Friday, December 15, 2006

To: All Staff
From: Vice-chancellors Office
Subject: Decoration of toilets in VCO's office

Will whoever has decorated the toilets in the VCO's building as Santa's grotto kindly remove the decorations. The university gets VIPs all year round and it sends the wrong signal to our visitors. The toilets must be returned to their original state forthwith.

xxxxxxxxxx xxxxx
Office Manager

To: Platothefish
From: xxxxxx
Subject: Re: Decoration of toilets in VCO's office

Plato was this you??? It looks great... but why?



To: xxxxxx
From: Platothefish
Subject: Re: Re: Decoration of toilets in VCO's office

The signs on the back of the toilet doors gave permission for this.



To: Platothefish
From: xxxxxx
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Decoration of toilets in VCO's office




To: xxxxxx
From: Platothefish
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Decoration of toilets in VCO's office

If I am not mistaken the signs on the back of the toilet doors say "Please leave the toilets how you would like to find them"


Wednesday, August 09, 2006

"Whilst I agree with your sentiments, platothefish, I don't think we can teach 'moral courage' and all the other personal development things you think we should be covering" - Department Course Director

"I agree that asking a number of members of our staff to teach moral courage might be a little like trying to tie knots in fog. I am not sure that the sentence ' exploration of the role of moral courage in the professional development of students' implied teaching. The thought of teaching such a topic sort of defies the object of the exercise. I think moral courage is developed through thought, practice and conversation. I had kind of expected 'education' rather than just training to be occurring in an institute of Higher Education. Just covering the subject and not the context and personal qualities required of professionals in the area is like making condoms with teats at both ends - it's very safe but is about as useful as a brick parachute." Plato

"We don't really have the time to teach this sort of thing in the hectic lecturing schedule. Thank you for your interest"

"This isn't interest - it's a cast iron conviction that we are educators not trainers. I want and strive for my students, every one of them, to be autonomous, critical and creative thinkers with leadership qualities and the ability be human in their own right and challenge where necessary and support where necessary. People who have something to say and who can make a difference to our world." Plato

to be continued....

Sunday, August 06, 2006

"It's been quite quiet around here with you not around. I quite missed your lively banter and I know that your students are glad to have you back. I think it does places like this good to get shaken up now and then - and you certainly get people thinking, anyway welcome back, er can I ask has the large sign outside the main gates got anything to do with you?"

General email: 'A large sign (approximately 8 foot high by 14 feet long) has appeared near the campus main gates. Whilst it is not on university property if anyone has any information about why it might be there and what it's meaning is could you inform the HR office so that we can take the appropraite action. We just wondered if it was some art project. Could lecturers' inform us of such stunt's in the future.'

"Platothefish we love it, please tell us it was you - welcome back" - some students by email

"Dear Platothefish if the sign was your doing get rid of it pronto - I think that you are in enough trouble as it is"

"Hi Plato, Where did you get the poem from (I assume it was you wasn't it)? I want a copy - masterpiece - welcome back"

"You are out to lunch old bean - fantastic, I couldn't agree more - just never had the balls to say it - not like that anyway. Good luck I think you'll need it if they find out it was you (I assume it was as you arrive back and the next morning that appears), classic."

"A large poem has appeared near the university, could all staff make enquiries to discover if any of our students are involved. We have asked the local council to have it removed, it does the university no good having it in such a prominent position."

Local radio "The students at Xxxxxxxx University must be having a prank. A strange cryptic and large, nay very large board about 10 feet high and at least 15 feet wide has appeared on the roadside where all the traffic passing the university is slowing down to read it. The sign says in very large letters
"ACADEMIC FREEDOM" and then there is a poem in equally large letters under it:
"Freedom means that you are free to do whatever pleases you,
that is of course, which means to say is what you wish is what you may"
We have been trying to work out what it means. If you have any ideas please contact us at Radio ...

Friday, August 04, 2006

"Nice to see you back mate"
"Why thank you" (Genuinely touched)
"It must have been stressful for you"
"It was a bit of a shock"
"We all thought it was wrong you know"
"Really?" (Genuinely surprised)
"Oh yes the whole department was behind you, you know"
"Really?" (Genuinely suspicious)
"Yes to a man...oh and the women, you know what I mean" (starting to look for an escape rout e of the 'damn I wish I hadn't entered this cage and just tried to stroke the nice lion that appears to have a firm grasp of my leg in his jaws' type way)
"I think so - what was said then"? (Really suspicious now)
"Well you know......lot's of people supported you"
"That's nice" (big smile)
"Yes we were very supportive" (Look of relief - the jaws appear to be opening - I'll escape in a second)
"Who"? (dinner time)
"Sorry"? (Gulp)
"Who, who exactly was supportive" (Yum)
"Well, er, you know, all, well er, most of us were you know" (Oh poo)
"Who exactly"? (Shouldn't play with my food really - what the hell mums not here)
"Well everyone really I suppose. Ok not everyone said anything but you could tell" (Help)
"How could I tell Brian"?
"Not you of course, we could tell"
"Oh so how precisely was I supported"?
"Well you know, people saying things like"
"I'm not sure I do, what did they say and to whom?
"Oh to each other, we all said how awful it was"
"That's a lot of support Brian"
"My postman must have been on strike, I must have been out when the phone rang and well my email..."
"Er... we didn't want to disturb you whilst you were off"
"In case I was infectious"?
"Yes! No! No not at all"
"Brian in what way exactly did you support me"?
"Your students wrote a letter to the VC you know"
"So I've heard"
"They said that you were the best lecturer they had, that's supportive"
"The students have a lot of good qualities like moral courage. Quite a few of them came to see me at home. What did the staff do to support me"?
"Did they??? They visited you? That's champion. You must have felt very supported"
"By the students, yes"
"Er yes, look plato mate, I've got to dash, got a lunchtime meeting and I'm bit late, glad to see you are back mate"

Just a quick note - sorry about the gap but as you will see I have a good reason...
Following suspension and an investigation "Because you have brought the university into disrepute" (no prejudgement there then) with is site being cited (ha) as one of the main 'offences' , ok there were a few minor matters like hair cuts, posters etc. I have been asked 'if you want to keep your job stop that 'infernal and insidious web thing' (this blog).
So after due consideration I have re-evaluated what my priorities are and in the immortal words of one of our esteemed leaders decided to "grow up". (But I don't want to be all growed up).
The consequence of all of this is that it would appear its the blog or my job.
What would you choose? It's not much of a decision in all honesty.
So sadly I won't be continuing with my job much longer but lets see how long I can last....
Right on with the blog.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

"An Oxfordshire schoolboy has been sent home from school because he has an unusual World Cup hairstyle.

22 Jun 2006 BBC"

"A schoolboy in Cornwall is sent home after going to school sporting a special world cup haircut.

9 Jun 2006 BBC"


Platothefish the Vice-Chancellor would like to talk to you about the hair designs in your class and your own hair display...

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

"Please desist from addressing communications to HR as the Directorate of Human Rubble."
Hi Platothefish,
I have left a message on your answerphone. You know the student you have (She has a lisp - I can't remember her name, she has got fair hair which appears to have a Brazilian Flag painted on it at the moment??) that you asked to convey the project work to the other students who didn't attend your lecture last week? Well she has obviously informed the other students about the project. Unfortunately one of them must have misunderstood your directions due to the young lady's lisp. I have just had a phone call from another of your students from the same class - Dan Oxxxxx (I think he is the guy from Zambia) who is currently in Colchester. He asked me what he should do now that he is at the University of Essex. When I pushed him as to why on earth he was at the University of Essex he told me that this was the project you had set them. The young lady with the Brazilian flag on her hair was outside the office a couple of minutes ago and I asked her what was going on. Did you by any chance set them a project about Universal Ethics? I think the lisp thing could be a problem.


Department Administrator

Monday, June 19, 2006

You appear to have installed a life-size cut out photograph of yourself in your office. There is a rumour that this cut out also appears in your lecture theatre in your absence. I would be obliged if you could enlighten me as to what use you are making of this device in your teaching. - Professor xxxxxxx Department Head.


'PARIS (Reuters Sat Jun 17, 2006 03:44 PM BST) - The nephew of a former Socialist minister has successfully sued the French state after failing a philosophy exam because his teacher rarely showed up in class.

In the first ruling of its kind in a country as protective of its public employees as its intellectual roots, the student won his case after his failure to recognise German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer deprived him of a top graduate school place.

Jerome Charasse, whose uncle Michel Charasse served as budget minister under late President Francois Mitterrand, scored a poor 6 out of 20 in philosophy despite getting good grades in the rest of his baccalaureat high school exams.

As a result he failed to get into the prestigious School of Political Science.

"I am surprised that our public service should be so lacking," his lawyer Gilles-Jean Portejoie told Reuters.

A court in Clermont-Ferrand ruled in his favour and awarded him the right to damages which have yet to be set.'
There has been a suggestion that you are running a competition with your students for the best 'world cup' hair design. Whether or not this is the case it does appear that your class are almost all sporting various national flags cut and dyed into their hair. Whilst there are no regulations or policy directions about lecturers' hair the cloured 'England flag' cut into the back of your hair is not I would suggest the image professional members of this university aspire to. Please consider either wearing a hat when in public on the campus or having the emblem removed.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

"Can I just mention that your ideas to rename HR whilst amusing are unlikely to be take up by the university"

In light of the realisation that the term Human Resources is antithical to our diversity policies (which by the way were crafted by HR) I hereby suggest some alternatives:

* 'The department of paper, rules and dogma'
* 'Directorate (in an equal opportunities non directive type of way of course) of Valued Employees'
* 'The communist party' - I think party has a nice focus to it, different to directorate comrade
* 'The group of really nice people trying to get other really nice people to comply with the rules and policies we design to make it look as if we are really useful department.'
* 'Slowing things down and stopping untidy innovation team'
* A bit radical this - 'Administration.'
* 'Directorate of creative mavericks and ideas control'
* 'The Empire' - why is the only part of the university that appears to be in full blown growth, 'Human Resources'?

- Platothefish

Thursday, June 15, 2006

"I am a little confused. Our diversity policy explicitly states that every member of staff and student has a right to be treated as a valued individual. To be recognised as a person in their own right regardless of colour, creed, religion....
Why then do we have something called a Human Resources department?

Maybe we should rename stores as Shelving Resources, estates as Nonhuman Resources, the garage as Transport Resources, catering as Edible Resources and the Senior Management Team as Not a Resource? And what on earth does the Director of Human Resources direct exactly?"

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Following recent comments from students it has been discovered that someone has changed the standardised powerpoint template for the Faculty of Letters stored on the central server to read The Faculty of Letters, Numbers and Crayons. According to the IT centre this was apparently done last December (2005) and has unfortunately gone unnoticed until now. Consequently a large number of lecturers' presentations and their associated handouts are carrying the altered logo which will require considerable effort and time to rectify.
Would all departments please check their templates forthwith. As this is not a server that students have access to we can only assume that either a student has gained access to a member of staffs logon name and password or ...

Monday, June 12, 2006

"Philip in his studies this year has shown a level of academic consistency and achievement rarely discovered in first year undergraduate students. Given that Philip is actually a postgraduate student and further given his natural ability to turn even the simplest of experiments into life threatening events I would recommend a career in which he will be handling wholly stable and inert materials. Indeed he could be described as a star in the field of chemistry; distant and rarely to be seen during daylight. I believe the term is no longer 'failed' so I therefore recommend 'deferred success'. In this case deferment should mean a minimum of 7-10 years with no parole for good behaviour."

-Platothefish you may want to reconsider the contents of this report.

- Reconsidered - it stands. Platothefish.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Please remove forthwith, the large signs you are displaying in your vehicle as you drive around the campuses which I am advised read 'Doctor on Call'. Additionally you may only park in the designated areas. Used of such signs to park in other areas is restricted to medical staff.
During the current pay dispute we do not think that the cause of the union or the lecturers' are advanced by your actions. Placing enlagements of job advertisments from the local papers with copies of the Universities pay scales attached is not helping staff moral. The fact that three members of staff have resigned in the last week to take up such opportunities has not helped the situation or relations between the university, staff and the unions.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Somebody, we suspect from within the university, has enrolled Professor xxxxxx, the Head of the School of Business on the local Business Link "Starting out in business introductory course" under the company name of Oligarchy Ltd. which it turns out has actually been registered using Professor xxxxxx's details with Companies House. This has caused considerable embarrassment to both Professor xxxxxx and to the University. If anyone has any information as to who might be responsible please contact the Vice-chancellors office. Such actions....

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Because we are a Higher Education Institution does not mean that non University sector education should be referred to as 'lower educational establishments' especially during a tour of the university by local secondary school headmasters and misteresses. Additionally asking them that if they are Head Mistresses what other services they offer is puerile.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

We support your stance on the 'Make Poverty History' campaign you appear to be running. However we would appreciate if the posters you have been displaying did not carry the added slogans
' Become a lecturer - making poverty history since 1912' , and
' Make Poverty History - Work for a University'
Thank you.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Faculty Board Meeting


April 2006


Item 16 Any other business

Platothefish requested that it be formally minuted that the faculty's Plagiarism Policy appears to be remarkably similar to three other faculties within the university. Further that a search on google has disclosed policies with almost exactly the same wording from a number of other universities.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

"The idea of a pool car scheme is we believe a good idea. Entering the Vice-chancellors, the Deputy Vice chancellors and the Pro Vice chancellors private cars onto the database without their consent has however caused some embarrassment."

Saturday, April 01, 2006

"Following the recent decision to reduce the size of a few departments due to falling student numbers it has come to light that certain 'jibes' are circulating. Some of the members of the Faculty of English have specifically requested that they should not be referred to as 'The Department of Homeland Obscurity'. "

Saturday, March 25, 2006

"I have been asked to write to you to remind you of the dress code for academics and students attending 'public' lecturers. We believe that the dress code is not strict in that it requires only that dress be appropriate for the nature of the event. Attending the recent lecture on 'The Wave Nature of Matter' in Bermuda shorts, an Hawaiian shirt, sunglasses and finally attempting to bring a surf board into a lecture theatre is not considered to be appropriate. Please be a little more considerate towards your colleagues and the image of the university."
" We would like to thank you for your interest and recent contribution to our collection on aerospace and rocketary sciences resources. Whilst we would normally welcome such gifts and that I am sure that the complete works of 'Fireball XL5' and 'Thunderbirds' on DVD maybe interesting to some I am not sure that inclusion of such material adds to the gravitas and high academic ideals we strive for at the university."
"Pro Vice chancellor - just don't go there and get back to work".

Monday, March 20, 2006

New lessons from academia - The term 'vice-chancellor' does not, it would now appear, refer to any predilection towards the creation, collection or dissemination of porn. Any such suggestion would be seen as gross misconduct - allegedly.