University of Toronto Reviews

Updated June 25, 2015
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Meric Gertler
2 Ratings

Pros
  • working with lots of nice people, work-life balance (in 16 reviews)

  • good benefit; relatively secure jobs; a good learning environment where you can go to school while working; possible flexible hours (in 17 reviews)

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

  • Rough job and working hours that are very tiring (in 10 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

21 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (3)

    Questionable hiring practices

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Toronto, ON (Canada)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Toronto, ON (Canada)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    - professional development courses available through Organizational Development & Learning Centre - set winter break - detailed job descriptions - historical setting (for the most part) - discounted TTC metropasses

    Cons

    Very questionable hiring practices; managers are notorious for turning down internal candidates saying they are "not qualified" and hire friends or family members instead. Some departments are known to hire people without posting for the jobs and HR allows this even though it goes against the University policy. The University touts that it offers flexible work hours but this is all dependent on the manager of the department. In reality the majority of managers do not permit flex time and are not accommodating when it comes to appointments. Benefits are actually worse than in some other institutions and do not cover costs of medications 100%. While job descriptions are detailed, new responsibilities are often assigned to and overload employees. When an employee left our department, his responsibilities were assigned to the two of us remaining even though they are not part of our job descriptions and there was no change in job title or compensation for taking on these added responsibilities.

    Advice to Management

    HR should keep a better eye on all departments and review hiring practices to ensure that managers abide by policy and labour laws. Audits should be performed regularly and rescinding offers can be done if managers hire people without following proper procedures. Do not play around with people's job descriptions without reviewing them with the employees in question. Employees applied for and were hired to perform certain jobs and changing them on a whim does not foster a positive work environment and causes in the exit of excellent employees.

    University of Toronto Response

    Jun 29, 2015 – Director

    The Human Resources & Equity team at the University of Toronto works hard to be an equal opportunity employer, and we are committed to continuous process improvement throughout our practices. We ... More


  2. Research Head

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

    Pros

    Good directions, good facilities and great colleagues

    Cons

    Lack of funding, proper order of command


  3. AccessAbility Services department at UTSC has a great mission but poor leadership

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Scarborough, ON (Canada)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Scarborough, ON (Canada)
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at University of Toronto full-time

    Pros

    AccessAbility Services at UTSC has a strong department mission. Friendly and small campus. Opportunity to apply for internal jobs in other UofT campuses or departments once you are a full-time employee.

    Cons

    Suggestions and creativity are discouraged. Expect an immediately negative and defensive answer if a full-time employee makes a suggestion. When issues arise, staff are immediately blamed. Blame happens before seeking more information about the situation. No room for advancement in this department. This is because innovative ideas are not welcomed. Employees are not seen for their potential. Advice from previous employees is to be silent, to nod and smile, while you transition to another department, campus or another organization that sets you up for success and values your suggestions. Staying silent seems to be the only behaviour that is welcomed.

    Advice to Management

    Provide coaching for department leadership on effective communication and on considering ideas without an immediate "no" answer. Allow staff to do anonymous performance evaluations of department leadership and allow departing staff to do exit interviews. Feedback will help you understand why staff decide to leave.


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  5. Students are just numbers like the grades they hand out

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Contractor - Teaching Assistant in Toronto, ON (Canada)
    Former Contractor - Teaching Assistant in Toronto, ON (Canada)
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at University of Toronto as a contractor (More than a 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 Management

    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.


  6. Unlucky Assignments

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Administration in Toronto, ON (Canada)
    Current Employee - Administration in Toronto, ON (Canada)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    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 Management

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

    University of Toronto Response

    Nov 17, 2014 – Communications 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


  7. Helpful (1)

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

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Engineer in Toronto, ON (Canada)
    Former Employee - Engineer in Toronto, ON (Canada)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    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 Management

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


  8. Helpful (1)

    Assistant Professor

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

    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 Management

    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.


  9. Helpful (1)

    Long time to completion of studies.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - PhD Candidate in Toronto, ON (Canada)
    Former Employee - PhD Candidate in Toronto, ON (Canada)
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    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 Management

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


  10. Helpful (1)

    Postdoc Research Fellow

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Contractor - Anonymous Contractor
    Former Contractor - Anonymous Contractor
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at University of Toronto as a contractor

    Pros

    More flexible and relaxable in time

    Cons

    Poor payment and benefit plans


  11. Helpful (1)

    Large place, sink or swim

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Graduate Student in Toronto, ON (Canada)
    Current Employee - Graduate Student in Toronto, ON (Canada)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I have been working at University of Toronto full-time (More than a 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.



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