Laurie Taylor – 1 June 2017

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

June 1, 2017
Fat man with punnet of strawberries
Source: Getty edited
The crème de la crème

Degrees of comfort

Our Head of Graduation Ceremonies, Mr T. G. Barnum, has announced the following minor changes and revisions and corrections to the current Degree Day format:

  1. On medical advice our vice-chancellor will not be following his customary practice of shaking hands with every graduating student but will remain enthroned throughout the ceremony and bestow his approbation upon graduands with a blown kiss.
  2. Strawberries-and-cream stallholders are once again reminded that the word “punnet” is spelled “punnet”
  3. As in past years, graduates may be photographed with a professor of their choice for the standard fee of £10 a snap. This offer does not, however, extend this year to Professor Dibson of our Anthropology Department, who is currently of the opinion that repeated exposure to photography has partially robbed him of his identity
  4. Please note that the distinguished recipient of the Honorary Degree of Letters at Tuesday afternoon’s ceremony is incorrectly described in the programme as a “leading UK wrapper”
  5. We hope this clarifies the situation.


Neurotic? Moi?

Our Corporate Director of Human Resources, Louise Bimpson, has told our reporter Keith Ponting (30) that she is “extremely impressed” by new research published in the Journal of Further and Higher Education that reveals that students regard “neuroticism” as the least preferred personality trait in their lecturers.

Ms Bimpson said that this “valuable research” had already prompted her to introduce a course of psychotherapy for those members of our academic staff who had been reported to her as displaying significant degrees of emotional instability. These included:

12 members of academic staff who persistently asserted that our esteemed vice-chancellor came from another planet

44 academics who persistently maintained that they were no longer working in a real university

122 academics who were repeatedly gripped by the belief that they were being pursued by an avenging horde of senior managers.

Although these findings revealed what Ms Bimpson technically described as “an unacceptable level of everyday lunacy” among Poppleton staff, she told our reporter that she derived considerable comfort from the dramatic decline in the number of serving academics who believed themselves to be Napoleon.

The Poppleton poser

Every week we solicit our readers’ views on some of the key contemporary issues in higher education.

Last week, we asked our academic staff whether in the event of a Conservative election victory, they would welcome the reinstatement of Jo Johnson as universities minister.

 Here are the results:

Would welcome Mr Johnson’s reinstatement


Would welcome his replacement by almost anyone


Would welcome his replacement by almost anyone but his brother


Whatever happened to that nice Mr Willetts?


Spoiled papers


Monster Raving Loony Party


This week’s poser:

In the 2016 National Student Survey, Russell Group universities occupied five of the bottom 10 places on teaching quality. So how many Russell Group universities will achieve a Gold rating when the teaching excellence framework results are announced later this month?

Choose from: 100%, 95%, 90%

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