Harvard University Reviews

Updated March 18, 2015
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Harvard University President Drew Gilpin Faust
Drew Gilpin Faust
252 Ratings

32 Employee Reviews

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  1. 1 person found this helpful

    Harvard University Information Technology

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

    I worked at Harvard University

    Pros

    Lots of vacation days. Ability to take classes for short money. Limited evening and weekend hours. Access to athletic facilities. Public transportation subsidies.

    Cons

    Working in HUIT long-term will kill your soul. You will waste your career doing the equivalent of begging higher-ups to pick up their socks when you are not entreating them to stop withholding one small piece of information or another that you need to do your job.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2. None

    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Harvard University

    Pros

    Everyone wants to be there baby.

    Cons

    Hedge fund posing as a seat of education

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Fire all your investment managers. Shift into index funds.

    Doesn't Recommend
  3. Interesting people, bad bureaucracy cuts benefits from 1/1/2015

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

    I have been working at Harvard University full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    The people I work with are all intelligent and engaged in what they are doing. The benefits used to be a plus, but starting Jan 1, 2015 the benefits change to a con.

    Cons

    There are multiple bureaucracies across the university, hurting the ability to coordinate any work (research, administration, teaching). The IT support is barely competent; they have repeatedly been unable to handle matters the IT support at my previous employer (also a university) handled routinely. The pay for non-union staff is about 20% below peer institutions, which used to be largely off-set by better benefits, but that will not be true after Jan 1, 2015 when the cost of medical benefits go up so much that the Faculty of Arts and Sciences Faculty Senate voted unanimously to request the Provost to scrap it because of its effects on junior faculty and staff. The Provost applied minor band-aids and is going ahead.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    There is no excuse for Harvard to have such bad IT support; it affects productivity.

    Either benefits have to go back up or salary has to go up significantly so that the overall compensation package is not below peer institutions, as it now stands with the 2015 benefits costs.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5. Be careful

    • Culture & Values
    Current Employee - Anonymous
    Current Employee - Anonymous

    I have been working at Harvard University

    Pros

    Seasonal job get a lot of time off

    Cons

    Seasonal job got too much time off

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep it up

  6. postdoc in biology

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Harvard University

    Pros

    challenging project, you can learn a lot in academic research

    Cons

    no promotion; low salary; hard to find a job

  7. 2 people found this helpful

    Tough culture for one of the finest higher ed institutions

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

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

    Pros

    Working with my clients and colleagues was a very enjoyable experience, most of the time. There are definitely people here who like to throw around titles to get what they want, but I would say in the entry level and mid-management positions the people are great.

    Cons

    The leadership at the Law School supports a culture in which managers are right regardless of the situation. This makes it difficult for those of us who are great at what we do, but have a manager who is in the leadership position because of time served, but not necessarily ability to manage and lead. My manager seems to be a good person, but is a terrible manager. He does not listen to others when he does not agree with them, he is afraid to make tough decisions, and he plays favorites. From what I hear from my colleagues, in other departments, they have managers who are the same, but even when going to HR for support, you are basically told to deal with it.

    In addition to the above, there are plenty of people who are just not good at their jobs, but they have been here forever and no one makes them do what they need to so they can have the necessary skills to carry out their roles. People like this are protected, while high-performers are forced to pick up the slack until they eventually tire of doing everyone else's job and leave.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You have alot of very talented people at the Law School, but your inability to hold managers accountable for leadership development for themselves and staff development for their employees will drive all of the good people away. There does not have to be an "us versus them", but senior leadership has allowed the culture to become this way because you allow managers to take on roles they are not fully prepared to embrace.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  8. 2 people found this helpful

    Bad

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

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

    Pros

    no a single one. No one cares about anything outside the lab

    Cons

    All the narcissist PI's with delusions of time

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    get trained

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9. Hard to Work For Insecure Manager

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Contractor - Harvard Media Technology Services, Audio and Visual Technician in Cambridge, MA
    Former Contractor - Harvard Media Technology Services, Audio and Visual Technician in Cambridge, MA

    I worked at Harvard University as a contractor (less than a year)

    Pros

    The pay is great (even better with benefits). You're working on exciting and innovative material that you know may have the potential to influence education.

    Cons

    as a new department, the leadership was all over the place. One of the person in charge was a rather insecure person who only valued their own opinions.
    They created an uncomfortable work environment by forcing an open plan work space despite the objections of the employees who would have to use it (they had a separate office).

    HR is also unhelpful in resolving conflict.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Do a better job of training your supervisors. Don't hire people who know nothing about the field AND are unwilling to to learn from those who do.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful

    Slow-paced and low expectations

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

    I worked at Harvard University full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    Co-workers were nice - some of the managers were good. Pay was very competitive and good benefits.

    Cons

    Very low workload, emphasized in interview what a challenging and interesting job it would be but it was not. Almost everyone there was much older and things moved very slowly.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Provide more training and support to staff. Make sure you actually have a job for people to do before you hire them.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful

    lots of variability in treatment

    • 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 Harvard University full-time (less than a year)

    Pros

    If you're interested in working with smart people, this is the place to be. First place I've been where I didn't have to worry about threatening people with ideas.
    Great benefits, if you get a chance to use them; e.g. too busy to vacation

    Cons

    Huge politics depending on where in the organizational hierarchy you fit. There is great variability in the "happiness index" depending on who your direct supervisor is. And again, highly variable to the department you work in, you might be on call all the time, as to be answering emails at 11pm at night and have a full inbox by 8 am anyway.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Give more than lip service to work/life balance.
    Actually do something about supervisors who do not allow for sick days and vacation time that does not require checking in throughout the day.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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