely'."
EMPLOYEE OF THE MONTH
We are pleased to announce that January's employee of the month was Maureen, departmental secretary in the Department of Media and Cultural Studies. Maureen was given the award for what the judges described as her special ability to handle a complex administrative workload that would normally be considered appropriate for someone on at least three times her present salary. Maureen was obviously delighted with the news. As she told our reporter Keith Ponting (29): "What better reward could there possibly be for all my hard work over the past 20 years than the sight of an old photo of myself hanging outside the porters' lodge?"