University of Chicago

  www.uchicago.edu
  www.uchicago.edu
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University of Chicago Reviews in Chicago, IL

Updated June 19, 2014
Updated June 19, 2014
322 Reviews
3.8
322 Reviews
Rating Trends

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Robert J. Zimmer
19 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • The University offers good benefits and a great work atmosphere (in 25 reviews)

  • Good benefits and reasonable work-life balance, if you want it (in 11 reviews)


Cons
  • Senior management is allergic to responsibility, yet repressive of initiative (in 6 reviews)

  • There is little room for career growth and the salary is mediocre (in 5 reviews)

More Highlights

20 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1. 4 people found this helpful  

    Toxic- It's not just a Britney Spears song.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Assistant Director Development  in  Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Assistant Director Development in Chicago, IL

    I worked at University of Chicago full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Relationships with peers tend to become very strong, as many times we have had to rely heavily on one another to complete tasks and projects- which tend to come down with pressure and very last-minute.

    I have made friendships with co-workers that I treasure and who have understood how difficult working at UChicago has been.

    UChicago looks nice on a resume- but was not worth it in exchange for the deplorable working environment.

    Cons

    I like to consider myself a true optimist- but this is the absolute worst working environment I've ever been in. I almost don't know where to begin...

    Advancement opportunities are rare, and promotions have been given to those people who (among other things) verbally abuse their coworkers and have been documented incidents during my time there. For a promotion, the worker is almost always a white male (which seems to contradict the "diverse working environment" UChicago likes to tout) and appears to always have an unusually close relationship with their boss. In other words, the "yes" man is alive and well in this office.

    The actual team dynamic is disastrous. Micro-management is considered effective management, and I (along with my coworkers) were not trusted to make any type of decisions over programming whatsoever. Ironically, mistakes or failures would then be attributed to the same staff who did not have any control/decision making over those processes to begin with. While HR is aware of team issues and the horrible morale, no steps have been taken to address the situation- and supervisors have never openly recognized it with staff.

    Trust between staff and management is non-existent. I have been made aware of examples when my supervisor has given me directions (which I had in handwriting from them), and then in my following through on those directions, denied any involvement (and blamed me) to those higher-up when it became a problem. "Throwing Under the Bus" could be an Olympic sport- and my career at UChicago suffered when I refused to participate (along with some of my coworkers). Staff are very rarely, if ever, thanked for their job. While it seems small, just knowing that someone/anyone recognized my work would have really made a difference in how I felt about my job there.

    Any type of disagreement/criticism with management is severely frowned upon- there have been meetings where people have been expressly asked not to bring any of their issues/concerns to management as they will not be considered (for being too "negative" in nature). However, a condescending tone with staff is a hallmark of the office culture. The irony.

    For a prestigious university with such a hefty endowment (approx. $6.67 billion dollars), as well as the pressure of hitting high goals (with an understaffed team), compensation is significantly less than at local/peer institutions. If you're in development and are looking for competitive pay, you will not find it at UChicago.

    Underneath the shiny veneer of our logo, the University of Chicago has proven to me that no matter what your non-profit status is or how altruistic your mission statement may be, it exists as a quagmire of the worst aspects of a job. Arrogance, favoritism, sexism, duplicity and opportunism lives within the walls of their development offices.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You don't deserve advice.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2.  

    Surprisingly corporate atmosphere

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Researcher  in  Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Researcher in Chicago, IL

    I worked at University of Chicago full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    You are working with some of the most intelligent people in the world in one of the top research institutions in the country.

    Cons

    Especially given the current funding climate, there is an incredible pressure to produce data and the climate is surprisingly corporate - but without the monetary rewards and consistent 9-5 schedule that would be found in industry.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    There was insufficient communication between the management and workers in my case. Many PIs have little to no practical leadership experience other than managing a lab. Obviously the environment in each lab may differ, and many PIs are natural-born leaders, but in my case it really showed.

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

    Great school, clueless management

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

    I worked at University of Chicago full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Looks good on a resume. They have money to burn,and do, except on staff members.

    Cons

    Micromanaging drones ruin a potential nirvana. Treat non-academic staff as serfs.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get together with your #1 school of business to learn how to run a university

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    Stagnant

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Clerical  in  Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Clerical in Chicago, IL

    I have been working at University of Chicago part-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Benefits, time-off, and no real dress code

    Cons

    Only certain people fit the criteria of moving up and I don't seem ti fit the shade. It does not have to do with ability or willingness.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop the discrimination and give everyone a chance that they have earned and deserved.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    If you're ok with following the status quo and kiss up to management you'll do fine.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Business Manager  in  Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Business Manager in Chicago, IL

    I worked at University of Chicago full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    All things considered, the benefits package is spectacular

    Cons

    It wasn't a place that welcomed change and innovation. New ideas were constantly rejected and I never felt like I could really contribute to my team. Promotions were solely based on how much management liked you, not merit, which became incredibly frustrating. Management also isn't the best at fostering professional development. I couldn't grow the way I wanted to grow here.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7.  

    Hard Work Pays Off

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

    I have been working at University of Chicago full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Great benefits, has strong history for being top notch educator. Having on resume carries weight.

    Cons

    Alot of red tape, which happens everywhere.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8.  

    Not a good place to work in

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

    I have been working at University of Chicago full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Very prestigious institute, The campus is so beautiful

    Cons

    The area is generally unsafe

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Try to provide faculty with more grants

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9.  

    Compensation is low for the hours worked. Long commutes.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Scholar  in  Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Scholar in Chicago, IL

    I have been working at University of Chicago full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Working in a world class facility.

    Cons

    Parking is expensive even for employees. Property costs in Hyde park make it difficult to live near work. Expected to work 50-60 hrs a week to keep my job.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Increase the compensation for experience.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    Worked for a long time but disappointed in the end

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Analyst / Programmer  in  Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Senior Analyst / Programmer in Chicago, IL

    I worked at University of Chicago full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    - Okay salary and benefits.
    - Can be very rewarding if you find a good group to support, which I did.
    - Good environment for people with scholarly interests, library excellent.

    Cons

    - Out-of-date enterprise software in IT Services, long overdue for replacement.
    - Recently attempts to "change the culture" (much needed) have made things worse instead of better.
    - People are put on report for being "disruptive" when they are trying to raise a problem; so the fear of being fired is genuine.
    - Reviews were not given consistently in the past. Perhaps this explains some of the problems in starting up after more than a decade without.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    - Try to figure out what the staff actually needs to get done.
    - Work more closely with clients.
    - Take on tasks to sharpen and broaden skills of staff.
    - Encourage staff to work independently and creatively to address needs.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11. 3 people found this helpful  

    ITServices layoffs without warning, Cannot rely on promises

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Software Developer  in  Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Software Developer in Chicago, IL

    I have been working at University of Chicago

    Pros

    Nice campus (except occasional crimes made in daylight).

    Cons

    Layoffs without warning. Inherent distrust between management and staff. Low employee and manager morale. Directors out of touch.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Do the honorable thing. Be honest and transparent.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

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