Tales of the Riverbank – April

Dear Ping-pongers

I have been reading through all of the rubbish comments that have been made in the staff engagement survey. I am grateful to everyone who completed the survey but not to those bastards who spent the time making additional comments. There is much “food for thought”. You all think the university is crap and that I’m crap, so I’m going to ignore all that and pretend you didn’t say it. I’ll just witter on about pride in our students and their diversity. I agree that is something that makes us special. I hope that I can continue to undermine that and sweep all the problems under the carpet while I bang on about the new University KPI (forgotten what it means already). It’s a good diversion from treating the staff survey seriously.  We have shit staff at Kingston.

A number of people commented upon our poor league table performance; I agree that it is something that we should be improving. Unfortunately my mistreatment of the staff means this is unlikely to change. It must be very frustrating for you all. Good! I don’t give a shit! Still, last year saw the first students complete under the new academic framework; their outcomes were very promising so I’m getting away with it so far. Even though I’m killing the teaching staff, I hope that we see an improvement in our National Student Survey results.

Meanwhile this year everyone has been focusing on the trivial by encouraging students to engage with the NSS and Level 4 and Level 5 surveys. We have seen record breaking response rates – ie a little above negligible.

The degree of change going on in the University, particularly the process review process has worried people – actually it’s really pissing you all off nicely. So rather than do a better job, I’ll just waffle on some more about explaining things without actually paying any attention to you. Sometimes we are forced to go through the charade of formal consultations, not that will make any difference to what we do. We also need to talk more shit in newsletters. As for all the complaints about bullying, I didn’t even read them. So sod off!

We will be smaller – amazing how aggressive management forces staff to leave – but still broad in the subjects we teach (you’re going to work even harder). We will be excellent in teaching (good job I don’t do any) with all academics sacked who don’t have a teaching qualification, never mind whether or not you’re any good, and our ambition is to  double the number of research active academics for the REF (Research Excellence Framework) – lots of scope for more bullying there, ask my mate Ronnie ‘Kray’ Tuninga in B&L.

All of the initiatives underway, the Process Waffle Review programme, Academic Abuse and Sacking, improving the staff/student ratio (hahaha), rebuilding the network (hahaha), and the Town House – oops, don’t mention the Town House (bastard council). A recent initiative is the new Open Cesspit Policy, which makes the paper mill from our sad academic staff and research students available to a global audience – not that anyone will ever read them.

We have had some disappointments during March – I’m still here for one! We were runners up in two categories at the Guardian Higher Education Awards, shrinking participation and cost cutting. It would have been nice to win (again) – however, you can’t fool even the Guardian every time. But I’ll keep on boasting and pretend we did fantastically well to be shortlisted and end up runner-up, so a great achievement and more bollocks. I do not understand those in the University who are cynical about awards (comments in the staff experience survey – names please) – they clearly have not spoken to our amazing (hahahahahaha) staff who deserve to have their achievements recognised at national level, even though they don’t deserve a happy secure working environment.

A major disappointment has been that the Town House building was turned down by the RBK Council planning committee. What a bunch of tossers! The building was supported by Me, English Carbuncles Soc, the Weinberg Residents Association and the RBK demolition department, only 6 letters of objection were received and it was still turned down! WTF! It seems that the main reason was one or two influential people simply did not like another massive great tower in front of their house. Mind you I wouldn’t have it in front of my posh pad, but then I’m effing rich so I can tell them to ‘koff. Frankly I am peed off at the outcome because it makes me look an arse – not difficult I know! We will look at the formal reason for turning the building down and then try and bully our way to getting it approved, well it works on the staff. I encourage all staff who are Kingston residents to write to their local councillor saying how appalled you are that the Council should have turned down a building that would be an asset to my reputation, and is vital to the University, one of Kingston’s major employers and sources of my wealth. Copy your letters to me. I have a list of your names.

I have had some interesting exchanges with members of staff who think I have got things wrong. These of course are trivial stuff about notices on doors and family feel. I’m happy to discuss these but not the serious issues of staff treatment, job security, stress, workload – all that stuff bores me. I am however looking into an area where staff can be “hanged”, or at least “hung out to dry”.

We are developing a fund for “trivial wins” – do let me know if you have any ideas. The table tennis table outside the library at Kingston Hill came from an email sent to daftideas@kingston.ac.uk, and it has been a great success. We are therefore converting the entire library into a snooker hall in an effort to improve student attendance.



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