Boston University Reviews

Updated August 4, 2014
Updated August 4, 2014
298 Reviews
3.9
298 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Boston University President and Trustee Robert A. Brown
Robert A. Brown
123 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • The Tuition Remission benefit is the best thing about working at BU (in 25 reviews)

  • Stability, generous benefit and excellent work life balance (in 11 reviews)


Cons
  • There is not much room for growth (in 5 reviews)

  • Cost of living in Boston is expensive (in 4 reviews)

More Highlights

16 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    Large bureaucratic machine, very hierarchical

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - IT Staff in Boston, MA
    Current Employee - IT Staff in Boston, MA

    I have been working at Boston University full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Lots of positions to choose from, not a very rigorous hiring process, good benefits. Tuition remission is good if you hold a staff position until you get your degree then leave, immediately.

    Cons

    No institutional plan for professional growth, promoting from within not a part of culture, salaries low compared to local schools and much lower compared to industry, minimal cost of living increases instead of performance-based raises, excessively hierarchical in structure and thinking, staff discouraged from thinking creatively or showing initiative because of a lot of very insecure, entrenched director-level and above staff who primarily serve the appearance of their value to the executive leadership. As at most universities, staff are at the bottom of the totem pole at BU and are openly considered expendable and easily replaceable.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    If you treat staff like transient student workers, they will behave as such. When you do not recognize and reward effort and initiative, no matter how threatening it may appear to stagnant management thinking, good talent will exercise their options and leave. You're left with mediocre workers not invested in constant improvement but just maintaining the status quo and lying low. And when you promote people to senior leadership positions based on their connections and not their experience, training, or demonstrated aptitude for leadership, you encourage a situation where the executive sees his unit only in terms of his own advancement and privileges. Leaders aren't created when anointed. As they say in the military, a leader is someone you would follow even if you didn't have to. BU could learn much from the military's development of leaders and much from the tech industry in encouraging ground-level creativity by reducing the oppressive levels of hierarchy in decision making.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2. 4 people found this helpful  

    Highly Overrated

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Administrative Coordinator in Boston, MA
    Current Employee - Administrative Coordinator in Boston, MA

    I have been working at Boston University full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    The Tuition Remission benefit is the best thing about working at BU. You get 4 credits free and then 4 more credits at 90% off each academic year. Also it's pretty easy to transfer between departments.

    Cons

    The leadership in the University is oblivious and disconnected.

    The beaurocracy of working at this institution is unbelievable. There is not an easy way to navigate any system. HR, Sourcing & Procurement, etc.

    Performance is not rewarded at all. It's all about longevity here. So essentially you have faculty and staff that have been there forever but that do not contribute in any meaningful way.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3.  

    Great institution, but unfortunate personnel in leadership positions

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Boston, MA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Boston, MA

    I worked at Boston University full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Career development opportunities, ability to work with large staff, great resources

    Cons

    Difficult management environment to navigate

    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO
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  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    Many great projects and faculty, but overly bureaucratic and unclear leadership

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Boston, MA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Boston, MA

    I have been working at Boston University full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    Big university = diversity of opportunities & ideas, 17 schools, students from all around the world

    Cons

    Big university = BUREAUCRACY! Too much emphasis on form over function, process over substance, money over mission. Inaccessible senior leadership. Very hierarchical structure means smart young employees with good ideas are rarely heard or used well.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Invest in your leadership team for leadership and communications skills. Actively discourage bureaucracy - it's not inevitable. And work to better leverage teh richness available at all levels of faculty, staff, and student populations.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6.  

    Depends on your Department

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Project Coordinator in Boston, MA
    Current Employee - Project Coordinator in Boston, MA

    I have been working at Boston University full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    The Tuition Remission beneift is the best thing about working at BU. You get 4 credits free and then 4 more credits at 90% off each academic year. Also it's pretty easy to transfer between departments.

    Cons

    The beaurocracy of working at this institution is unbelievable. There is not an easy way to navigate any system. HR, Sourcing & Procurement, etc,

    There is very little opportunity for upward mobility and someone else in your position in a different department could easily be getting paid up to twice what you do.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Re-evaluate staff positions and salaries, they are some of the lowest among universities in the area, Increase the tuition remission benefit so that employees can get at least half of a part-time program funded. Include a T-pass discount for commuters since parking costs an armand a leg.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    Head coach; snowboard team

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Head Coach in Boston, MA
    Former Employee - Head Coach in Boston, MA

    I worked at Boston University as a contractor (more than an year)

    Pros

    the students I had that I coached are top notch, I would recommend them anywhere anytime

    Cons

    they are excellent at taking advantage of the small person/ you give 100%, BU takes 100% advantage/ BU is not willing to compensate for a job well done/ not willing to pay out more for a job that would pay a lot more(double or triple) anywhere else, and is not willing to negotiate what so ever

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    step it up when it comes to individuals that are willing to give it their all. Take notice of the work put in, and be willing to negotiate.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8.  

    Very conservative

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - MBA Intenr in Boston, MA
    Current Employee - MBA Intenr in Boston, MA

    I have been working at Boston University

    Pros

    - Training program
    - Nice managers that understand your personal life challenges
    - Friendly atmosphere
    - You can learn about IT ans SAP

    Cons

    - Very conservative and resistant to new ideas and initiatives
    - This is project based company, so there is no hope for promotion or future job

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    We need to apply more advanced and up-to-date communication and software technology. Both software and communication methods are outdated and good for 90s.

    Doesn't Recommend
  9.  

    Not great, but not good

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Boston, MA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Boston, MA

    I have been working at Boston University

    Pros

    BU is an interesting place to work. Very fulfilling helping students out when they appreciate what you do.

    Cons

    Students often don't appreciate what you do. Lots of politics and backstabbing here. People are always looking for how to better themselves

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Offer some more benefits to your employees - it will make them happier

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  10.  

    BU

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Boston, MA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Boston, MA

    I worked at Boston University

    Pros

    Tuition reimbursement, TIAA/CREF, on public transportation

    Cons

    Internal politics unethically influence hiring and promotion.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    It is a better policy to "do unto others as you would have them do unto you" rather than to "do unto others before they do it unto you."

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  11.  

    Don't bother (at SDM)

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Boston, MA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Boston, MA

    I worked at Boston University

    Pros

    Casual working environment, friendly atmosphere, and honest, hardworking people within the faculty and rank and file. Benefits commensurate with a BU job.

    Cons

    Since Dr. Frankl's death, there has been a leadership void and an overall culture of ignorance at SDM. Several former employees have been scapegoated or castigated for institutional failures of which they were either unaware or powerless to fix. Poor compensation of junior administration and adjunct faculty.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Fix the long-term institutional issues and show your employees they're valued.

    No opinion of CEO

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