Our thrusting Director of Corporate Affairs, Jamie Targett, has announced that Poppleton will be paying "no attention whatsoever" to recent research from the University of Madrid, which shows that including women on selection committees for senior professional posts improves female candidates' chances of success.
Although Targett admitted that the current 48 to 1 ratio of male to female professors at Poppleton "could be seen as verging on the high side", he disputed the idea that this disparity had anything to do with the university's selection procedures.
He could personally recall several instances in which an all-male interview panel had "gone out of its way" to comment favourably on female applicants without necessarily going so far as to recommend their appointment.
Targett also pointed out that female academics were "more likely" than their male colleagues to have a range of outside interests such as cooking and child-minding. He believed that to burden them with further duties might be tantamount to discrimination.
Gissa job, lose the fat
It seems that our prestigious BA in Pork Studies may be set for the chop. According to Janet Fluellen, our Director of Curriculum Development, there is a danger that the title of the degree may not be sufficiently "job-oriented" to attract the growing number of university applicants looking for purely vocational degrees.
She told our reporter Keith Ponting (30) that although the theoretical and analytical content of the degree was largely confined to the one-term second-year course on Pigs in History and Literature, she still felt that this "sent off the wrong signals".
It had therefore been decided that the present "overgeneralised" Pig Studies degree would be replaced by honours courses in Heavy Duty Sausage Stuffing, Reducing Egg Glaze Waste in Pork Pie Manufacturing and Pork Belly Injection in Bacon Production.
Fluellen denied that this extra specialisation would be "narrow-minded". She assured Ponting that all students on the specialised sausage, pie and bacon degrees would be required to attend at least one wholly "pig-oriented" course.
Thought for the Week
(contributed by Jennifer Doubleday, Head of Personal Development)
Here's a little cheer-up quote for all those who find themselves horizontally challenged after the Yuletide indulgence:
"Your stomach shouldn't be a waist basket."
More of a mouthful
"Really exciting news!" That was the reaction of Mike Leverage, our Deputy Head of Quality Assurance, to the latest developments at the Quality Assurance Agency.
Leverage was referring to the QAA's decision to cease using the term "academic infrastructure" to describe the "reference points that institutions use to set, explain and assure the quality of their courses".
He told The Poppletonian that he agreed with the general view that the term was "obscure and misleading" and welcomed the QAA's proposal to rename the process "UK code of practice for standards, quality and enhancement of higher education".
He noted that the deadline for responses to the change was 1 March and hoped that all concerned academics would vote in favour. "I think", he added, "that all those who are familiar with the work of the QAA in raising standards of form-filling in recent years would concur with the idea that there could be no better way of recognising its endeavours than the bestowal of a longer name."