Laurie Taylor – 17 May 2018

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

May 17, 2018
murder victim
Source: Alamy
When reconciliation goes wrong

Double trouble

We regret to report the sad loss of one of our senior academics.

According to a police spokesperson, Professor D. K. Mundayne, the head of our department of social psychology, was found lying in a pool of blood in his tutorial office early yesterday morning.

Fears that this might be a double-marking tragedy have been reinforced by reports from a student who was passing the door of Professor Mundayne’s office and heard what sounded like a vigorous argument.

The voices were indistinct, but the student claimed to have heard Professor Mundayne complaining about his colleague’s marking. She recalled two of his more aggressive remarks: “If that’s a 2:1, then I’m Martin Heidegger” and “You’ve already raised three dead-in-the-water lower seconds. Who’s next, Lazarus?”

In the wake of the tragedy, Poppleton’s Director of Corporate Affairs, Jamie Targett, issued the following statement: “Although we obviously regret the daylight murder of any academic colleague, it does seem that in this case Professor Mundayne might have been ill-advisedly attempting to turn back the assessment clock. If further tragedies are to be avoided, it’s essential that all finals markers remember the current academic guidance from our vice-chancellor: ‘Although examination standards are critically important, they should never be allowed to subvert our pedagogic need to award more first-class degrees that any other comparable third-class university.’”

(Professor Mundayne is survived by a wife, two children, and a healthy set of submissions 
to the next research excellence framework.)

Learning the ropes

“Mr Gyimah has been unfairly treated.”

That was how one of our few remaining history dons, Dr Simon Bonger, reacted to criticism of the minister’s recent opinion piece in The Times.

Dr Bonger agreed that Mr Gyimah’s defence of free speech on university campuses might have been more telling if it had not included the somewhat hackneyed and ill-phrased assertion that “while I wholly disapprove with [sic] what you say…I will defend…your right to say it.”

But Dr Bonger denounced what he called “the patronising rush to judgement” as academics raced to point out that Mr Gyimah had wrongly attributed the quotation to Voltaire.

“Mr Gyimah has only been in post a short time. It’s a steep learning curve. This modest error might have readily been avoided if only someone had warned him about the inherent dangers of constructing an article with the help of an essay bank.”

With a woof, woof here

Our Head of Farming Studies, Professor Walt Tyler, has praised Joanna Price, vice-chancellor of the Royal Agricultural University, for her recent stand against the stereotyping of her discipline.

Professor Tyler reminded our reporter Keith Ponting (30) that this was not the first time Professor Price had risen to the challenge. “I well remember her brave attempt to dispel the notion that her institution mainly educated men who wore ‘tweed jackets with leather patches and yellow cords’.”

Had Professor Tyler been influenced by Professor Price’s advocacy?

“Very much so. Students and lecturers in my own department have been explicitly warned against adopting any of the clothing itemised by Professor Price.”

And had he himself pioneered any other ways of combating the stereotype of agricultural studies?

“These are early days, but I like to think I’ve made a positive start by advising all members of my staff to make sure, before commencing their lectures or seminars, that they remove the blade of grass from the corner of their mouths.”

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