Must try harder
“It is very disappointing news for all those who care about the future of university administration going forward.”
That was the reaction of Jamie Targett, our Director of Corporate Affairs, to the declaration from the University and College Union that Aberystwyth University was being run “like a dictatorship”.
Targett said that he thought Aberystwyth might well take lessons from Poppleton, which had long since shrugged off the accusation of being “like a dictatorship” and gone on to become a fully fledged despotic autocracy.
In Targett’s view, Aberystwyth still appeared to be stuck at the “like a dictatorship” stage because of its record on staff employment.
“I understand”, he told The Poppletonian, “that since the new vice-chancellor took over in 2011, only 11 members of staff have been suspended and only 13 have had their employment terminated. Even though this is accompanied by some evidence from UCU about the suspended staff not being granted due process, this is still poor going by the standards of a modern university with aspirations to become fully totalitarian.”
You make me feel brand new
Our Deputy Head of Brand Management, Georgina Edsel, has launched a biting attack on the distinguished cultural historian Professor Fred Inglis.
Ms Edsel, who provided much of the creative input behind Poppleton’s recent decision to brand itself as the university “Where Great Minds Like a Think”, told our reporter Keith Ponting (30) that she thought Professor Inglis’ article on branding in Times Higher Education was “grossly misleading”.
“It’s quite clear”, she told Ponting, “that Professor Inglis believes branding is all about image rather than substance. Nothing could be further from the truth. Brand is a shorthand way to represent substance. What Professor Inglis should realise is that he has himself achieved brand recognition. When people see the name Fred Inglis they know immediately what to expect. Think of the time this saves. No one now need bother with his learned references to R. G. Collingwood, Charles Taylor or Jonathan Swift, or with his devastating examples of the absurd marketing speak used by King’s College London, Birmingham, Durham or Queen Mary, or with his extended argument about how the life of a university has been reduced to a transaction with customers. They no more need to go to all this trouble than they need to enquire further about the wood-staining properties of Ronseal. Fred Inglis does exactly what it says on the tin.” She said she hoped this clarified the situation.
Laugh? I nearly died
An ambulance raced to our Department of Media and Cultural Studies yesterday following an emergency call explaining that departmental head Professor G. Lapping had collapsed with laughter after reading some of the examination howlers collected from this year’s final papers by his fellow members of staff.
Another departmental member, Dr Derek Quintock, explained that Lapping had been enormously amused by the students’ inability to understand most of what they had been taught during the past three years. He said he very much sympathised with Lapping’s reaction. “Quite honestly, when you read some of the nonsense these students write, all you can really do is sit back and have a damned good laugh at their expense.”
Thought for the week
(contributed by Jennifer Doubleday, Head of Personal Development)
“Please note that next week’s seminar on Homeopathic Cures will not be contaminated by even the teeniest injection of reason.”