Laurie Taylor – 2 July 2015

The official weekly newsletter of the University of Poppleton. Finem respice!

July 2, 2015
Buckner building, Whittier, Alaska
Source: Alamy
Polytechnics: time for revival?

Return of the repressed

Poppleton dons have reacted very positively to the news that Jo Johnson, the universities and science minister, may revive the polytechnic model for vocational degrees.

Dr Mike “Buffy” Bufton from our Department of Neoliberal Economics said that the return of the polytechnics could only have a positive effect on university academics who, for many years, had been deprived of the one critical phrase that had allowed them to endure their rapidly deteriorating position within a university: “At least we don’t work in a poly.”

All must have prizes

Our Head of Mark Adjustment, Dr K. T. Rounding Upwards, has responded angrily to the suggestion that the results of this year’s finals examinations at Poppleton provide disturbing evidence of “grade drift”.

Dr Upwards conceded that the number of first-class degrees awarded this year represented a 22 per cent increase on last year’s record figures but attributed this to the improved pedagogic abilities of the several hundred zero-hour contract graduate assistants who were now wholly responsible for Poppleton’s undergraduate tuition.

He did, however, agree that his office had had some initial concern about the 94 first-class degrees awarded this year by the Department of English and Related Studies as this figure was difficult to reconcile with the news that only 54 students had been entered for the final examinations.

However, careful investigation revealed that there had been so many firsts and starred firsts and double-starred firsts among the finalists in English and Related Studies that “extra excellence” could be shown only by the award of a significant number of double-starred double firsts. Dr Upwards said he trusted that this news “now clarified the situation”.

The Poppletonian, Facebook

Friends united

“It’s important to avail ourselves of the opportunity offered by the new social media.”

That was how one of our leading academics, Professor Gordon Lapping of the Department of Media and Cultural Studies, explained his decision to follow in the footsteps of the significant number of US academics who claimed in a survey to be published in the journal The Internet and Higher Education that they used Facebook as a way of directly engaging with their students.

Lapping admitted that he had also followed the lead of many US academics by sharing detailed personal information with his new student “friends”.

However, The Poppletonian can now reveal that a significant number of Professor Lapping’s contacts on Facebook have recently removed him from their list of “likes”. Several gave their reasons online:

Thought for the week

(contributed by Jennifer Doubleday, Head of Personal Development)

Worried that you might make a remark at an overseas conference that could lead to your instant dismissal from a university post? Then why not try our specially formulated rubber-coated mouth gag with retaining strap. Apply in the usual way, marking your application “Shades of UCL”.

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