Your 2012 resolution: don't make one

January 5, 2012

Our thrusting Director of Corporate Affairs, Jamie Targett, has reminded all academic staff that the making of New Year's resolutions is a violation of official university policy.

He told our reporter Keith Ponting (30) that resolutions were essentially "a prerogative of management, where they are more precisely known as 'strategic objectives'"

In response to further questioning from Mr Ponting, Mr Targett pointed out "the grave danger that a personal resolution about realising an academic ambition in the coming year might turn out to be in fundamental conflict with strategic restructuring imperatives".

"What on earth is the point of resolving to write a major new book", he asked, "when you might well be out on your ear in less time than it takes to say 'David Willetts'"

Wake up and smell the Smev

According to Kirk Swavely, our Head of External Relations, Poppleton is in line to become one of the most valuable universities in the UK as a result of its high Smev rating.

Swavely told The Poppletonian that the concept of Smev ("socially modified economic valuation") had been developed by Iain McNicoll, emeritus professor at the University of Strathclyde, and Ursula Kelly, an independent consultant. It referred to all those university "outputs" not captured by financial analysis, such as a free one-hour public lecture.

If 80 people attended such a lecture (and with the value of leisure time estimated by the Department for Transport at £4.46 per person), its Smev value would be £356.80. If it were delivered to poor people, an "equity social weighting" would push the Smev to between £405 and £442.

Mr Swavely pointed out that all public lectures given by Poppleton staff were now free following survey evidence that no one would dream of paying to attend one. When this was set alongside further survey evidence that the majority of attendees had been attracted less by the subject matter and more by the "need to get out of the cold", it was clear that the Smev rating for such Poppleton events would be higher still.

Mr Swavely also believed that our Smev might be further enhanced by the vice-chancellor's "brave decision" to distribute the small amount of Christmas cake left over from the recent Board of Governors meeting to a specially recruited group of town beggars.

To those that have

Concerns about the failure of our university to secure any donations at all during the past two years have been dismissed as "unwarranted" by Les Onions, the head of our ever-expanding Fundraising Department.

Mr Onions pointed out that the lack of donations was very much in line with the recent report from private banking house Coutts, which shows that the amount given to universities in £1 million-plus donations almost halved in 2009-10.

It would, claimed Mr Onions, be "statistically invalid" to see any link between this dramatic reduction in donations and the equally dramatic increase in the number of fundraising staff currently employed in higher education.

He insisted that "all sorts of other things" would need to be taken into account before any such "causal link" could be entertained, although "for the life of him" he couldn't think of any at the moment.

Thought for the Week

(contributed by Jennifer Doubleday, Head of Personal Development)

Worried about those extra pounds? Fancy fighting the post-festive flab?

Then why not join one of our Weightlosers groups? This year we'll be following the brand-new UUK Diet:

Swallow everything that is put in front of you and then complain afterwards that your gulpability has been misrepresented.

lolsoc@dircon.co.uk.

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