We shall not be moved!

January 15, 2009

Happiness is an academic job at Poppleton. That is the conclusion to be drawn from the recent joint report from the Universities and Colleges Employers Association and Universities UK on staff turnover in UK universities.

Whereas the national academic turnover rate in 2008 was a very modest 6 per cent, at Poppleton this fell to just under 0.2 per cent. Not only did no permanent members of staff leave last year but six members of staff who took early retirement were still sleeping rough around the campus.

"This is a great testament to staff loyalty," declared Louise Bimpson, our Corporate Director of Human Resources. "Once staff have become Poppleton people, they're quite literally unable to move anywhere else."

Ms Bimpson denied the suggestion by our reporter, Keith Ponting (30), that this low academic staff turnover meant that the university suffered from a lack of new blood. "This is simply untrue. Our academic staff may be static, but the university is regularly refreshed by the arrival of new members of my human resources team."

Message from the Editor

Who can believe that it is only a year since the launch of this newsletter? In those exciting 12 months we've brought you a number of "scoops":

Head of English denounces Mrs Gaskell (February 2008)
Psychology Professor mauled by his own rats (March 2008)

Vice-Chancellor in massage parlour denial (May, June and September 2008)

We've also carried in-depth no-holds-barred interviews with the Assistant Deputy Head of the QAA and the person who recently came joint fourth in the Universities UK election.

Meanwhile our columnists Jennifer Doubleday (Thought for the Week) and Roger Dibbs (A Funny Thing Happened While I Was Walking Round Campus Last Week) have gone from strength to strength.

But we're not resting on our laurels. In the year ahead we'll have a new column, Toadstools for Pleasure and Profit, by our Head of Alternative Medicine, a Where Are They Now? feature on Committed Scholars, and a new series on the university's forgotten Nooks and Crannies (next week: the Library).

Yes, that's your newsletter. Putting the Pop into Poppleton!

New Year Honours at Poppleton

We were all delighted to learn of the award of an OBE in the New Year Honours List to Bill Rummel, the senior porter at David Lammy College, for services to university portering. Bill, who joined us in the 1970s when the university was the Poppleton Evening Institute for Joined-Up Writing, told The Poppletonian that he'd seen many changes in portering practice over the years. "Gone are the days when you could deal with difficult students by giving them a good belt with the walking stick we kept in the lodge. Now you have to send them to that woman with the floral frock in counselling."

Thought for the Week

(contributed by Jennifer Doubleday, Head of Personal Development)

I'm delighted to say that this term's Anger Management course is now so over-subscribed that we will have to shift the venue from Seminar Room 26 to the Lehman Brothers concert hall. Meanwhile here's a helpful little thought for all those who failed to get on the course this time round:

Anger is one letter short of danger.

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