University of British Columbia

  www.ubc.ca
  www.ubc.ca

University of British Columbia Reviews in Canada

186 Reviews
3.8
186 Reviews
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Recommend to a friend
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University of British Columbia President Stephen J. Toope
Stephen J. Toope
60 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Excellent co-workers; good benefits; excellent location; beautiful campus; good career opportunities (in 22 reviews)

  • Relatively slower pace than the private sector, so tends to have better work-life balance (depends on department) (in 9 reviews)


Cons
  • Salary is not enough to sustain in an expensive city like Vancouver (in 6 reviews)

  • Too many students can sometimes bog down the work environment (in 5 reviews)

More Highlights

13 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    Unique organizational culture (not for the best)

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Executive Assistant in Vancouver, BC (Canada)
    Current Employee - Executive Assistant in Vancouver, BC (Canada)

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

    Pros

    Excellent co-workers; good benefits; excellent location; beautiful campus; good career opportunities

    Cons

    Higher management is clueless about what happens administratively in the university; lack of transparency and very poor communications; academics appointed in admin positions are not interested.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    UBC IT used to be a wonderful place to work, but in recent years many staff have been terminated without cause.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Systems Analyst in Vancouver, BC (Canada)
    Former Employee - Senior Systems Analyst in Vancouver, BC (Canada)

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

    Pros

    UBC has historically provided good benefits, including tuition waivers, a stable pension plan, and generous vacation days. UBC Vancouver Point Grey is beautiful campus. There are many excellent co-workers, and opportunities to participate in some of the events and activities happening in and around the university.

    Cons

    What was previously a collaborative and cooperative work environment has become much more tense and adversarial as more and more managers come in from corporate backgrounds rather than from academic IT positions. Recent frequent layoffs without cause are very demoralizing to the remaining staff. Managers are willing to sacrifice their employees to appeal to upper management.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Repeatedly cutting benefits and laying off long time employees is destroying workplace morale among those who remain, and driving the best employees to other opportunities.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3.  

    Does not live up to its mission statement

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

    I have been working at University of British Columbia full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Average benefits, maternity top-up, welcome-back barbeque for staff, tuition waiver, professional development opportunities, some departments have flex schedules

    Cons

    Constant re-organizing of departments means little job stability, weak union, long commute if you don't live in the Metro Vancouver area

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Quit piecing together little jobs to make up 100%. It doesn't work, and no one likes it. Also, think it through before hiring someone to do an "experimental position" as we don't want to find out in a few months that there's not really much of a job there for us, and we're getting laid off.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    A Corporation not an Institution

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Enrolment Services in Vancouver, BC (Canada)
    Former Employee - Enrolment Services in Vancouver, BC (Canada)

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

    Pros

    Some of the people that work there are the some of the best people I have ever met. I never felt like UBC deserved such hard workers with so much heart and integrity. UBC doesn't recognize and reward individuality. UBC rewards people for doing what they expect you to do and furthering their goals.
    Some people think the benefits are great at UBC but they are over-rated. They just make you so comfortable that you never want to leave. Also some benefits seem better than they are- like the free tuition. It is never really free and no one has time or energy to take class or can fit the classes they actually need or want to study into their schedule. Also you have to jump through the same hoops as regular applicants and that is a real deterent. In the end, very few employees take advantage of the free tuition credits.

    Cons

    I had the misfortune of going through a reorganization and was laid off. My department was replaced and expanded and many of my colleagues who had been with the department the longest and were the most knowledgeable were not offered new roles. Instead these roles were handed to the least experienced staff who had been there the least amount of time. This was really hard for me to experience because I value loyalty and hard work together very highly. I also saw how tremendous these overlooked colleagues were in helping students and couldn't fathom why this wasn't more valuable to management. I didn't fit in here because I am someone who is constantly pushing the envelope and thinking creatively which scares institutions like UBC that prefer the status quo and blind acceptance. I was a square peg trying to fit into a round hole. I don't regret working there I just regret staying for so long. I felt creatively empty and demoralized at the end of it. I desperately wanted to make a contribution but was never given the opportunity. If you like predictability and want to rise the top by doing what you are told and stroking egos then this is the place for you.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    This is how it went down as I saw it. One day you inform your subordinates that everything is going to change and it is going to change at a rapid pace. You provide very little information other than that but encourage everyone to support this change even though job security is not certain for everyone. First of all, that style of leadership is fear based and it is manipulative. I am not sure what school of leadership you are pulling your ideas from but if it is about making people respect you as little as possible then you succeeded.
    In the end the changes were minimally successful at that and only managed to create more chaos. When an opportunity to jump ship came along - you took it--which only further reinforces that you never really knew what you were doing. I am not sure how all of you managed to get to where you are with such little regard for people but your success will not be long lasting. I am not saying that in spite - just in truth. I am sorry that you felt that this was the only way you felt you could achieve results.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6.  

    Bureaucratic and isolating.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Human Resources in Vancouver, BC (Canada)
    Former Employee - Human Resources in Vancouver, BC (Canada)

    I worked at University of British Columbia full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Great benefits, good pay if you are in the union, educational benefits and good vacation

    Cons

    So many departments, different processes, lots of bureaucracy, location

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7.  

    Disorganized management with little foresight

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Invigilator in Vancouver, BC (Canada)
    Current Employee - Invigilator in Vancouver, BC (Canada)

    I have been working at University of British Columbia part-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Good flexibility in hours. Good experience to work in confidential environments with students. Friendly co-workers. No late night work or Sunday work.

    Cons

    Management is disorganized. They do not respect their commitments to their employees. They will ask you to work hours after you are scheduled to end. Little or no summer work. Poor planning.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Coordinator needs to be a better planner and should not be micro-managed by managers who don't know how exams are invigilated.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
  8.  

    Sub Par Administration

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Marketing Manager in Vancouver, BC (Canada)
    Current Employee - Marketing Manager in Vancouver, BC (Canada)

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

    Pros

    Good Pension and benefits, Lots of Vacation Time, Good Work/ Life Balance, Beautiful Campus & location within Vancouver. Great public transit access.

    Cons

    "Old School" Management style, Not progressive, Bureaucratic with little productivity. My department had a very unethical leadership team and did not seem to align with the vision/ mission of the university.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Walk the Talk and ensure that Your Employees are the type of Role Models that inspire your Student Body

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    Overall an OK place to live but the salary is unsustainable when the cost of living is factored in.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Manager in Vancouver, BC (Canada)
    Current Employee - Manager in Vancouver, BC (Canada)

    I have been working at University of British Columbia full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Generally nice people who are quite intelligent. Great surroundings if you value the outdoors. Good city to bring up children in.

    Cons

    Non-competitive salary unless you are an MD. Typical university system where they only value people they develop which yields a nepotistic environment. Suffers from a severe case of 'Group Think'

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Be open to differing points of view- after all, a university is supposed to be a place to learn and exchange ideas. A more open system of values that isn't so reliant on how many letters you have after your name would yield a much better working environment for support staff.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10.  

    No job security and little recognition of hard work.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Vancouver, BC (Canada)
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Vancouver, BC (Canada)

    I worked at University of British Columbia

    Pros

    Great benefits and pay and a beautiful campus

    Cons

    A lot of bureaucracy. Some departments are likely great to work at. Some are very challenging to work at - depending on management.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  11.  

    Everything depends on a department and for who you work.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Fellow in Vancouver, BC (Canada)
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Fellow in Vancouver, BC (Canada)

    I have been working at University of British Columbia

    Pros

    Health insurance, maternity leaves are financed by the school, helpful HR, possibility to take teaching workshops.

    Cons

    If you are working under PI supervision, choose the right person. Once you signed a contract nobody cares how much you work. It can be 12 hours 6 days a week and your PI will be unhappy with your work. I saw people who were postdocs for 10 years! They were transferring from one PI to another without any career growth.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Check what the assistant and associate professors are doing. Protect people who work for them.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

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