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Please excuse my cursing, but I feel that such direct earthy language is strictly necessary in this case.


Read it and weep. An actual email sent out from my university (“a top 100 world University” as it likes to call itself) about a seminar from a visiting higher education bureaucrat. Names have been changed to protect the guilty. Note that the subject line asserts this is The Future of Higher Education Teaching and Learning.

From: noreply@xx.edu.au [noreply@xx.edu.au]
Subject: [XXelearning] Dear XX Course Coordinators and eLearning Professionals, The Future of Higher Education Teaching and Learning

Dear Course Coordinators and eLearning Professionals,

Please consider the opportunity to attend this public lecture on The Future of Higher Education Teaching and Learning, this coming Friday at UQ, by Dr. Lxx Gxxxxx, from Cxxx Wxxxxxx Rxxxxxx University.

Where: XXXX Seminar Room 1
When: Friday July 13th
Time: 12:30 pm to 1:30 pm

Lxx comes to this from a position of proactive engagement in the positioning of the university as an intellectual catalyst in a network of community organisations and public services. His most recent work has been focused on leveraging the position of the research university as a focal point for connecting education, community services, hospitals, libraries, museums, and related groups together through community networks (as in both high-speed wired and wireless networks). From the position of enabling information exchange a set of possible collaborations and connections emerges. Among the efforts Lxx has championed include:

[continues in this vein for quite some time]

I’m a part-time Classics PhD, and for many years I have worked in private industry as a software developer. The field of commercial software is often fond of this sort of obtuse jargon that fills in for real meaning, especially in sales and marketing material (less so in the actual technical field, where jargon has a precise function). However, despite this, given all my experience with deciphering statements about proactive engagement and positioning with the catalyst to perform the essential task of leveraging the enablement of information exchange, I still struggle to decipher what all this even means. It’s risible.

Remember, this is the future of your university!