A game of two halves
“We’ve got the beating of Gary Neville.”
That was how Brian Merger, our Head of University Expansion, introduced Poppleton’s decision to emulate Mr Neville’s University Academy ’92 by setting up a new university in alliance with Liverpool Football Club.
Mr Merger said that he hoped that this venture, provisionally entitled Steven Gerrard 2005, would soon follow in the footsteps of Mr Neville’s UA92, and receive the Department for Education’s approval to call itself a fully fledged university.
Academic appointments for Steven Gerrard 2005 were “still in the pipeline” but there were high hopes that faculty members would include Mr Kenneth Dalglish (striker and vice-chancellor), Mr James Carragher (Head of English), Mr Robert Fowler (special responsibility for dealing with the REF) and Mr Luis Suárez (Acting Head of Dentistry).
How confident was Mr Merger that the DfE would validate our new university?
“Well, it’s a big ask. But we’ve seen them given and although it’s still early doors, there’s everything to play for. After all, at the end of the day, it’s a results business and we’re very much in it for the long haul.”
Because we're worth it
Suggestions that our university might be among those to be named this week as having breached the advertising code by using impermissible language have been dismissed by our Head of Marketing, Graham Flair.
Mr Flair agreed that there were “superficial affinities” between Liverpool John Moores University describing itself as “University of the Year” on the basis of winning the title in the Educate North Awards and our own university’s use of the same title after a majority vote at the Poppleton Rotary Club. However, he insisted that Poppleton’s other claim to be “in the same league as Harvard” was readily verifiable by anyone with access to the Times Higher Education World University Rankings.
Our vice-chancellor has praised Sir Anton Muscatelli, the vice-chancellor of the University of Glasgow for the “courageous manner” in which he has rejected the suggestion that vice-chancellors redress popular criticism of the huge size of their emoluments by taking a voluntary pay cut.
He told our reporter Keith Ponting (30) that he very much took Sir Anton’s view that accepting any cut in his gross salary would be nothing more than “gesture politics”.
He described Ponting’s suggestion that such vice-chancellors as Sir Anton (£322,000), Dame Glynis Breakwell (Bath, £451,000) and David Eastwood (Birmingham, £426,000) had already engaged in “gesture politics” by offering a fulsome V-sign to their many critics as “tendentious”.
Will you join the dance?
Our university has announced that it will not only immediately implement the University of Hertfordshire’s forward-looking practice of staging a “mock research excellence framework” but also complement this with a round of “mock redundancies”.
Under this new procedure, academics who fail to fulfil their minimum research quota would be required to attend a specially constituted mock disciplinary hearing at which they would be forcibly reminded of the advantages of immediate early retirement.
Any suggestion that this procedure might result in arbitrary dismissals was dismissed by Jennifer Doubleday, our Head of Personal Development, who insisted that the proceedings would be strictly conducted “according to the well-established tenets of mock justice”.