The more, the merrier

March 18, 2010

Our university has announced that it will be following in the steps of the University of Sussex and employing extra staff to handle the current round of redundancies.

Speaking to The Poppletonian, Louise Bimpson, Corporate Director of our Human Resources Department, said that although the university had recently carried out a "radical overhaul of the internal organisational protocols for terminating academics", members of her staff found themselves "overwhelmed" by the current situation.

"Just look at the facts," said Ms Bimpson. "We are currently restructuring and rightsizing over 389 existing posts. In each case a member of my staff has to explain to the redundant academic that they are standing on the threshold of a new beginning and need to regard tomorrow as the first day of the rest of their life. That simply isn't the sort of message that any self-respecting member of the human resources profession can get through in less than 10 minutes."

Poppleton will also be employing extra staff to organise leaving parties, clear newly empty offices, sell off redundant academic gowns and reallocate freed-up bicycle shed spaces.

HEA today: gone tomorrow?

The University of Poppleton's annual subscription to the funds of the Higher Education Academy will not be affected by the recently published report on the HEA by its ex-chief, Paul Ramsden.

Speaking to Keith Ponting (30), our Director of Corporate Affairs, Jamie Targett, acknowledged the salience of the comments on the organisation made by its outgoing leader.

It did appear that the HEA was, in Professor Ramsden's words, "inconsistent in performance" and "duplicated functions" and produced "poor material". It also appeared to be viewed as "conservative, self-seeking" and "inward-looking". One also had to take into account Professor Ramsden's view that the HEA might have "far too many subject areas" and that its current York centre was not "a necessity". There was also Professor Ramsden's argument that the HEA was "trying to do too much" and the contention that "it was inefficient and possibly rather old-fashioned" and that there was only "minimal control over subject areas" and "that it was difficult to secure consistent and entire organisational focus on any priority".

Justifying his decision, Targett said that Poppleton had "a long and proud record of supporting large-scale inefficient organisations" and he saw no reason to alter this policy because of Professor Ramsden's "minor cavils".

Identity fraud?

Professor Kelvin Dipole of our Chemistry Department for Business has denied that he was the academic described by a 12-year-old child in the recent Times Higher Education study of children's images of universities and their staff.

Dipole admitted that he did indeed have "big hair and a white coat" and spent much of his time "pouring stuff into beakers". He also agreed under questioning by The Poppletonian that he was "very old and scary and just a little bit crazy". But he pointed out that, contrary to the portrait, he did "not live alone".

Thought for the week

(contributed by Jennifer Doubleday, Head of Personal Development)

"Please note that next Thursday's seminar on the power of lateral thinking will take place outside the box."

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