Email to all Academics from Professor of Retail Integration


We must prepare for the outsourcing of all services to Capital Academicians. Soon all staff (other than those on academic contracts), will be employed by Capital A. This radical development cuts costs and saves time allowing you to concentrate on academic work. The experts will manage food, housing, computing, cleaning, advising…in fact do everything else and more. What is outsourcing? This quick guide helps you to make sense of it. It provides a set of responses you can give to anyone who asks. Do email me if you require further advice but please do not share this advice without my consent. I reserve copyright on all content.


Professor Roberta Rainsford, Head of CRAP (Faculty of Creative and Applied Practices)

1. Outsourcing means that someone else does the work. You are not responsible. Imagine the worst possible case: suicide. How do you talk to a bereaved relative? “I am sorry for your loss, however student support services are provided by Capital A. Yes, Capital A also manage the residences, and the medical services. Please speak to those responsible. His marks were excellent, but I know nothing about him.” Phone calls should last no longer than 10 seconds. Time costs money.

2. Response to the question: Why have you outsourced? “Well, I am an academic. I teach, I research. I am not a therapist, a doctor, builder, or a librarian. I am doing what academics are employed to do. For more information please contact Capital A on 0845 3333 xxxx. Calls cost 50p per minute, and average waiting times have increased because of the new contract with the University of Weeengland.”

3. A quick put down for those who question this model: “What we have done is to develop a competitive framework for the delivery of back-office services. Staff previously employed by Weeengland now work for Capital A. They share their expertise about the needs of the University, and the University pays Capital A for this expertise. A subsidiary company  sells this advice to other HE providers, a virtuous circle. Gobbledygook, I hear you say. Well that is why you do not do my job. There is a quick summary: “CAPITAL A MAKES LESS MONEY DO MORE. IDIOT.”

4. Your course administrator  complains because their union rights have been undermined? Remind her that there are a few jobs elsewhere. Capital A is committed to cutting costs by 8% year on year, through efficiency savings. If you know of staff whose work is unnecessary phone the special number provided below, anonymously. Capital A will investigate. Successful cost cutting advice may earn you a small bonus.

5. The grass is cut during your lectures. Tough. Close the windows. Alternatively record your lecture, send it to the technicians at Capital A’s IT unit, and they will host it on their online cloud. There it will remain for all time. In future you will not have to deliver the lecture –  students can download and view lectures at their convenience and we can hire out the lecture rooms. Remember we are all about choice, about freeing up time, about giving students what they want. Consumers consume what they choose to consume not what we deem it appropriate for them to consume.

6. A phone call comes through to you from a student who did not attain her grades. This is no longer your problem. Consult  Capital A’s recruitment unit, headed by our new Head of Registry Professor Gregory Halden.  The recruitment unit will be supported by their statistical unit. It will calculate the grades we should set to recruit the right number of consumers. This sensitive calibration of student need to the actual HE market will deliver statistical correlations, which ensure that we recruit to target, in any market.

7. REMEMBER: you now have more time to do more work! BUT you can save even more time by implementing a few simple policies: devolve all responsibility to Capital A;  cut personal tutorial time – it is no longer necessary; and standardise feedback using multiple choice question sheets.  Discursive exegesis in the form of essays tends to be crap. I can provide a standard model multiple choice question sheet developed during my original research into TESCO customer decision-making processes.

Before you act THINK: What does this act cost? Is my time worth it or could a worse paid, more efficient, less educated imbecile do it for me. As Professor Woodley so presciently noted: Plato’s Republic is our model, and we must be the Guardians of reason guiding, directing and goading those with different capacities to do their jobs. We are all in this together.


Professor Roberta Rainsford, Head of CRAP, lead researcher, TESCOs advantage plus consumer preference project.

P.S: I have arranged a late afternoon session for research leaders with REF panel member Professor Godfrey Haines. Please attend, as the information you provide will inform our more intimate discussion  later this evening. My thanks to Andy Wiles and the new REF dating service.

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