We relish 'dog's breakfast': shock claim

February 10, 2011

Our thrusting Director of Corporate Affairs, Jamie Targett, has responded in positive terms to the recent assertion by John Denham, the former universities minister, that the present government's higher education policy is "a dog's breakfast".

Targett agreed that universities currently had absolutely no idea how to price their courses and not the foggiest notion of what might be the "exceptional circumstances" that allow for higher fees and not the remotest indication of what criteria might be used to determine "fair access" and not even the vaguest conception of how student places might be allocated from 2012-13. However, in his view this situation was ideally suited to his ever-expanding team.

"In the past few years," said Targett, "Poppleton managers have demonstrated a consistent capacity to face both ways at the same time, base decisions on little or no evidence and prefer expediency to forethought. These are the ideal qualities demanded by the current situation. After all, if anyone can be trusted to sort out a dog's breakfast, it is surely those incumbent senior managers who have over the years fully demonstrated their capacity for producing a dog's dinner."

Inching ahead

In an exclusive interview with The Poppletonian, our Head of English and Related Studies, Dr F.R. Beavis, who currently tops the university's index of research achievement with a total of 146 peer-reviewed articles published in the past year, has defended the value of her output.

She told our reporter Keith Ponting (30) that she regarded the recent claim by Eric Barendt, emeritus professor at University College London, that academics were now solely publishing "safe scholarly articles that...only move the argument forward an inch" as "dangerously philistine".

She instanced her own recent article in the British Journal of Comparative Esoteric Marginalia on the role of breakfast in the works of Jane Austen. While earlier research had focused on Austen's depiction of post-hunting and normal breakfasts, her work broke new ground by considering the significance of wedding breakfasts.

Asked to estimate the size of her contribution, Dr Beavis confessed to having some difficulty measuring size but believed, after consultation with her new partner, that it amounted to "a good six inches".

Alphabetically speaking - we're OK

"What's in a name?" That was the question being asked around our campus after the announcement by our Head of Logo Development, Roger Placement, that his committee was considering a proposal to readjust the name of this university.

Placement admitted that the proposal was "partly prompted" by the recent suggestion, from John Hearn and Alan Robson in Times Higher Education, that the present fallibilities of university rankings tables might mean that "alphabetical ranking would furnish more rational results".

While denying that his committee was in any way "acting expediently", Placement agreed that the views of these two provided "some warrant" for the current suggestion that our institution might henceforth be rebadged as "Abba Dabba Dabba Poppleton University".

Thought for the Week

(contributed by Jennifer Doubleday, Head of Personal Development)

"I very much regret that in last week's homeopathic recipe for alleviating suicidal thoughts about the future of the university, the quantity of belladonna in the therapeutic essence was mistakenly given as one gallon."


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