Gongs for the SADdest

We’ve all heard the stories about the person who was promoted out of harm’s way to a management position, an especially commonplace tale in FE colleges: many an incompetent teacher has ended up in a management job to which their chief skill of bluster is well suited. Many therefore will not be so surprised to see that Nona McDuffer, flimflamming leader at EDI, has become Student Achievement Director. A classic case of moving someone from an important job to — well, a non-job, probably at a higher salary to boot.

But our Nona is not just rising to the incompetent heights of top management at Kingston. She now has a gong, thus proving the disreputability of the British honours system, if it needed proving any further. (How long till the fled Rat gets a knighthood?) Why has she been called to the Palace? Have the powers that rule our land had their attention drawn to some outstanding achievement here? Well, in a manner of speaking (excluding the outstanding bit). People are nominated for these awards; Her Maj doesn’t go out scouting for deserving citizens. Clearly Kingston University, ever anxious to raise its profile — Guardian prizes which you have to pay to enter, a bit like a raffle — put up a few names for the Birthday Honours, and Nona’s came up. No doubt she had to keep in with the bosses for this to happen. Perhaps the OBN would have been a better fit than the OBE.

There might be a silver lining to the medal box here. Could it be that McDuffer’s far more able deputy, Cheryl Jordan, will take over as head at EDI? One sticking point. Ability is often an overqualification at Kingston.

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4 Responses to Gongs for the SADdest

  1. GladToBeGray says:

    As any fule kno, OBE stands for Other Buggers’ Efforts

  2. JB says:

    Sometimes you take things too far. This is a case in point.

    • Dissenter says:

      It’s a point of view. The opinion that McDuff has been a poor manager at EDI is not an isolated one. For that reason, this blog considers that a medal is hardly appropriate. See Prefer not to say’s comment on the same topic.

  3. Prefer not to say says:

    Congratulations also to Professor Pricey, the Head of Technology Enhanced Learning, who has successfully delivered an
    ambitious and audacious transformation of the University’s teaching resources onto the new ‘Canvas’ system, before moving onto even greener pastures. Credit is also due to the Senior Management Team, who continue their successful policy of recruiting external experts
    who can be relied upon to stay until the job is complete, before moving onto their next post. We are all grateful that Prof. Pricey ensured that Canvas is safely bedded in before moving onto her even more generously remunerated position, slightly nearer to the centre of London (those lucky people surely don’t have the measure of the talent that awaits them).

    Professor Pricey has also set in place several innovative and remarkable practices that will long be remembered, such as ‘distance-management’ (running a team of 20 from Milton Keynes), ‘blended management’ (preferring to make cakes than make strategies) and ‘hungover/failover management’ (sending senior staff on the American Canvas training, rather than the front-line staff who need to learn about it, thereby ensuring nothing critical would be missed if some among their number could not attend the sessions, being too worse for wear from the night before.)

    But Professor Pricey’s main contribution is surely the revolutionary, brilliant and yet deceptively simple directive that all content is to be organised into topics, units, and activities — this alone must be worth the two years’ PTH salary. The implementation of this vision, via a collection of html templates, is universally regarded as a feat of technical mastery, eliminating any chance that occasional users would get confused, or advanced users would feel constrained. It would certainly have been beyond the talents of our in-house staff to devise this three-level straight-jacket for all our learning content. Give thanks unto THE LORD for a head with such supreme mastery of the relevant technical and pedagogic concepts.

    Furthermore, Prof. Pricey never misses an opportunity to dispense leadership and wisdom at University events such as the Festival of Learning, where her contributions were supremely visible (by their absence). This has meant that the Prof’s visits to Edinburgh, Denmark, Sweden and Spain were somewhat shorter and less frequent than originally planned, but the sacrifice is truly appreciated by the rest of us.

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