Laurie Taylor – 6 April 2017

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

April 6, 2017
Man in suit of armour
Source: Pictures: Getty/Alamy

Let's hear it for the Russell Group!

Our head of Research Impact, Gerald Thudd, has vigorously defended the 23 Russell Group universities accused of concealing fake research.

Mr Thudd admitted that a freedom of information request was needed in order to discover that there had been at least 300 allegations of plagiarism, fabrication and inaccuracy made against these universities between 2011 and 2016, but insisted that this was nothing more than evidence of their “fierce determination” to retain their “research-intensive” reputation.

“Let’s face it,” said Mr Thudd, “in the new research regime, every academic recognises the need to publish any old research that might boost their university’s research excellence framework score. In such a climate, there are inevitably scholars who overlook the old shibboleth that research should advance knowledge.”

“In our own university”, said Mr Thudd, “this tendency was perhaps too manifest in Professor Digson’s recent finding that regularly eating cream buns militated against the onset of diabetes and in Dr Knowlson’s ‘groundbreaking’ discovery that regularly smoking cannabis while watching back-to-back episodes of Game of Thrones prolonged life expectancy and increased male potency.”

Those traditionalists who still clung to the outdated idea of research integrity would no doubt welcome the news that “both Professor Digson and Dr Knowlson have now been re-categorised as ‘teaching only’”.

Let’s hear it for the 10 per cent!

“There is a positive side”, insisted our Director of Corporate Affairs, Jamie Targett, as data from the National Senior Management Survey revealed that three-quarters of British academics were “dissatisfied with the way their institutions are managed”.

“What analysts have overlooked”, said Targett, “is the 10 per cent of academics who actually expressed their satisfaction with university management. Think about it for a moment. While 72 per cent of their colleagues felt that they were not respected or valued by senior management, 74 per cent felt that senior managers didn’t deserve their salaries and 70 per cent thought that their university didn’t give them enough time to support their students’ needs, the members of this brave little 10 per cent still insisted that they were satisfied. The message is clear. The future of our universities is not to be found among the multitude of moaners and whingers but among that tiny band of brave souls who continue to express their satisfaction with management’s ongoing crusade to turn universities into bureaucratised degree factories.”

Wayne Rooney painting

Pictures at an exhibition

“We’ve taken a leaf out of the University of Oxford book,” explained Mike Doppel, our Deputy Head of University Signage, as he announced that a new set of portraits would shortly be adorning our university walls.

However, whereas Oxford recently commissioned new portraits in order to redress the gender imbalance evident in its existing portraiture, Poppleton’s new portraits were commissioned so as to correct what Mr Doppel described as the “elitism of our current selection”.

“Our students”, Doppel explained, “cannot help but feel intellectually inferior when they are confronted with our existing portraits of Plato, Einstein, Marie Curie, Bertrand Russell and Stephen Hawking.

“It is to counter this imbalance that we have now commissioned oil portraits of Wayne Rooney, Little and Large, Sooty and the television dentist who recommends regular brushing with Sensodyne. As I believe they like to say in advertising, ‘Watch this space’.”

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