University of Toronto

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University of Toronto Reviews

Updated December 2, 2014
Updated December 2, 2014
332 Reviews
3.9
332 Reviews
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Meric Gertler
36 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Lots of things to learn, decent work-life balance ( depends on your mentor) (in 16 reviews)

  • Relatively flexible hours, great work environment with fun colleagues, good pay (in 17 reviews)


Cons
  • Work-life balance is hard to manage (in 6 reviews)

  • Working hours are not strictly what they say in the contract (in 10 reviews)

More Highlights

18 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1.  

    Students are just numbers like the grades they hand out

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Teaching Assistant in Toronto, ON (Canada)
    Former Employee - Teaching Assistant in Toronto, ON (Canada)

    I worked at University of Toronto as a contractor (more than an year)

    Pros

    Pay for Teaching Assistants is about the highest in North America thanks to the strength of the CUPE Union. Also, should a TA encounter any difficulties with their professors, department, or school at-large, the union will work hard to set things straight. If you're looking for diversity in education, then it's hard to beat the vast array of nationalities that comprise this university.

    Cons

    For teaching assistants, there's little to no training. Departments assign graduate students to professors and by the next day expect the TA's to take the reigns of a careening car with no wheels. Because the university is all about enrollment numbers and pushing professors to produce research, TA's often have more responsibility in classes than do the professors. And with hundreds of students regularly assigned to each TA (particularly intro level classes), very late nights of grading are to be expected at the same time your graduate coursework is due. Although TA's are the lifeblood of the school, they're treated like workhorses.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Rely less on TA's and the need for massive assignments to "teach" your students. Prioritize learning over work, and encourage professors to forge meaningful, respectful relationships with students and Teaching Assistants.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    Unlucky Assignments

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Administration in Toronto, ON (Canada)
    Current Employee - Administration in Toronto, ON (Canada)

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

    Pros

    St. George is a nice campus with lots of amenities and the city life. Some very nice people. Good wages.

    Cons

    Most assignments had some dysfunctional situation to deal with. The worst was being belittle by management/direct supervisor - this happen to me twice and it is very difficult because it takes time to recognize that it is happening and by then you have already be effected. I also witnessed many incidences of support staff treated badly. Was not allowed to work to my full potential as it was a threat to management. Culture is oppressive with a lot of micro-managing. Support staff are unsupported. Many faculties are still trying to set up systems.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    HR needs to take better care to follow-up on their managements behavior. Upgrade your database systems.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    University of Toronto Response

    Nov 17, 2014Communications Coordinator

    We are sorry to see your feedback on your experience at work. If you would like to speak with your HR office about your concerns, we will work with you to address any challenges. For your ... More

  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    Used to be a great place to work until the Steelworkers ruined it

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Engineer in Toronto, ON (Canada)
    Former Employee - Engineer in Toronto, ON (Canada)

    I worked at University of Toronto full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Great benefits
    Flextime
    Free tuition to Graduate level
    Excellent work life balance

    Cons

    Union came in the late 1990s and handcuffed employees. If you like to go above and beyond and make a meaning contribution, you'll get chewed out by the union.

    Pay is way below market

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get rid of the union. Let those employees who want to shine. Get rid of the dead weight hauling the university down.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    Assistant Professor

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Assistant Professor in Toronto, ON (Canada)
    Former Employee - Assistant Professor in Toronto, ON (Canada)

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

    Pros

    Salary, location, fantastic library system.

    Cons

    Work-life balance for a Professor at UofT is better described as work-work-work. The pressure to produce publishable research and obtain grants is enormous. Yes, this is one of the primary jobs of a professor but the emphasis on research detracts from the time and capacity to teach effectively, let alone serve on committees and participate in community life. The workplace culture is competitive and isolating; even as all professors face the same overwhelming pressure there is no time or incentive to support one another. The same goes for supporting students. I got into academia because I really enjoy teaching, wanted to pursue participatory pedagogy, and genuinely care about my students. UofT, I feel, does not. Students are treated numbers and to the University administration, that's what they are, with $ attached. I really felt that teaching had no value to the administration and in order to get ahead I had to devalue it myself. Fortunately, I'm now at a smaller institution where I am still able to research (and publish on) my areas of passion while also pursuing my passion for teaching.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    University administration needs to seek and take direction from staff, faculty, and students in meaningful and ongoing ways --as part of decision-making, not after the fact.

    Disapproves of CEO
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    Long time to completion of studies.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - PhD Candidate in Toronto, ON (Canada)
    Former Employee - PhD Candidate in Toronto, ON (Canada)

    I worked at University of Toronto full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    It has a strong name that's recognized internationally. World class research is done here.

    Cons

    They take advantage of their graduate students - longer lengths of PhD studies compared to other schools. They get the most out of their students (cheap labour) which is probably how they have such a strong name in research.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Address this problem! It's unethical to keep students that long knowing they can't quit after giving you so many years.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    Postdoc Research Fellow

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

    I worked at University of Toronto as a contractor

    Pros

    More flexible and relaxable in time

    Cons

    Poor payment and benefit plans

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    Large place, sink or swim

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Graduate Student in Toronto, ON (Canada)
    Current Employee - Graduate Student in Toronto, ON (Canada)

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

    Pros

    brand is strong in canada, good reputation world-wide. very strong academically. people are generally intelligent here. nice campus, very big and impressive.

    Cons

    sink or swim. no mentorship. departments don't care about how fast students finish on time. lots of bureaucracy. students generally take 6.5 years to finish their PhDs in this department.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    Postdocs are at the bottom of the totem pole here, lower than undergrads, even.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Fellow in Toronto, ON (Canada)
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Fellow in Toronto, ON (Canada)

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

    Pros

    Library access. Centrally located in the city.

    Cons

    Expensive gym memberships that don't count across different facilities. No good benefits. Forced yearly "fees" (we literally pay a fee for the 'privilege' of working at UofT). No housing assistance. Food options on campus are terrible (and expensive). No commuting benefits.

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

    Difficult to move up, great for lateral moves.

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Toronto, ON (Canada)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Toronto, ON (Canada)

    I have been working at University of Toronto full-time

    Pros

    The University of Toronto is a reputable place to work and they provide great benefits including tuition reimbursement.

    Cons

    It is very very hard to move up within the University of Toronto. Many of my colleagues agree that age is a huge factor when assessing wether you move into a role, even if the qualifications are more than met. In present times for certain roles I have noticed gender to play a huge part as well. Officially the university is trying to portray an unbiased view of itself with it's staffing. Unfortunately, the official portrayal and reality often don't match. Not a place for moving up. Great for lateral moves.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    If upper management wants to keep their staff, they need to develop and promote their staff internally. Otherwise they will continue to lose so many valuable staff as they have done thus far!

  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    massive administration stands in way of useful work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Research Associate in Toronto, ON (Canada)
    Current Employee - Research Associate in Toronto, ON (Canada)

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

    Pros

    - independence
     - can be good if you have a good advisor
     - generally a calm and relaxed environment, casual dress, etc
     - this is very dependent on the faculty you are in

    Cons

    - massive administration, nothing can get done
     - they try to implement rules/procedures, which get ignored
     - individual faculty who should have retired years ago, don't. Not much the administration can do about them, they just suck up space for useful people.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

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