When push comes to shove
"I like to think that my team will soon have it down to a fine art."
That was the confident forecast made by Brigadier T.W. Trouncing, our Head of Campus Security, at a recent university seminar titled "Campus Escorting: Problems and Prospects".
Brigadier Trouncing began the evening by telling his audience that escorting academics off campus was already a major growth area within the university security portfolio.
Among his several examples of "best practice" in this area was the recent case at St Mary's University College, Twickenham in which Anthony Towey, head of the School of Theology, Philosophy and History, had been interrupted by security during a lecture he was giving on Christology before being successfully "escorted from campus".
This example, claimed Trouncing, showed the value of "surprise" in escorting work. "Quite frankly, no one expects to be seized by a burly man from security while they're bang in the middle of a recitation of Christ's attributes."
(A "security raffle" held at the end of the seminar raised £22.50 towards the purchase of a rechargeable stun gun.)
Surveys - we love 'em
"They can stick that up their Athenaeum!"
This was the spontaneous reaction of our vice-chancellor to the news that Poppleton had achieved a higher percentage score in this year's National Student Survey than several Russell Group universities.
At a later press conference, the vice-chancellor said that he believed the excellent score had been a result of the added weight that the university had given to improving the student experience.
He told a questioner that he saw "no incongruity whatsoever" between his present whole-hearted espousal of the NSS findings and his previously expressed view that the survey "bore about as much relationship to reality as a Liberal Democrat manifesto".
"This university", he pointed out, "has always embraced change. An ability to change one's mind in the face of a very high score on a totally inept survey is a perfect example of this principle in practice."
He subsequently held up a portrait of several leading Russell Group vice-chancellors and led staff members present at the conference in a brief rendering of "It's All Gone Quiet Over There!".
When change is not enoughOur thrusting Director of Corporate Affairs, Jamie Targett, has sent a letter of congratulation to Ian Apperley, who last week became the University of the West of England's first Director of Transformation.
Targett told The Poppletonian that although Poppleton already had a Director of Change, a Director of Development and a Director of Change Development, it was clear that there was room for a Director of Transformation. For those unclear about the role, he cited the UWE notice of appointment, which indicated that Mr Apperley would be involved in "helping the way we implement change programmes and develop models for involving colleagues more widely in developing solutions to emerging problems".
He added that anyone reading this description must already be wondering how Poppleton had managed to stagger on for so long without making a similar appointment.
Thought for the week
(contributed by Jennifer Doubleday, Head of Personal Development)
Next week's seminar is titled "Getting in Touch with Your Inner Child": NB - the £5 admission charge includes complimentary Tizer and strawberry jelly.