Argos aims to circulate writing about topical matters of public and political import that is local, critical and accessible. We believe critical intellectual conversation should be heard here in Aotearoa-New Zealand, not simply published for credit in international fora for more limited and specialised audiences. Of particular interest to us is writing that grounds its concern with the public or political good of place-making in theory or philosophy.



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The personal touch

(message from a higher power)

# -*- coding: iso-8859-15 -*-
import random, string from datetime import datetime
for institution in universities:
for names in database:
(forename,email) = names.split()

Dear “”” + forename + “””,

This is my first email for
“”” + str( + “””
so may I take the opportunity of welcoming you back to
“”” + institution + “””
University. I am sure this will be a busy and productive time as we implement our latest
“”” + “”.join(random.sample(string.ascii_uppercase,3 text += “””
plan, which again involves restructuring all institutional functions across traditionally targeted faculties. This plan is ambitious but achievable if we focus our collective energies on it, and it reflects the stunning earlier success of major developments frequently and infrequently communicated via this regular email. As always, it is my transparent will to keep you informed in authorised ways.

Overall, our very generous donors, worth more than
“”” + random.choice(
[“$”,”£”,”€”,”¥”]) + str(random.randint(2,10 + “””
million a year to this university, continue to supply and demand numerous inten- tions which provide strong and stable long-term orientation. Financial security ensures that knowledge flows seamlessly in both directions and is aligned with strategic priorities and an unwavering customer focus. At the same time, our latest cost-benefit analysis demonstrates that utilisation of a consistent model of dialogue would neither
“”” + random.sample( [“improve service delivery”, “increase capacity”, “improve efficiencies”, “reduce operational costs”, “secure further investment”], 3) + “””,
nor strengthen managerial functions. The level of service externalised to internal stakeholders has recently been found to be remarkable, rating at
“”” + str(random.randint(25,75 + “””
per cent. This result nicely reflects our declared objective of operating in an increasingly constrained operational environment, producing decisive implications for infrastructure and performance and placing ongoing demands for near-perfect scores on all service divisions. We aim to keep building on this massive investment, which certainly appears to be paying off.

Our state-of-the-art business school has officially been acclaimed as the most successfully benchmarked philanthropic enterprise in the history of
“”” + random.choice(
[“our institution”, “this country”, “the world”, “human endeavour”]) + “””.
As noted in our latest Annual Report, the business school is the key driver of critical excellence in all valued fields and it reflects blue sky thinking on every level. Following this first whole-of-university initiative, which has likely positioned our institution among the leading brands globally, I am very pleased to ad- vise that our marketing team has secured an integrated sale and purchase agreement regulating all future research. This unconditional agreement is set to realise equi- ty-based benefits that are both significant and as-yet unconfirmed. Each interaction between academic staff and
“”” + random.choice(
[“clients”, “prospective clients”, “external stakeholders”, “internal stakeholders”, “mystery shoppers”]) + “””
will be subject to a standardised needs analysis assessment, with strong emphasis placed on
“”” + random.sample(
[“perfecting customer service skills”, “meeting all legal obligations”, “avoiding matters of uncertain value”], 2) + “””
and on closing the inquiry. This represents a key qualitative and thematic development, and once again I must congratulate all those who have helped us to attract these paying dividends.

I am also delighted to announce substantial improvements in the efficiency of our improvements, which are the result of concerted and collaborative efforts by the most
“”” + random.sample(
[“loyal”, “dedicated”, “hardworking”, “trusted”, “recently upgraded”], 3) + “””
elements of our workforce. At the same time, we are working hard to ensure that existing contractual obligations to our human resources can be met through phased reversal of the projected transfer of remuneration and promotions. For those affected, such an outcome represents a significant step in an academic career and is vital in addressing the major strengths, weaknesses and opportunities facing this country and the world as technological intelligence continues to break new ground. These challenges notwithstanding, there may remain limited scope for retention of those exemplary members of staff who are endowed with
“”” + random.sample(
[“sufficient endowment potential”, “prompt submission systems”, “controlled core out- age requirements”, “relevant experience in tracked changes”], 2) + “””
and with the capacity to deliver programmed outputs at machinic speed. Meanwhile, it is very encouraging to see strong interest in the accreditation of our dispute management process. As I spelled out in an earlier communication, and as the review committee has duly recommended, many of our internal interpersonal conflicts would escalate much more effectively through sharp increases in the competitive stakes perceived at individual, programme, school and faculty levels.

Finally, as we prepare to execute our dynamic initiatives to re-shape all staff questions and suggestions, I would like to remind current employees that we consistently accommodate the full range of consultative measures which are so important within a comprehensive
“”” + random.choice(
[“future”, “first”, “world”, “leading”, “edge”], 2) + “””
university. This avenue of support obviously places our institution at considerable risk. It also has important implications for making ends meet and for the enhancement of those areas (formerly known as departments) in which we have already invested heavily, which I acknowledge are not the same thing! While I welcome your confidential feedback, I should make clear that any information you supply will inevitably be utilised in order to safeguard the heightened securitisation of our institution. As you are aware, we increasingly function in a knowledge
“”” + random.choice(
[“economy”, “ecology”, “wave”, “map”, “basket”]) + “””
characterised by increasing levels of viral threat. The latest cross-disciplinary re- search indicates that timely lancing of boils is the most effective measure for ensuring that critical pathways remain open for business in the current climate.

These new directions have been secretly and unanimously approved by our council and will be operationalised shortly. While some of the changes may be difficult for you to swallow, they are undoubtedly necessary in order to ensure optimal productivity and continuing return on investment. This is indeed shaping up to be quite an excep- tional year.

Kind regards,
“”” + VC forename + VC middle initial + VC surname + “”” Vice-Chancellor


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