Academic staff were shocked to learn this week that our university's highly rated Department of Women's Studies was to close down at the end of this academic year.
Head of department Doctor Janet Tomelty blamed the decision on falling applications but declared that "this was a sad day for everyone who has taught and studied on the course". She went on to praise the department's distinguished publication record, which included Phallic Fantasies (1973), Blinding the Male Gaze (1974) and the controversial 2007 research paper "Some minor reservations about lap dancing".
Speaking to The Poppletonian from his mobile, our vice-chancellor was upbeat about the decision. "I regard the closure of the entire department as an indication of its success in establishing the importance of women in our university going forward. Women have come a long way. Only recently, for example, I considered the pay currently enjoyed by the 236 professors in this university. I was delighted to discover no evidence at all of discrimination against our female professors. Both of them were well within the median pay range."
But might the closure of the Women's Studies department suggest to the outside world that women were now less significant at Poppleton? "Certainly not," retorted the vice-chancellor. "You only have to look around the campus to see their continuing importance. Where, for example, would I be without Mrs Dilworth?"
It's Open Day next week on the Poppleton campus. We asked our distinguished Poet-in-Residence, Carol Jane Murphy, to pen some lines in celebration. Here is her offering:
Fling open the gates of Academe!
Summon the public to the scene!
This is the day when one and all
Can see our campus standing tall.
View our Science Park, visit our stalls
Meet our dons and tour our Halls
Sample our Catering Officer's meals
Marvel at our undergraduate deals.
Shake hands with professors of renown
Touch their ermine, feel their gown
Meet and greet our new v-c
Open Day is here. Whoopee!
(Carol's latest collection of poems is currently out of print.)
Doctor Tony Swets from our Psychology Department seeks subjects for his ongoing research project on binocularity. He is currently looking for 24 middle-aged heterosexual males of social class AB with only one functioning eye. Sounds like you? You'll find Tony on Swets56@poppleton.ac.uk
Congratulations to our very own Ted Odgers, long-serving lecturer in the Department of Media and Cultural Studies. Ted has just learnt that he is this year's winner of the Proudhon Prize for contributions to Anarcho-Syndicalism. Ted was typically modest when asked if the prize would make a difference to his academic career. "No, not really. I still intend to go on working as a wage slave until the final overthrow of capitalism."
(Well done, Ted. Thoroughly deserved. Ed.)
A Special Valentine's Day Thought for the Week
(contributed by Jenifer Doubleday, Head of Personal Development)
Shall I compare thee to a summer's day? Thou art more lovely and more
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