University of California Berkeley

www.berkeley.edu
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University of California Berkeley Reviews

Updated June 16, 2015
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University of California Berkeley Chancellor Nicholas B. Dirks
Nicholas B. Dirks
11 Ratings

Pros
  • The work/life balance is outstanding (in 25 reviews)

  • Flexible hours, very understanding of students (in 35 reviews)

Cons
  • the pay is low but it is made up by tuition remission (in 21 reviews)

  • Budget cuts are bringing down work capacity in my department (SLC) (in 23 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

60 Employee Reviews

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  1. Great research institution. Poor management

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Comp & Benefits
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Scholar
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Scholar

    I have been working at University of California Berkeley

    Pros

    Some of the most exciting research in the world takes place at UC Berkeley. People are smart and hard working.

    Cons

    Management is poor. Many of the admins do not know what they are doing.


  2. Few Opportunities for Growth

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

    I have been working at University of California Berkeley full-time

    Pros

    -The pension
    -Access to public transportation

    Cons

    -Management is not held accountable for how effectively they manage people
    -Budget deficit
    -Preference for external candidates during hiring


  3. Entry level position

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

    I have been working at University of California Berkeley

    Pros

    University environment is nice, generally nice colleagues; have been told that once you are employed, it's easier to get other jobs within the university

    Cons

    Low salary, no chance for promotion within department, very administrative/clerical


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  5. Researcher on individual projects for UC Berkeley

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

    I have been working at University of California Berkeley (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Very stimulating and interesting work. Level of scholarship very high.

    Cons

    Atmosphere very competitive and individualistic. Most lack ability or interest to work collaboratively in teams.

    Advice to Management

    Would benefit from centralizing some funding and incentivizing more collective endeavors.


  6. Long term permanent employee but laid off due to reorganization of unit/division

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

    I worked at University of California Berkeley full-time (More than 10 years)

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

    Pros

    Reputable public university; diversity; benefits; upper level positions or management earn good salaries

    Cons

    Clerical staff salaries not up to market; inequity

    Advice to Management

    It's not what you do but who you know or if they like you that counts - is not the type of management that should be allowed at the university.


  7. A large ship that steers slowly

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    Current Employee - Information Technology in Berkeley, CA
    Current Employee - Information Technology in Berkeley, CA

    I have been working at University of California Berkeley full-time (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    Beautiful location, a real history of innovation, flexible schedules

    Cons

    Lack of current innovation, many people going through the motions until retirement, lack of funding.

    Advice to Management

    Hold employees accountable, expect more, foster a culture of innovation.


  8. Great people, horrible organization

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Administrative Assistant III in Berkeley, CA
    Current Employee - Administrative Assistant III in Berkeley, CA

    I have been working at University of California Berkeley full-time (More than 3 years)

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

    Pros

    This campus is so big and segmented that you're likely to have a very different experience depending on what department you're in. My direct coworkers have generally been fantastic, though, and the workplace is generally casual with an "everybody pitch in" attitude. Lots of holidays and fairly good time off policies. If you're good at what you do, there are also ample opportunities to move up - some of the COO-level people in the administrative units started out at the Admin Assistant level.

    Cons

    Staff is constantly overworked, it's almost impossible to get rid of inefficient or incompetent people who pass their probationary periods which sometimes makes it look like you're fully staffed when in fact it's just the rest of you pulling for one. Constant budget cuts ALWAYS impact staff members and administrative departments first. Because it's a public university, you won't be paid market rate. Attempts to improve workflow processes tend to get lost in bureaucracy.

    There's still a "consensus" culture to UC, which is one of those things that sounds nice in theory but in practice means that any attempt at change will be met with open, obvious opposition. And often, if one person opposes, the entire attempt fails. There's a lot of inefficiency, but the structure and culture here very much entrenches that at the expense of the competent few, who receive mounting pressure and workload to make up the difference.

    Advice to Management

    Abandon the consensus model and empower your service organizations (HR, IT, etc.) to give bad news to clients when necessary. Apply efficiency standards equally within units. Make sure people are heard - your best workers are consistently burning out and leaving. Treat employee suggestions seriously and make a good-faith effort to implement them.


  9. Stagnant and disappointing experience

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Academic Coordinator in Berkeley, CA
    Former Employee - Academic Coordinator in Berkeley, CA

    I worked at University of California Berkeley full-time (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    - a sprinkle of co-workers who are passionate about education
    - good health coverage benefits
    - close access to Bart
    - knowledgeable co-workers
    - technology team is always working hard at perfecting processes and improving online courses

    Cons

    - higher management severely lacks emotional intelligence
    - employees who have been there for years are comfortable and crabby in their positions
    - no chances to advance
    - broken processes
    - no performance guides or outlines
    - no opportunities for salary bonuses or increases (except for bonus nomination, which is not always fair, as it is decided by a committee who have no direct knowledge of the nominees)

    Advice to Management

    - value your employees, and show it, aside from empty compliments at staff meetings
    - improve/fix broken processes
    - stop overloading people and creating burnout
    - make technological training MANDATORY for older management


  10. Ups and downs...

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

    I worked at University of California Berkeley

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    - comprehensive benefits package (health, medical, dental)
    - loose deadlines
    - if you're lucky, a team that supports your efforts and collaborates with you
    - if you're even luckier, positive relationships with many of the higher-up administrators who truly care about education
    - the ability to help and impact adult students
    - the opportunity to train yourself in autonomy, self-guidance, and stress management
    - useful stepping stone for working on Berkeley campus

    Cons

    - little to no employee morale efforts
    - terrible human resources services
    - performance standards are pretty low; there is no motivating factor to perform well, as raises are not possible and supervisors do not acknowledge accomplishments, yet performance reviews are always mediocre so that employees don't feel entitled to earning more money
    - people are tasked with the responsibilities of 3-4 employees, so that the institution doesn't spend money hiring extra people
    - often time, the people needed to resolve or process something are away or out sick
    - retention rate for people under 30 is extremely low
    - middle and higher management are technologically challenged, out of touch with their academic employees, unconcerned re: their teams' efforts, and some (not all) are generally biding time until their retirement benefits kick in
    - highest-level management doesn't address or resolve employee unhappiness/conflict
    - little to no chance for advancement
    - too many people who are there because they can't get fired, thereby rendering them out of touch with the advances needed to improve the institution, or perpetually stressed and bitter

    Advice to Management

    Change employee approach. Encourage external and internal professional development. Allow brainstorming and creativity, rather than adhering to the status quo and encouraging everyone to simply eke by. Spend money on employee initiatives, perks, etc. Be more in touch with lower-level administrators. Ensure that middle and higher management are qualified, professionally and interpersonally, for the positions they are in.


  11. It is very tough to work at this University as graduate student

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

    I have been working at University of California Berkeley

    Pros

    it is a good training for research purpose.

    Cons

    very competitive environments, and low paying salary



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