One of our more precariously situated academics, Mr Ted Odgers of the Department of Media and Cultural Studies, has been publicly censured for failing to attend any of the 54 Diversity Training Workshops arranged by management during the current term.
According to our Head of Diversity, Mr Bertram Willoughby-Spode, this meant that Mr Odgers had not only missed the all-day workshop in which labels were pasted on to everyone’s foreheads in order to illustrate the dangers of labelling, but also the important weekend breakout session in which attendees were required to imagine themselves as someone other than themselves in order to acquire a sense of their own otherness.
In a brief statement, Mr Odgers claimed that his absence from the sessions could be seen in a positive light. “If diversity training is about teaching respect for diverse perspectives, then surely there should be room for my diverse opinion that such training is little more than a largely infantile game-playing attempt by management to obscure the awkward fact that race and gender discrimination are endemic features of Poppleton University.”
Mr Willoughby-Spode described Mr Odgers’ response as “a bad show”.
It’s hats off once again to the University of Southampton. Fresh from the courageous decision of its management team to improve its rating on the next teaching excellence framework by slashing between 50 and 75 academic posts, the university has now shown its fulsome commitment to job creation by advertising for a chauffeur to drive senior staff around in a manner that will allow them to “work while in transit”.
Jamie Targett, Poppleton’s Director of Corporate Affairs, forcibly rejected the allegation by Sally Hunt of the University and College Union that posting such an advert was “insulting and showed contempt”. In fact, said Mr Targett, Southampton had shown “considerable sensitivity” by making it clear that any of the soon-to-be redundant academics in possession of a current driving licence and a peaked cap would be welcome to apply for the new position.
Everyone must have prizes
The Poppletonian would like to congratulate the teaching excellence framework team in the Department for Education for its winning the prestigious Chris Martin Policy Award.
In the citation, given at the Civil Service Awards 2017, the TEF policy team was commended for creating a new assessment scheme to rate the quality of teaching in higher education that “built a groundswell1 of sector support”, a feat the minister himself described as “truly incredible”.2
Although confirmation is still awaited, it is believed that the award-winning Department for Education team will now be turning its attention to devising a “groundbreaking and truly incredible” method for measuring the Earth’s distance from the Sun using three eggcups and a ball of string.
1. Groundswell: The growth of a strong feeling among a large group of people
2. Truly incredible: Absolutely unbelievable.