Adventures in academic bureaucracy

So, I’ve just accepted an external examiner role at a university in Yorkshire. As part of the paperwork, they’re asking for passport photos of yours truly, signed by my University’s HR department. They haven’t said why; it could be to satisfy UKBA, or it could be to assure themselves that I am a member of academic staff at my place. I’ve spoken to our HR, and they’re as bemused as I am, to the point of showing a marked an understandable unwillingness to sign the photos. Of course, given that we’re now down to one part-time HR officer in the faculty (from three this time last year) it’s taken a while to even get this far.

A question for the academics on my list: have you come across universities making these sorts of requests of external examiners before?

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