Edit of VC’s address to CRAP students by Sarah Ruskin, Admin Assistant to VC

Dear VC Woodley,

Your welcome address to the new students of CRAP is, as always, excellent. However it needs an edit. VC’s welcome addresses must abide by three golden rules:

  • The address must be boring. Every student must yawn at least once when welcomed by the VC;
  • You must say nothing controversial. Controversy wakes students up. That is not your role. Do not encourage students to think;
  • You must never talk about or even allude to sex.

Your address violates all of these diktats. I recommend that you remove all references to the missionary position, all references to Professor Roberta Rainsford ogling your balls, and all references to Viagra. While the creation of Innovative Enhancement in our business incubator is a notable achievement, the effects it had on your masculinity are best kept private.

Your address is controversial because it is too honest. You cannot advertise shooting boars in Tunisia; you cannot advertise the private companies delivering our services; and you must not publicly humiliate lecturers at this institution no matter who they may be. It is far better to leak information about these staff through appropriate channels.

Last, and most importantly VC, all students must be anesthetized by the end of the first paragraph. I include an edited, boring version, far more appropriate to the occasion. I include links to three of the most boring welcome addresses by other VCs, well-known to you.The University of Essex provides a particularly inspiring example of the tone you are looking for:

http://www.plymouth.ac.uk/theuniversity/about;

http://www.aber.ac.uk/en/university/vc-man-group/;

http://www.essex.ac.uk/vc/.

These speeches say nothing, they induce sleep, and they indicate just how narrow-minded, conservative and dull the VCs of English Universities have become. I include a paragraph edited from your previous attempt. If you add anything please remember the general principle: you are a boring, late middle-aged man wearing a suit, with nothing to say. You are not Boris Johnson on crack or Viagra.

Yours sincerely,

Sarah Ruskin,

Administrative Assistant VC’s Office

‘A very warm welcome to the University of Weeengland. Our mission is to be the University of enterprise in England. We work closely with local and global businesses. Our workplace informed curriculum embeds employability skills. We embrace our leadership role in the city, region, nation and globe. Weeengland is an award-winning leader in knowledge transfer which inspires hundreds of businesses to enhanced innovation. We house two incubation centres on campus. The publication of the National Student Survey 2012 shows that we are leading in HE delivery. We utilise the most advanced forms of patchwork writing, mobile communication contexts and user-friendly learning apps. We welcome you, the brightest, the best beacons lighting up the future.’

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