University of California Reviews

Updated January 27, 2015
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University of California President Janet Napolitano
Janet Napolitano
13 Ratings

10 Employee Reviews

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  1. Worker Bee

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Commodity Manager in Oakland, CA
    Current Employee - Commodity Manager in Oakland, CA

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

    Pros

    Job is not stressful. Easy to leave work at work. Benefits are very good.

    Cons

    UC is the definition of bureaucracy. Promotions are made based on who you know or who you want to influence, not merit. Salary increases are tied to inflation, although the cost of benefits is increasing faster, resulting in a net decrease. Annual reviews are a joke and are not tied to metrics, goals, or salary increases.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Run the organization like a business. Get rid of dead wood, streamline the organization, provide bonuses to the rank and file, and tie increases to goals and value added to the organization.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. Don't be a student employee (or RA).

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

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

    Pros

    Work-study. Free room and board. Learning to cope with terrible situations daily.

    Cons

    Overworked, underpaid. As an RA for Berkeley (and a CS student) I have had minimal time to work on side projects. There is no pay, and I don't have time on top of this to get another job for expendable income. When the RAs tried to protest against management their response was to threaten to fire all of us. They treat the RAs as easily replaceable. It's not a good environment.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3. 1 person found this helpful

    Career employee sees waste at UC Berkeley

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

    I have been working at University of California full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Great benefits, flexible work hours, opportunities to take classes

    Cons

    Morale at UC Berkeley is low, and I've seen a lot of unethical behavior over the years. Staff are promoted out of their competence level and "work the system" and sometimes break blatant rules and play favorites. Misconduct goes on and rarely results in someone being fired. Operation Excellent is a good idea, but the great amounts of money being spent to ultimately save money result in "going around the rules." I see it on a daily basis in procurement, hiring, and augmenting senior managers' pockets. I used to be very proud to work at UC Berkeley, but no longer, and would not recommend it to others just starting out.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Insist on ethics training and don't have a double standard for managers. Lower level staff have a hard time making a living, while I've seen 25-30-40 percent raises THIS YEAR ALONE and during hiring freezes for invalid reasons. Questioning managers can result in poor feedback and retaliation.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5. 2 people found this helpful

    Us vs. Them

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

    I have been working at University of California

    Pros

    Friendly, helpful coworkers, noncompetitive. Nice physical environment, or at least access to nice landscape nearby. Easy access to on-campus entertainment.

    Cons

    Extremely low pay at all but the senior administrator levels, where salary and perks are obscenely high. Senior people and tenured faculty are supported at all costs, promoting an us-them mentality among employees.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You need to radically re-engineer the leadership's relationship and approach to employees, who make the university run and who have the power to make students and faculty happy or unhappy.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. 1 person found this helpful

    Proud to work at UCSF. Ashamed to work for the University of CA.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA

    I have been working at University of California

    Pros

    Benefits have been good, but they're being chipped away. Free presentations by notable speakers and live music performances are a nice perk.

    Cons

    If you're a doctor you can get away with atrocious behavior.
    Staff members are being furloughed because UC mgmt gave themselves sweet raises and bonuses instead of tightening their own belts.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Your staff members SUPPORT the docs, the ones who bring in the money. Time for management to support the staff for what they do (and not just with lame 'let them eat cake' staff appreciation parties).

    Mgmt needs to be held accountable for staff development and staff turnover; if it wasn't so humiliating to work here, you wouldn't lose so many employees in the first two years. We need better pay and more respect.

    Work with the unions instead of dragging out contract negotiations for 1.5-2 years every time. We shouldn't have to be negotiating for bathroom breaks in the 21st century.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 2 people found this helpful

    riding on its reputation as an institution but not living up to its hype

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

    I have been working at University of California

    Pros

    It's a shame glassdoor is in beta - I wrote a long review that seems to have been lost after I was prompted to Register to be able to post it. This review will be much shorter. The health benefits at UC are, I'm told, pretty good compared to comparable institutions. Pension benefits seem OK,. You have assess to a lot of interesting events by your proximity to campus, though you may not have energy to attend after work.

    Cons

    There are very extensive employee protections and positive career development programs on paper, but it's rare in my experience for Berkeley to actually adhere to them when there is a issue or you think you're ready to be promoted to the next step. The culture generally discourages speaking out when you see things going wrong, even if its high level execs behaving unethically and abusing their position. Financial abuses seem rife. I've worked here at a variety of positions for 20 years and see some truly egregious wastes of taxpayer money. Some I've reported, some I was prevented from doing o, and never have I felt like the reports changed much on either the bog or little picture. Working here, in general, you'll be asked to give a lot and compensated very little, in either money or other acknowledgements.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    There are many here who do have PhDs and other high level degrees, but have little training in their actual job duties. A Nobel laureate is not necessarily a good manager, and to have people in supervisory positions without training (and often they think because they have a degree in their field means they need no further training), undermines the effectiveness of the unit and costs the univ more money than recruiting someone who knows the work 360 degrees.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. 1 person found this helpful

    You probably deserve more money.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Manager in Santa Barbara, CA
    Former Employee - Manager in Santa Barbara, CA

    I worked at University of California

    Pros

    The Santa Barbara location is pretty. Maybe that's it? Nice to walk around the grounds, close to the beach, nice views if you're in the "right" department (sciences). Fantastic on-campus recreation center. If you are under 25, there are plenty of opportunities to get a red Solo cup filled with hootch.

    Cons

    Employees are not the brightest. The pay is terrible -- commensurate with universities in less expensive environments, with little to no adjustment to surrounding cost of living. Top levels of the institutional hierarchies seem like they were hired in the early 80s and have never changed. You will have a good 20 minute drive to campus from any "real" place you might live...and that's in good traffic, getting home will be much more like 40 minutes. Plan on sitting outside in the beautiful environs to catch up on emails? Don't forget that the campus is VERY behind the times with their wireless network. It's just not going to happen for you, and there's NO movement to fix it (as of 2008).

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Raise salaries. Bring buildings up to 1990s levels of modernity. Create a campus wi-fi network. Hire better people. Privilege the humanities departments the same way you do the science and tech departments.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  9. UCOP

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Accountant in Oakland, CA
    Current Employee - Accountant in Oakland, CA

    I have been working at University of California

    Pros

    Fantastic benefit/pension plan. Lots of vacation/holiday/sick days, good ability for life/work balance.

    Cons

    Below market salary. Not much professional development.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The mass reorgnizations, with no end date is demoralizing

    Recommends
  10. senior management incompetent

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

    I have been working at University of California

    Pros

    great benefits: medical, dental, vision, legal, ADD, life insurance.

    Cons

    Positions are siloed to the point that many jobs do little of no actual work. State institution subject to pay cuts and furloughs.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Have some empathy. Think outside of your academic box. Do not discount work experience outside of academia.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. In a constant state of fiscal emergency

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Physician
    Current Employee - Physician

    I have been working at University of California

    Pros

    Friendly people who for the most part work hard and are very helpful
    Great collegial atmosphere

    Cons

    Mark Yudoff
    Funded by a state that is slowly dying due to illegal immigration
    Very poor benefits for employees: most universities give discounts or free tuition for children of employees but at UC you get NOTHING
    They are now looking at cutting retirement benefits

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get rid of Yudoff
    Stop catering to special interest groups
    Stop favoring political correctness at the expense of everything else

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

University of California Photos

Elena Zhukova
View of the Office of the President of the University of California headquarter office located in Oakland, CA (Photo by Coolcaesar - available under CC-BY-NC-SA 3.0 & GFDL, v1.235)

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