I have compiled some of the most ludicrous conversations that have taken place in universities of late. How many of these have you heard from senior management? Obviously there’s lots more so please share your stories too.
1. We are delighted that you’ve been awarded a 3 year £750,000 research grant. That will look great for our portfolio. But you do realise we don’t have the capacity to buy out your teaching, so I hope you can see through the project on top of your current workload?
2. You’re too young to progress, think how that would make your older colleagues feel.
3. We have wonderful promotion opportunities if you demonstrate your national and international impact. Sorry we can’t support any of those conference expenses so if you want to progress please fund yourself.
4. You must produce a minimum of 3 4* papers in the next two years. We realise that there is little time to do this but sacrificing your weekends and holidays is what being an academic is all about.
5. I’m afraid that in the current climate we have no option but to make people redundant. However we are pleased to announce the new £30 million estates refurbishment.
6. We need to increase our student numbers so we have lowered our entry requirements. Now it is your responsibility to make sure no students fail their first year.
7. You’ve got lots of potential so don’t be going and doing something stupid like getting married or having a baby.
8. Customer service has to take precedence over academic integrity, just keep students happy by giving them what they want.
9. Investing in staff isn’t important just now, people will moan but it’s not like they’re going to leave.
10. To save space why don’t we just get lecturers to hot desk, it’s not like they need their own space anyway.
There you have it, the cringe worthy things that I’ve heard of late. Managers who don’t understand academia, don’t belong in universities. Academics who turn into bureaucratic managers don’t belong in universities. Let’s put knowledge creation back at the forefront of universities and ditch all the managerial b******t.