Our thrusting Director of Corporate Affairs, Jamie Targett, has enthusiastically backed the recent assertion by Sheila Gupta, Human Resources Director at the University of Edinburgh, that it is vital to "win the hearts and minds" of those academics who continue to identify more readily with their faculty than their "overall institution".
"For far too long," declared Targett, "academics have gone around campus calling themselves physicists or biologists or psychologists rather than Poppletonians."
Targett went on to outline a number of new measures that would "promote enhanced institutional identification". These included the removal of departmental "signs of affiliation", such as the large picture of Kant in the Philosophy atrium, which will now be replaced by a recent portrait in oils of the Vice-Chancellor.
He was quick, however, to deny rumours that all future departmental meetings would be preceded by a singing of the new University of Poppleton anthem (see below).
Horses for courses
It was confirmed last week by Janet Fluellen, our Director of Curriculum Development, that the University of Poppleton would shortly be following in the footsteps of Glyndwr University (formerly the North East Wales Institute of Higher Education) and offering a new foundation degree course in equestrian psychology.
Speaking to our reporter, Keith Ponting (30), Ms Fluellen said that "equine behaviour was an expanding field" and that she expected a strong field of applicants. She added that she had not yet fully made up her mind on whether or not horses themselves might be considered for a place on the new course but added that "obviously if a gifted one comes along, then we wouldn't want to look it in the mouth".
Another psychology first
Doctor Fritz Itzig of our Psychology Department was on Radio Poppleton last week discussing his study of "niceness".
In this study, eight students were instructed to "be nice" to students they encountered in the laboratory, while another eight were instructed to remain neutral. Results showed that students who displayed "niceness" were statistically more likely to be rated as "nice people" than those who remained neutral. Doctor Itzig described the results as confirmation that "being nice" led people to believe you were "nice". He told listeners that his future research would investigate the relationship between smiling and attributions of happiness.
That anthem in full
On! Straight on!
On, Poppletonian, On!
Keen alike in work and play
Keen right thro' the hottest day
Keen until your hair turns grey
On, Poppletonian, On!
Thought for the week
(contributed by Jennifer Doubleday, Head of Personal Development)
Although I like to find my own "thoughts" for this little column, I couldn't help being struck by a "thought" I came across in a recent edition of the excellent human resources journal People Management. This "thought" came from Jonathan Austin, the Chief Executive of Best Companies. Here it is:
"It is said that leadership is like a tea bag - you don't know how good it is until it is in hot water"