Suggestions that there might be “parallels” between the language used to postgraduate student complainants by the Dean of Swansea University’s School of Management and the reproof issued by our Head Gardener to the dogs that routinely trespass on the university management’s croquet lawn have been vigorously denied by Jamie Targett, our Director of Corporate Affairs.
Targett pointed out that while Nigel Piercy’s responses to his research students’ complaints had been deemed “unsupportive”, “inappropriate” and “unsettling” by Steve Wilks, the Swansea pro vice-chancellor designate, they lacked “the special character” of our Head Gardener’s vocabulary.
For whereas Professor Piercy had merely rejected every one of the postgraduate student complaints about the School of Management by suggesting that they either did not “rate high on an independent thinking criterion”, contained “political value judgements” or were about budget matters that had “nothing to do with PGR students”, he had at no time described his students as “a bunch of whingeing curs who deserve a bloody good kicking”.
Mr Targett said he hoped this “now clarified the distinction”.
HE & me
Sir Gerald Buffet is the former chairman and managing director of Very Deep African Copper Mines plc and past president of the International Higher Education Institute of International Higher Education Institutes. This week, he takes up his brand-new unelected post on the Council of Poppleton University.
When and where were you born?
I’m sorry, but could you speak up a little?
How has this shaped you?
I’ve always been more or less this shape.
How do you see your role in relation to the overall development of higher education?
Well, if you force me to choose, I’d probably have to go for Brief Encounter, particularly that final scene where she goes back home and he smokes his pipe contentedly.
Have you ever had a eureka moment?
Well, in the early days I certainly did try for one with Mrs Buffet, but sadly it was not to be.
What do you do nowadays for fun?
Well, certainly not Mrs Buffet.
What was your most memorable moment at university?
That would be the moment when someone explained to me when I was up at Oxford that some people not only didn’t go to Oxford but, believe it or not, didn’t go to university at all. From that moment on, I decided that I would dedicate myself to the task of sitting on a wide variety of national and international education committees.
…in the hope of eventually being able to contribute to extending diversity in higher education?
I’m so sorry, but you’ll have to speak up a little.
Thank you for talking to HE & Me.
Not at all. It was a great pleasure to meet both of you.
Thought for the week
(contributed by Jennifer Doubleday, Head of Personal Development)
Several members of staff have queried the repetitive references to shepherds, donkeys and wise men in the emailed outline of this week’s special Xmas seminar on Anger Management. I must apologise for any misunderstanding. The seminar should, of course, have been billed as Manger Management.