Columbia University
3.6 of 5 491 reviews
www.columbia.edu New York, NY 1000 to 5000 Employees

Columbia University Reviews

Updated Feb 26, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

3.6 491 reviews

                             

86% Approve of the CEO

Columbia University President and Trustee Lee C. Bollinger

Lee C. Bollinger

(220 ratings)

80% of employees recommend this company to a friend
13 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews
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    Awful infrastructure run by overpaid and indifferent executives and managers.

    Assistant Director (Current Employee)
    New York, NY

    ProsLocation. Tons to do nearby. Lots of restaurants and food options. Good public transportation.

    ConsEverything else. Bureaucratic. Indifferent management.

    Advice to Senior ManagementWhere to begin. This is by far the worst place I have ever worked. I'm shocked they have such a high rating on GD. it's like working at the MVA without all the glitz and glamour (sarcasm).

    The People: Most of the central and administrative staff consists of folks too ignorant, incompetent or indifferent to be of any utility whatsoever. Most are underpaid and under-qualified resulting in a high turnover rate. Those employees who do stay learn quickly to keep their head down and pass work off to some other poor soul.

    The Systems: Timesheets are done manually. Seriously Columbia? What year is this? Good luck remembering your project's account number - which some genius changed from 6 digits to 54 alpha numeric "chartstring". Want a project financial report? Be prepared to spend 15 minutes trying to access a system that logs you out every 60 seconds. If you are lucky enough to finally pull a report, the output is literally 20 columns long with a font size an ant couldn't read. Have a technical problem? Submit a "Service Now" request and someone will quickly give you a non-answer and close out your ticket to keep the response metrics high.

    Senior Management: Completely tone deaf. Too busy patting themselves on the back for all the nonsensical "business-speak" they vomit daily. Most spend their days go to meetings about meetings or trying to figure out the least productive way to run something or how to shake down some rich alumni to fund some unnecessary special project. The President is pushing the University to expand into Harlem and globally without the necessary capacities or cultural competencies. His deputies are too busy brown-nosing they push impossible tasks downward with disastrous outcomes. Case in point, they converted they entire financial system to some off-the-shelf ERP product in under a year on the cheap and most of the staff left out of frustration

    Bottomline, Columbia looks great on a resume but if you are looking for a professional and meaningful work environment, go elsewhere.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Academics that don't know how to run progams

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsAccess to academic programs, if you work on the New York campus (I didn't). Some New York colleagues took advantage of the tuition breaks for employees.

    ConsI worked on an international project, and it was totally dysfunctional. A lot of cronyism - leadership at Columbia knew who does and doesn't perform, and does nothing about it.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Not as Great as they appear

    Technician (Former Employee)
    New York, NY

    Prosthere are great employee benefits

    Consthey are not really an EOE. The jobs posted on the website are already filled, or the employer already has a candidate in mind. The job is still posted for the public to view and apply for, but it is already filled.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    Unprofessional Environment

    Accountant (Former Employee)
    New York, NY

    ProsGood campus, benefits and holidays.

    ConsIf you are part of Morning Side Campus at Earth Institute, there is a lack of direction from senior leadership.Dysfunctional upper management who discriminates the staff. No promotions/bonuses internally. Untrained managers have poor leadership skills. Management doesn't obey the same rules that apply to their staff. The administration is very tight-fisted, and high performance is not rewarded, unless you are very astute politically.

    Advice to Senior ManagementListen to your staff. Respect them and treat them equally. Senior management is not skilled to be managers.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Difficult environment to work in

    Administrator (Current Employee)
    New York, NY

    ProsGood benefits, opportunities to move around within the organization

    ConsLarge bureaucracy, which is difficult to maneuver in

    Advice to Senior ManagementProvide more support to staff.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    Facilities management at Medicial center leadership is deficiient

    Project Manager (Former Employee)
    New York, NY

    Proscelebration of monthly birthdays with free cake every month is the only effort made to boost the severely sagging morale at this place

    Conscramped work spaces, with some staff stuffed into empty old apartments instead of professional office environment
    senior leaders are very disrespectful of project managers time with constantly rescheduled and cancelled meetings, sometimes showing up up to 30 minutes late, sometimes never showing up at all- without any explanation.
     Extremely high turnover- 4 managers have quit , each staying less than a year on the job.

    Advice to Senior ManagementLook at your extremely high turnover and extremely low morale as a reflection of an unprofessional environment.
    Why schedule internal departmental meetings with staff if senior leadership assigns these meetings such a low priority that they are so frequently rescheduled, cancelled, or senior leadership doesn't even show up for their own staff meetings? clearly the message is that you could not care less about your staff or the work they do

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    1 person found this helpful  

    Lack of leadership led to wasted effort.

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)
    New York, NY

    ProsThe ability to interact with other departments and physicians at a well respected Ivy League University in a fantastic City.

    ConsA lack of direction from senior leadership leads to wasted effort.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    My experience at Columbia is horrible, for an Ivy League institution ALL of their administrative staff is horrible.

    Senior Benefits Specialist (Current Employee)
    New York, NY

    ProsDecent tuition benefit if you have children going to college and they can either (a) make it into Columbia University or (b) your income is too high to get government assistance for your child go to a 3rd party school. If you want to work in the same job, same position, same responsibilities for the next 30 years of your career and you like lazy people who do not care about doing their jobs well.

    ConsBenefit cuts are coming, tuition is the only benefit that is still somewhat good but that will go too. Management is horrible. No promotion opportunities. Alot of "lifers" with no incentive or motivation. A lot of broken / old systems. Negotiate a good salary because once you get there you are not getting anything. Their system for increases is as follows this year 2% for everyone who makes above a certain $ amount in a certain salary grade and more for those who make below a certain level. No performance is taken into account.

    Advice to Senior ManagementThere are many with the title Manager who do not fit the bill. Columbia University should send these people to management boot camp, and even then it probably wouldn't do anything.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    As an Ivy league school, I'm really disappointed on how they treat their staff.

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)
    New York, NY

    ProsFree classes and degree if accepted into a specific program. Columbia gives you a lot of vacation time as an employee.

    ConsNo promotions/bonues internally. Poor leadership skills. Management doesn't obey the same rules that apply to their staff. No advancement opportunities available.

    Advice to Senior ManagementListen to your staff. Management doesn't work well with the staff and they create silos. Appreciate your staff and treat them with the respect that they give you.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    Multiculturalism and diversity is limited in senior leadership roles.

    Research Coordinator (Former Employee)
    New York, NY

    ProsThe name alone provides many opportunities and one is able to take advantage of attending presentations/discussions throughout campus. The vacation time is excellent as well.

    ConsRacist institution that looks the other way when people of color are being discriminated against. Several racist acts have occurred throughout campus in the past among blacks and Latinos. The institution emphasizes that they encourage multiculturalism and diversity, but their practice places many barriers. Staff are expected to conform and not challenge upper management. Communication is from the top down, as well as performance evaluations (e.g., staff do not evaluate their supervisor). Employee morale in my department was extremely low and high turnover.

    Advice to Senior ManagementReinforce multiculturalism and diversity on campus. Take stronger initiatives to recruit and maintain staff of color in senior leadership roles.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Glassdoor is your free inside look at Columbia University reviews and ratings — including employee satisfaction and approval rating for Columbia University CEO Lee C. Bollinger. All 13 reviews posted anonymously by Columbia University employees.