Dear University of Weeengland Staff Member,
Many of you are enjoying the late summer heat in faraway places. It is with great regret that I send bad news. Please do not choke on your sangria – we are doing all we can to resolve these issues. Most staff will be fine. Sadly not everyone will escape the ill winds of outrageous fortune. (Apologies to my more literary minded colleagues. Ironically all staff in literature, the liberal arts, and the more or less valueless disciplines are fine. It seems that students realising how indebted they will become have decided to follow their rather hollow and stupid dreams! DELETE IN FINAL EDIT)
The University has failed to reach its recruitment target. Current calculations indicate a shortfall of 4.23 million pounds per year, for the next three academic years. The first casualty has already fallen: Jonathan Tyson, Head of Registry, and architect of recent changes to the grade offer fell on his sword earlier this week. Jonathan (bastard, bastard, evil dog, bastard…yes, I know, delete in final edit) served the University with great distinction. Having retired he seems to have lost his marbles. As he was, until very recently, a valued colleague the University has written to his family offering to cover any expenses arising from his feeble state of mind. This may include detention under the terms of the mental health act. Jonathan has made a series of bizarre allegations touching on the private lives of highly esteemed Professors. Please ignore them.
Unfortunately it is my duty to redress the poisoned legacy of Jonathan Tyson. A crisis demands decisive action. It necessitates a fundamental rethinking of our provision, of our model for the delivery of higher education, and of the services we offer. We must save money where we can, and act creatively to reinvent ourselves where we cannot. (NOT SURE THIS MAKES SENSE… CONSULT Sarah.) I do not take these decisions lightly, but in the last instance it is me to whom you must look for leadership. I hope that/know that you understand my motivation. My first priority is to preserve Weeengland as the University of the Future. Our mission may look like it is in ruins, but as the Phoenix rises from the worm of its own decay so must we reconstruct the bones of this fabulous beast, better, stronger and more competitive than the rather flabby institution we now leave behind. (Sarah do I sound like a pretentious/pompous git. Be honest. I will not restructure you.)
To this end I am compelled to make the following decisions:
1. Capital Academicians will take over provision of all support services from the start of the next academic year. I am aware that we had promised to consult with unions about this. However when library, HR, cleaning, student services and all staff other than academics become employees of Capital A they will no longer be members of a union. It thus makes no sense to include the union in negotiations. (Sarah check with Personnel/HR that I can do this but remind the head of HR that I will look after her – edit this out of final version.)
2. We will enter into immediate talks with other Universities, (contact Malcolm urgently) to enter into consortia arrangments for all of these services, with Capital Academicians as our preferred partner. (Again check legality; if need be ask lawyers to find a way around potential problems.)
3. We will restructure and combine the Faculties of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences with the Faculty of Engineering (need an appropriate name for this one…something along the lines of Faculty of Creative and Applied Practices…mmm? This will teach those cretins in the liberal arts. And the bloody useless engineers recruiting 202 students against a target of 400!! Hope they tear each other apart…edit). We will combine the Faculty of Life sciences with the Faculty of Law and Management (appropriate name?…FLAM perhaps…trips off the tongue don’t you think?)
4. This will mean job losses. We will encourage/offer early retirement where appropriate (make sure that wanker Tomas Kucinski goes. I don’t care how much it costs.) The University will emerge a stronger, a leaner, and a more attractive beast once these necessarily harsh measures are carried through.
In the meanwhile we prepare with zest for the new academic year. For many of you it will be a good year, one with fewer students allowing you to complete more research for the REF, further enhancing our credibility as a leading institution for HE in the UK. (Didn’t you just love the Olympics! Made you proud to be a brit!)
Thanks, and all the best, Prof Woodley