"We're hoping to send at least a couple of coachloads."
That was the enthusiastic response of Gerald Thudd, our Head of Research Impact, to the news that the London School of Economics will be hosting a conference dedicated to academic impact on 13 June.
Mr Thudd said that he was particularly looking forward to the advertised sessions on "Measuring the Impact of Impact" and "Measuring the Impact of the Previous Session on Measuring the Impact of Impact".
He also welcomed the news that a special breakout session would provide all delegates to the conference with an opportunity to discuss the cut, style, colour and general appearance of the emperor's new clothes.
Two hundred courses to go
Our thrusting Director of Corporate Affairs, Jamie Targett, has announced the closure of more than 200 undergraduate courses that are deemed to lack "pig employment-related content".
In his letter of explanation, Targett points out that it is now more important than ever that Poppleton develops its niche reputation as "a purveyor of vocationally oriented pork product learning experiences".
"In years to come," he writes, "we will look back with amazement to the time when our university actually taught subjects with such long-forgotten non-employment-related names as 'philosophy', 'English literature' and 'history'."
He was, however, quick to deny the rumour that the university might change its title to the Pig University of Poppleton. This, he believed, might create serious problems if the institution decided at some later date to shift its academic focus towards such other up-and-coming intellectual orientations as Hedge Fund Management or Jam Making for Pleasure and Profit.
Thought for the Week
(contributed by Jennifer Doubleday, Head of Personal Development)
Poppleton will be following the University of Warwick's lead and sharing its key services with other universities. Current students of Chinese philosophy should therefore note that the Yang of their Yin Yang course will now be located in the City University of Poppleton (formerly The Mechanics Institute).
Where to, Guv?
A social survey carried out by our Department of Pig Studies (formerly Sociology) has raised serious doubts about the contention of Chris Brink, the vice-chancellor of Newcastle University, that the "taxi-driver test" might be a better way of measuring the success of a university than league tables or bureaucratic benchmarks.
The Brink test involves taking a taxi into town from the station or airport, announcing your destination as the university and then waiting to see if the taxi driver knows anything about the work carried out by the institution.
However, in the Poppleton survey, more than 90 per cent of the sampled taxi drivers doubted if most of the university's occupants "would know the meaning of a good day's work if it bit them on the leg". Nearly 80 per cent believed that the only concrete benefit the university might bestow on the town would be the immediate conversion of its present site into a Tesco Superstore.
A further 3 per cent claimed to have had "a Professor Lapping" in the back of their cab and having had to call for assistance at the end of the journey in order to remove him from its confines.