Columbia University Reviews

Updated March 22, 2015
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63 Reviews
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Columbia University President and Trustee Lee C. Bollinger
Lee C. Bollinger
18 Ratings

63 Employee Reviews

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  1. Disappointing Ivy Experience

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Administrative Assistant
    Former Employee - Administrative Assistant

    I worked at Columbia University

    Pros

    It is an Ivy school, free tuition (but not many evening class options), campus is nice. Management depends on department - could be great or hell.

    Cons

    Considering its name, pay is low. Stuffy/boring atmosphere. Professors are a challenge here.

    Advice to Management

    Have a backbone when dealing with professors who know nothing about administration.

  2. Terribly disorganized

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Fellow
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Fellow

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Work with intelligent people who are driven and top of their fields.

    Cons

    No support from the administrative side. Completely disorganized, the whole experience is extremely frustrating.

    Advice to Management

    Provide better administrative support for researchers. Better benefits for postdocs

  3. Postdoc life

    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Research Fellow in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Research Fellow in New York, NY

    I have been working at Columbia University full-time (less than a year)

    Pros

    Freedom to work from home.

    Cons

    The only goal is grants and publications. The passion to do good and love science is lacking. People seem very unhappy.

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  5. Project Manager

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

    I have been working at Columbia University

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    You could attend Columbia for free!

    Cons

    Salary is low and the benefits are okay.

  6. Poor compensation for overworked graduates

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - PhD Student in New York, NY
    Current Employee - PhD Student in New York, NY

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    In theory, we get to be compensated for researching and teaching subjects that we love. Travel is encouraged. And the caliber of the students we teach is rather high.

    Cons

    Columbia is a bureaucratic nightmare. In order to get approval for the meager fellowships and stipends that are offered to graduate students, we are required to submit several detailed applications and forms and reports. None of the fellowship money is meant to be used for personal expenses outside of lodging and food (don't ask where you are supposed to find money to pay for basic toiletries). And there are not enough hours in the week to account for the amount of teaching/grading/research/coursework that is asked of the students.

    Advice to Management

    Your graduate students are your cheap labor force and you treat them as such. Try to value them more.

  7. Public Safety Sergeant

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Sergeant
    Former Employee - Sergeant

    I worked at Columbia University full-time (more than 3 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Salary is ok
    Benefits are decent

    Cons

    Incompetent management , absolutely not one bit of empathy from management
    Second guessed, monday morning quarterbacked on decisions
    Lack of clarity on Policy . There is such a high level of turn over in the position of Sgt that it makes it almost impossible to get a day off. No union protection on Sgt position . Place is riddled with nepotism and cronyism making it almost impossible to get promoted.

    Advice to Management

    Start with treating individuals with empathy and respect

  8. Great people, bad work environment no sense of community

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

    I worked at Columbia University

    Pros

    My co-workers were fantastic and genuinely caring people. They were for the most part friendly to one another.

    Cons

    The actual work environment bordered on unsafe. The office I was in was located in the basement of a building with no windows and poor ventilation--at times the air conditions were so bad that a couple of my co-workers broke out in hives or had allergic reactions. The housekeeping staff barely cleaned--they were more interested in getting out of the office as fast as possible rather than actually cleaning; only when we pointed out that the carpet needed to be vacuumed did they actually vacuum.

    Advice to Management

    Improve the working conditions.

  9. Helpful (1)

    Not invented here.

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

    I have been working at Columbia University full-time

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Health insurance is great, at least compared to the smaller firms I always worked for. The education benefit is good if you plan to stick around for a few years. 35 hour work week.

    Cons

    In my department, CUIT, professional growth was not encouraged. Another problem is a "Not invented here" syndrome. CUIT is full of a staff that took advantage of the Columbia education, plus years of experience, but their knowledge and capabilities is rarely, if ever sought out. Even if you are a good manager, it is difficult to be one in this environment. I cannot talk to the experiences of life in other departments or schools of Columbia.

    Advice to Management

    You have a lot of smart people working for you. Gain their trust and seek their advice. You could save yourself some money on the high paid consultants and improve the wages of your staff.

  10. Red Tape nightmare.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Contractor - Graduate Hall Director in New York, NY
    Current Contractor - Graduate Hall Director in New York, NY

    I have been working at Columbia University as a contractor (more than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    New leadership as provided better training in the past. Gives a person the chance to better their crisis management skills. Provides free housing in Manhattan on campus while attending Columbia University. Your schedule is generally flexible.

    Cons

    Many of the supervisors are inept, lazy, or unprofessional. They're is little growth opportunity, and the position is under compensated compared to the benefits received at other Universities.

    Advice to Management

    Increase the compensation plan so that it is comparable with other institutions. Bring in new leadership that is not stale in their positions.

  11. There are a lot of politics at Columbia University.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Program Coordinator in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Program Coordinator in New York, NY

    I worked at Columbia University full-time (more than 10 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Unlimited sick leave as an officer.

    Cons

    All decisions are made by the big boys. Not too many females in decision making positions.

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