Monday, March 31, 2008

Will whoever keeps turning off the heating to the Global Warming Studies Group offices please desist. It is not funny - it takes about 4 hours to restart the heating every time which makes it usually too cold to work in the offices in the mornings.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Dear Plato,
Thank you for agreeing to run the debating chamber and resurrect the university debating society. The idea of having a university wide debate over a period of weeks both in the chamber and online is inspired and is welcomed by the board. I know that the advertising for this series of events was agreed by the board and the head of marketing, as well as the Vice-chancellor's office, however in retrospect, having seen your posters and online advertisements we would like you to remove the title and replace it with something a little more appropriate to the standing of this institution.

xxxxxxxxx Director of Academia

You are mad, I can't believe that you are getting away with this. There are 1000's of posters around the place with big bold headings saying "Mass Debate". I nearly choked when I saw them.


Hi Plato,
Your 'Mass Debate' posters have become collectors items! Very funny.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Thankyou for the report on the leadership of the school I asked for. It is very useful and thought provoking - excellent work, we clearly have some work to do. Just a minor issue - there is a consistent spelling error througout the report - you keep referring to the 'bored' meetings as opposed to the board meetings. Can you correct this please and then I will submit it.

Reply - it's not an error.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Plato please remove the blue light from the top of your car and the signs on it that says 'University Ambigulance' and 'Emergency Responsibility Vehicle'

Thank you.

Monday, March 24, 2008

The student's union and the lecturer's union have petitioned the university to complain about the proposed 'Oath of Loyalty Scheme'. It has also appeared on several department minutes for discussion at their next meetings. Please note that this is not an official scheme. Could all staff be aware and please inform their students that no such proposal exists at this university at this time.

See this news item ...

To: All Staff
From: Central Administration
Subject: Oath of allegiance.

In line with the Decree of Lord Goldsmith and Her Britannic Majesty's Government, as of the beginning of April all students and staff will be required to take an oath of allegiance to the university and the country. Special 'Oathing Ceremonies' will take place over a two week period at the start of next month. The proposed wording of the oath is as follows:

I (name of student or member of staff) do hereby swear that I will uphold the aims and objectives of the university without fear or favour. That I will, at all times support Her Majesty, the Vice-Chancellor and each decision made thereby. Additionally I swear that I will not question or importune Her Majesty or any senior member of the university nor engage in activities that cause any of the aforesaid superior members of our congregation any discomfort whatsoever.
Further I affirm that my loyalty will extend to all external activities and will illuminate the university's leadership only in the highest and most esteemed manner. I will also contribute financially, when necessary, to the university's upkeep and maintenance and keep the board in the manner to which it would like to become accustomed. Notwithstanding any of the aforementioned I will also be loyal to Her Majesty The Queen and stand between her and any of Her Majesty's, (the first Her Majesty) enemies.
I swear that I will also file all risk assessment forms as required without negative comment or criticism.


(Full name)

Please ensure that everyone is aware of the wording and is fluent before the university wide written exams at the end of March, just prior to the ceremonies.

xxxxxxxxxx Head of Administration

Friday, March 21, 2008

"Oh Hi Plato. While you are here I have a message from the VC. She will come to your first lecture after Easter to thank you and your students for their help with the pensioners lunch club. Between you and me she is a little suspicious about how the whole lunch club thing started and who placed the advert....

(Long silent pause)

Oh er, um, she would like to know if she has to wear the present the student's gave her when she comes to thank them? "

Oh I would think that it would be entirely appropriate.

"I'll tell her. I think that she is more than a little nervous but doesn't want to appear not to be a good sport, especially in front of your students....


She has asked why she is saying thank you to over 120 students when you officially only have 34. Where did the rest come from?"

I don't know they just started to materialise

"Oh OK"

Tell her I look froward to seeing her in two weeks time in Lecture room B. It is a little packed in there at the moment but it will do her good to see. I am particularly looking forward to seeing her wearing her 'present'. The students put a lot of effort into it - you might like to mention that.

"Oh OK"

Have a good easter.

"Er yes thanks..."

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

"The V.C. would like to thank you and your students for their help and assistance on Saturday. Without you we would not have been able to serve the 117 pensioners that turned up. There have been many appreciative comments about the conduct of your 'super heroes' and their antics provided much entertainment."

That's nice - when would she like to do it?


When would the VC like to do it?

"Do what?"

Thank us

"She has"

I thought you say that she would like to thank us

"She would"

Great, when should I tell my class that she will come and thank them?

"I don't think that she meant..."

I think that she should - next month's Free Lunch Club might be even bigger or even involve some extras.


I'll leave it with you, please give her a map to the lecture rooms for me and a copy of our schedule. We will look forward to the thank you. Oh and the class have asked me to give this to the V.C. could you please pass it on.

"Um... what's in the bag?"

I have no idea

"Oh ... er oh dear"


Monday, March 17, 2008

Restricted Minutes
University Board Meeting - March 2008
Agenda Item
Item: Weblogs by students and members of staff.
Sponsor: Professor Dumbledaw Head of Hackademic Standards
Proposal: To issue a set of standards for weblog and other internet publishing

It has come the the notice of the board that a number of students and staff are publishing things called weblogs (known colloquially as blog's). These are free text unsupervised articles that are gaining in popularity in the internet especially with the younger element of our society. Our working party on internet use within the university uncovered a number of these weblogs which we discovered are open documents in as much that anyone who has a computer with internet access can read them without restriction.
Most weblogs are inconsequential, just being a private diary of thoughts, or photographs of the young people having a good time.
However we have uncovered a few weblogs that are potentially damaging to the standing of the university. One in particular, we have discovered, is written by a member of staff and has a large following. Whilst humerous in nature, it does not cast a very positive light on the university and in particular the leadership of this institution and is nefarious in deed. Due to the access to the level of information this individual (who goes by the internet pseudonym of platothefish) appears to have, he or she is not a junior member of staff. It is not thought that this individual has access to the highest levels of data like our board minutes for example, so we assume that he or she is an academic and not of senior management grading.
In the light of the government developing new rules for such activities with civil servants we would like to propose that the board draw up a set of regulations for our own students and staff to abide by.

It was carried that a draft set of publishing standards would be presented to the next board meeting in April by Prof. Dumbledaw.

For the news about restrictions by the government on it's own civil serpents see here.

Me thinks that the board have forgotten something... stay tuned. However it must be nice to know that your restricted minutes are safe from 'such nefarious deeds'.

Friday, March 14, 2008

The Vice-Chancellor would like thank your class for volunteering to a person to help with the Free Pensioners Lunch Club. Oddly they appear to have a fantastic plan prepared. Anyway the V.C. is a little concerned and has asked me to have a quiet word with you. Do they have to wear their superhero suits to this event? Whilst we need the help and really appreciate their involvement we don't think that the suits are exactly the image the V.C. is trying project with her innovation.
Would you mind having a word with them please. Also I though that you only had 30(ish) students. There are over 100 names on this 'Plato's Group' list. Do they all wear the suits??


Hi Diana,
I had a word with them. It was 'Congratulations'. I am sure the suspense of their attire will add to the event and the V.C's new found reputation for creativity. See you on Saturday!
Three days ago: Tuesday...

To: All staff
From V.C.'s Office

Subject: Unofficial Invitations - In confidence

We have been receiving phone calls all morning from dozens and dozens of Old Aged Pensioners booking places for 'The Free University Lunch Club' in the Vice-Chancellor's conference room on Saturday. It would appear that an advertisement has appeared in the local papers inviting any Pensioner's on state benefit to a free meal every month, sponsored by the V.C..!
This is not an official advert and has not come from this office although it carries our logo. Does anyone know anything about this "initiative"? The University does not get involved in such 'local stunts', which harms our academic reputation and high standing and we need to discover who placed this advertisement. If it is discovered that a member of the staff or student body had brought the university into disrepute in this way, they will be disciplined.

Today (Friday):
To: All staff
From: Vice Chansellor
Subject: New University Community Initiative
The University is proud to announce an innovative free 'Lunch Club' once a month for local Old Aged Pensioners who are on minimum state pensions. This is new Vice Chancellor's initiative to foster closer relationships with the local community. Anyone who would like to assist with this please contact the admin office. The first lunch club will take place tomorrow (Saturday) in the V.C.'s reserved conference room in the Old Hall. The V.C.'s department is funding all the costs to enhance further our outstanding reputation with the local community, our relationship with which is of the highest importance. We are sure that you will join with us to congratulate Professor xxxxxxxxxx (the V.C.) on this important and creative initiative.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

"Why are all your Superheroes walking around in 4's today?"

"Plato, the campus is full of your caped crusaders - what's going on?"

"Just how many students do you have? There are piles of masked and caped people walking about this morning. They all appear to be in groups of 4 - what are you up to?"

"Ha ha very funny, 4 of your students dressed in their famous black suits, masks and red capes just turned around as I approached. You are going to be in soooo much trouble Plato. God I love you! I am in pain here I am laughing so much"

"I have just followed 4 of your students across the campus. Each one has a different letter in white on their capes. The way they were arranged the letters spelled out the word A.R.S.E. What is going on?"

"Oh no! The Institute of Ambiguity, Risk and Situational Experience! I get it. I think it's very funny but I wouldn't want to be you when the VC finds out what he has signed off."

"Plato - please come to my office - I think we need to discuss the naming of this Institute of yours. I knew this would be trouble. What on earth the Senate thought it was doing giving you something like an institute to play with I will never know."

Sunday, March 09, 2008


How the **** did you get them to agree to letting you set up an institute in the university? I am amazed. Well done but does this mean that you going to get all serious and boring on us?

....Ahhh I have just looked out of the office window and I think I have my answer! That is a very large banner you have there.

Have they worked out the impact of what you have called it yet? The School of Management is refered to as SOM, the School of Military Sciences is called SMS but do you really think that they are going to let you name it the Institute of

Ambiguity, Risk, and Situational Experiences???

Very funny.

Does 'Welcome to the party' mean that we are we really all invited to a party?


Friday, March 07, 2008

It would not be a 'giggle' as you put it to leave it unnamed.
'Ambiguity Towers' is out too
No nor can you call it 'Fort Ambiguity', no not even if you attach 'the bronx' to the title.
No you can not call it the Institute of the Uncertain and yes it has to have an address.
"Well you managed to get agreement to set up an Institute despite my protests... I really don't think calling it The Vague Institute will wash however."

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

"The School of Military Sciences should not be referred to as the Institute of Dispatching the Queens Enemy's."
"The University Security Service should not be referred to as 'The S.S.'."
"A fully signed up and cordoned off minefield has appeared overnight on the lawn outside the HR offices.

The University Security Service (The S.S.) are a little nervous about removing the signs and have called The Land Mines Group from the School of Military Sciences who are investigating. Please do not go near the building at this moment in time."

...from the morning briefing

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

This has got to stop Plato. A large group (about 20 -30 it was difficult to count them) of people (Students I hope and yours I presume) in masks, black suits and red capes visited the security office this morning offering them 'protection' against 'bad things' like burglaries.

The University Security Service are not happy bunnies at the moment as it is.

They have just discovered that the remaining crime prevention materials stolen during the break in last week were distributed to every Head of Department over the weekend. The mode of distribution was somewhat unorthodox. Someone broke into each HoD's office and left the material on their desks. We suspect that entry was gained with a set of keys as no damage was done and the USS didn't notice anything. The only area of the university that has such access is... you guessed it, the University Security Service.

A review of security is being undertaken by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor. I have a funny feeling you may well be co-opted into the review.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

10 AM

To: all staff
From: xxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxx Head of University Computing

Anti Porn Filters

WE have been working hard to provide protection on the University wide network from pornography and pornographic images and spam. We are proud to announce that this morning we have instigated a new software solution which uses advanced algorithms to identify the percentage of flesh tones in any image. We have thoroughly tested this solution and we are confident it will provide the protection required. It will also prevent staff and students from accidentally accessing pornographic websites.

1020 AM

We have agreed to exempt the social sciences division from the Anti Porn Filter as they are currently conducting research on the effect of pornography in society.

1040 AM

The Law faculty has been exempt from the Anti Porn Filter as they are apparently conducting research for the government and police on pedophile online behaviour.

1105 AM

We have lifted the Anti Porn Filter from the Department of Agriculture as the filter was preventing images and websites of pigs being accessed.

1120 AM

The department of Art has also been exempted from the Anti Porn Filter as it was preventing them accessing art installations and photographs.

1130 AM

Graphic design has also had the Anti Porn Filter removed from it's area of the network because of it's work on avatar design.

1135 AM

As the internal discussion pages are predominantly pink we have had to lift the Anti Porn Filter from these pages as it was causing problems for users.

As you may all know, yesterday the university had a series of areal photographs taken of each campus for publicity purposes. The proofs were delivered today and on the main campus photographs, in one of the Department of Agriculture's fields, large white letters were apparent on the ground which read 'Crime pays'. In the next field were the words 'More than educashun'.
When the security staff were sent to investigate and remove the letters, they found that the letters had been formed out of the stolen crime prevention materials from the break-in at their office a few days ago.
On their return to the security office they discovered that it had been broken into yet again and the computer and phone that had previously been stolen had been returned. It is not known if anything else is missing. This all occurred in broad daylight earlier today. If anyone has any information please contact the security office, you can now do so by telephone or email.

Thank you