The University of Afpuddle's Visiting "Muppet" Chair of Philosophy, Professor Havant Akloo was the recipient of huge acclaim today as the public [or rather those limited parts of it that appreciated his discourse] rushed to salute his most recent and, by some measure, most insightful, analysis of the current situation. Variously described as "a clear-sighted and unambiguously expressed view", "a trenchant and unflinchingly hard look at ourselves and the situation we have got ourselves into" and "a confusing cocktail of psychobabble, academic verbiage and inanely pompous humbug", opinion was broadly united in misunderstanding the Professor's brave over-view.
Speaking from his current "temporary" socially-distanced base in the Dutch Antilles, the University of Afpuddle's Pro-Vice Chancellor for Education, Research, Student Affairs and On-Campus Betting Services, Professor Grantham Capricorn, was quick to add his own voice of approval, telling reporters that "we as a University couldn't be more proud of our staff in General and Professor Havant Akloo in particular. The fortitude they have shown in endlessly pontificating about the current existential crisis and remaining at home whilst in post; the sacrifice which they have shown in taking their full stipends whilst being unable either to teach or research; and the selflessness they have exhibited on a daily basis by going about their lives as though nothing is happening is both a lesson and an inspiration to us all. As someone who has himself been forced to shield from wife, family and responsibility and been required to remain almost completely idle in a luxury hotel accompanied only by my "secretary" Delores, I am well placed to appreciate fully the hardship we are all suffering and the example of high-minded rectitude Professor Havant Akloo has set through his inspiriting and reassuring words. My only disappointment is that the New Year's Honours List was published too early to recognise and acknowledge his achievement - as well as that of other long-serving University officers [eg Pro-Vice Chancellors like myself] whose dedication and unwavering focus on the job-in-hand has allowed the University to continue to gather fee income whilst providing no benefits or services whatsoever to students in return".*
* University Development and Annual Fund Director Dr Grabham Young has confirmed that this position meets the Charity Commission's gift criteria enabling all fee payments to be counted as donations and thus allowing both the students and the University to claim Gift Aid.
However, notably absent in Professor Capricorn's otherwise fulsome response was any explicit reference to charges that professors and other research staff have been encouraged to dumb-down their pronouncements in order to present the University in a more favourable, less elitist, light to non-traditional audiences ['thickies and uninterested dumb-fucks" according to the Sydling St Nicholas Sun]. Some have gone so far as to question whether articles appearing in, for example, Dorset Tittle-Tattle, Campus Babes and Graduate Cheeky Monkey could and should count in any forthcoming University Research Assessment Exercise. A spokesperson for Professor Capricorn later defended the University's directive to its academic staff, arguing that until and unless normal academic life is resumed, the currently abnormal situation required "innovative solutions to challenging communications issues". Asked what constituted "normal academic life", the spokesperson referred the questioner to a recent article by Professor Havant Akloo in The Radipole Swingers Newsletter.