Our Head of the Department of Media and Cultural Studies, Professor Gordon Lapping, has reacted angrily to insinuations that the BA course P3197 run by his department is a Mickey Mouse degree.
Lapping told our reporter Keith Ponting (30) that P3197 was exactly as stated in the Ucas handbook, an academic course devoted entirely to the work of Donald Duck.
Indeed, he understood from the senior tutor on the course that a significant part of the syllabus was devoted to showing that Mickey Mouse was unworthy of any detailed academic study precisely because he was a bland, all-purpose mouse who lacked the complex greed, abiding arrogance and constant readiness to strike back at enemies that were the essential personality characteristics of Donald Duck.
Professor Lapping described Ponting's further request for his views on Goofy as "facetious".
Isn't it a bleeding shame!
More than three of our leading academics have signed a letter to David Willetts, the universities and science minister, lamenting the revelation in his recent article in Times Higher Education that "our White Paper was going to have a chapter on the value of the university but it ended up on the cutting-room floor".
As spokesperson for the group, Mr Ted Odgers of the Department of Media and Cultural Studies, said that this lost chapter would come, in time, to resemble the loss sustained "by the burning of the great library of Alexandria" - posterity would never have a chance to learn how a chapter on the value of the university could have found a place in a White Paper whose recommendations so determinedly sought to undermine the existence of that very attribute.
Mr Odgers is generally on the left of things.
A new private function
Shock waves ran through our university last week after Sir Hartley Grossman, the Managing Director of Poppleton Pork Products, announced that he was opening a new private degree-conferring college in Poppleton of which he would be chief executive.
He explained that this institution would be named Trough College as an explicit nod to its porcine origins and to the opportunities it provided for backers to secure a modest return on their investments.
Although Sir Hartley acknowledged the current local supremacy of Poppleton University, he believed that Trough College enjoyed some significant advantages. It would be able to secure lots of student loans, take in as many students as it fancied, be absolutely safe from Quality Assurance Agency inspection and free to devote itself to moneymaking degrees.
Sir Hartley admitted that there were also "personal reasons" behind his action. He said he had been "moved" by the knowledge that he could expect regular friendly meetings with David Willetts, the universities and science minister, like those enjoyed by other private providers such as Pearson (six meetings since May 2010). He also agreed that he had been "mildly influenced" by the news that the chief executive of BPP Holdings and principal of private for-profit BPP University College received an emolument of £738,000 in 2009-10.
Sir Hartley was, however, anxious to deny rumours that he had informally described the pleasure afforded by his new role as comparable to that enjoyed by pigs in excrement.
Thought for the week
(contributed by Jennifer Doubleday, Head of Personal Development)
Please note that "the good selection of sandwiches" advertised as an accompaniment to the seminar on "Living without Gluten" is for demonstration and not refreshment.