Who created our University? The argument rages

September 25, 2008

The great evolution versus intelligent design debate surfaced on our campus last week following the publication of the vice-chancellor's letter to new students. In his letter, the v-c repeatedly informed his readers that the present Poppleton University was the product of strategic planning by superior beings in management.

This was too much for Professor K.W. Proudfoot of our Biology for Business Department. In a long article published on his website, he insisted that all the empirical evidence pointed to the critical role of evolution in the formation of the present university. "Only random mutations could possibly explain the appearance and rapid expansion of such previously unknown species as the Employability Strategy Committee and the Centre for Blended and Digitally Enhanced Learning. No one looking at these grotesque new mutations could believe they were the product of intelligent design by anyone, let alone a Supreme Being."

What do you think? Join the debate at Blindwatchmaker.com.

How to make that welcoming speech

Jamie Targett, our Director of Corporate Affairs, has issued a short guide to all heads of department and deans who will be making "welcome" speeches to new students. Here are some edited highlights:

Begin your talk by saying "Congratulations on your choice of university" (avoid references to "clearing")

Continue by stressing the difference between school and university and citing the importance of "self-motivation"

Make frequent use of such phrases as "teething problems" and "inevitable disorientation" to describe the typical reactions of new students

Tell students that they cannot expect to be "molly-coddled"

Avoid substantive references to "teaching". Prefer "individual learning"

Refer to "future employability" rather than "jobs"

As far as possible, avoid the terms "exciting", "ground-breaking" and "world-class"

Conclude your address with: "How you fare at this university will depend entirely upon your own motivation and commitment. Good luck to you all" (avoid "you're going to need it").

University Visitor 'visits' University

Poppleton University's official Visitor, Dame Elizabeth Miles-Platting, paid an unexpected visit to the university last week. She explained to our reporter Keith Ponting (30) that she was not visiting as a 'Visitor' but was only paying the university a visit so that she would be better prepared for the time when she was called upon to visit as a 'Visitor'.

Thought for the Week

(contributed by Jennifer Doubleday, Head of Personal Development)

Yes, this is that special time of year when we welcome another bunch of students. But sometimes our pleasure at seeing all these eager new faces is tempered by slightly darker thoughts such as "oh God, here we go again" or "not another year at the grindstone" or even "there must be more to life than this". So, this little quote is for all those who might be having just such qualms:

Though no one can go back and make a brand-new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand-new ending.

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