The rest is silence
“One trusts that the authorities at Nottingham University and Nottingham Trent University will resolve the situation.”
That was how Kirk Swavely, our senior manger for external relations, reacted to the news that Nottingham residents had complained about the excessive late-night noise created by students from the two institutions.
But questioned by our reporter Keith Ponting (30), Mr Swavely admitted that he too had received a letter of complaint from Poppleton residents. However, in this case it was not excessive student revelry that exercised the correspondents but rather the “eerie silence” that had fallen over houses currently occupied by academics in the leafy suburban area of Middle Poppleton.
“In the past,” said the letter, “one regularly heard such refreshingly social sounds as the clink of glasses, bursts of happy laughter, and brief renditions of arias from popular operas.”
But now the only sounds that emanated from academic residences were “the dull clink of bottles being dropped into the recycling bin, sudden solitary screams of anguish and the occasional but unmistakable sound of gunshot”.
Mr Swavely dismissed rumours that he intended to resolve the situation by installing boisterously happy managers in the neighbourhood that fearful residents are now calling “Desolation Row”.
Every little helps
Poppleton, unlike such other universities as East Anglia, Leicester, Strathclyde, Falmouth and Teesside, has not been publicly indicted by the Advertising Standards Agency for making misleading claims about its relative standing in the higher education sector.
However, after “advice” from the ASA, a number of modest changes have been made to the course descriptions in our current prospectus. This means that our BA degree in Digital Media will no longer be described as “Finger Licking Good”, while our BSc in Metallurgy will no longer claim that “It Does What It Says on the Tin”.
However, as we go to press, it seems that our BA in Architectural Studies will still be allowed to promise “longer and firmer erections”.
Goodbye and good luck
Louise Bimpson, our corporate director of human resources, has announced that Poppleton will be following in the steps of Teesside and Hertfordshire universities by seeking to shed a large number of academic jobs in readiness for the next research excellence framework.
Ms Bimpson insisted that such redundancies would be “essentially voluntary” in that staff would be asked to leave only if they decided not to do so of their own accord.
She dismissed “the mischievous suggestion” that these losses might be complemented by a reduction in the size of our management team. “Such critics fail to realise the huge managerial resources involved in persuading hard-working, highly competent, fully committed academics that there is no place for them in a modern research-based university going forward.”
In last week’s Poppletonian, exigencies of space led us to omit a phrase from our laudatory acknowledgement of the work of our senior philosopher, Dr D. W. Dingbat. The words “after the truth” should clearly have followed our complimentary reference to Dr Dingbat’s “lifetime commitment to groping”.