In a shock move, the governors of our university have revoked the honorary doctorate that was bestowed upon the minister for science and universities, David Willetts, shortly after his accession to the post in May 2010.
In a formal statement, the governors explained that this decision had been “regretfully taken” following press revelations that the former minister had been personally implicated in “a historic string of fiddling offences”.
Among these “fiddles” was the “dangerously seductive and totally unrealised promise” that under the new tuition fees regime, higher education institutions would charge the full £9,000 tuition fee only “in exceptional circumstances”.
But the list of “calculated deceptions” committed by our honorary graduate (honoris causa) also included “lengthy and persistent abusive fiddling” with the percentage figures for the repayment of student loans.
In the view of our governors, these offences were particularly heinous as their principal victims were often “the naive and trusting members” of such groups as Universities UK.
In a final paragraph, the governors express their sympathy with all those other gullible figures in higher education whose implicit trust in Mr Willetts has been so tragically violated.
Sighs and whispers
“This now makes perfect sense.”
That was how our Director of Corporate Affairs, Jamie Targett, responded to leaked details of the charges being brought by the University of Warwick against its distinguished professor of English, Thomas Docherty.
Targett told our reporter, Keith Ponting (30), that he had originally been “mildly alarmed” by the range and severity of the sanctions imposed upon Professor Docherty by Warwick. As from January, he had been excluded from the campus, banned from any contact with former colleagues and students, prevented from attending an academic conference on “the increasingly authoritarian nature of universities” and refused permission to write a preface for a new book.
“On the face of it,” Targett admitted, “such an extensive list of prohibitions together with Warwick’s six-month-long failure to make the charges against Professor Docherty explicit might well lead hostile critics to talk rashly of ‘McCarthyism’.
“But”, said Targett, “everything has now changed. Now that we know from the leaks that Professor Docherty not only projected ‘negative body language’ during interviews for a new member of the department but also made ‘ironic’ comments and emitted ‘sighs’, we can only marvel that Warwick has drawn back from the summary execution that such dangerously subversive behaviour would undoubtedly prompt in less progressive institutions of higher education. So, well done, Warwick. Your liberalism is a shining beacon for the whole university sector”.
Thought for the week
(contributed by Jennifer Doubleday, Head of Personal Development)
Following news that a university may be taking action against an academic for making ‘ironic’ comments, we have arranged a special therapeutic session for any Poppleton academic who suspects that they may have been knowingly or unknowingly ironic about any aspect of our university. Mark your application: ‘Our vice-chancellor is worth every penny’.