University of Washington

  www.washington.edu
  www.washington.edu

University of Washington Reviews

Updated September 24, 2014
Updated September 24, 2014
623 Reviews
3.8
623 Reviews
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University of Washington President Michael K. Young
Michael K. Young
124 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Work/life balance is pretty good; vacation and sick leave good (in 43 reviews)

  • There is also the opportunity to take UW classes and of course the great benefits (in 46 reviews)


Cons
  • low salary, not easy to commute, living cost is expensive, campus is not very safe (in 18 reviews)

  • Do not expect the sort of salary increases that the private sector offers (in 14 reviews)

More Highlights

19 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    Don't work for the UW!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Research Scientist IV in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Research Scientist IV in Seattle, WA

    I have been working at University of Washington full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    If you're a scientist, expect most of your grant money to go to the UW. You won't see a thing for it. HR is horrible, and while the health insurance is good, nothing else is! In addition, myself and many others (that I personally know) have experienced sexual discrimination.

    Cons

    All of the things (except health insurance).

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I don't even know where to start. I've worked for the UW for several years, and it just keeps getting worse. Hence me looking for another job!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    No support for post-docs

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

    I have been working at University of Washington full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Seattle can be nice in the summer.

    Cons

    The biggest thing is that post-docs are considered temporary workers & not eligible for full staff benefits including retirement contributions, despite the fact that appointments are usually 4-6yrs. The health insurance coverage is expensive & not very comprehensive. The career development programs are lumped in with development for grad students, kind of like an after thought, despite very different need at each of these stages in scientific career development. Some of the best development opportunities that are available are only accessible by competitive application! The CYA regulatory environment (EH&S & DCM) can make pushing a project more complicated than it needs to be. You have to write significant protocol changes for everything, even pilot studies! EH&S makes ridiculous laboratory rules that keep changing. For example, they have decided that 70% EtOH is a fire hazard. What?

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get rid of half the administrators. Hire EH&S staff that actually do science. & set rational requirements that aren't always changing. Support your faculty more, so they can support their trainees. Increase career development resources for post-docs. They are your future faculty members.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3.  

    Entering UW as a Temp Not Recommended

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Administrative Coordinator in Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Administrative Coordinator in Seattle, WA

    I worked at University of Washington as a contractor (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    It's possible to build a reference base if you try moving into something permanent. Benefits apply the same to temps as they do everyone else, and they are quite good.

    Cons

    Based on my own experiences over 12 years working periodically at the UW in several different departments:

    • As a temp, or working in a fixed duration position, it is more likely than not that you will be routinely second-guessed, over-supervised, backstabbed, and generally unsupported by management and fellow workers. UW classified staff culture can include: Passive aggression and blatant exclusion, glacial bureaucracy, dated and chronically malfunctioning office equipment, and even explicit sexism of the "women are good at this, men not so much" variety. Some departments are not as bad as others, but generally, working as a temp for the UW is demeaning and soul-sucking. And if you file a complaint, don't expect Human Resources or other authorities to be honest, fair, or very effective at resolving conflicts.

    • For one of the country's most expensive and fastest growing cities, the pay is a joke.

    • If you are a women, you would be well advised to not walk alone past dark anywhere on campus, some areas not any time of day.

    • If you live 10 or more miles from the UW, plan on two hours minimum of daily commuting on a bus, walking or riding a bicycle, or competing for free, but exceedingly scarce, all day parking spaces a mile or further from your department. That, or you can choose to spend up to $1500 a year for an on-campus staff parking pass, that may or may not be reasonable walking distance from your department.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    There is probably no point in advising management, as they appear to be systemically immune to reprimands of any real or lasting consequences.

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

    Great place unless you aren't an academic

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

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

    Pros

    U Pass, access to campus facilities, benefits are good

    Cons

    If you don't have a PhD, you will find yourself regularly treated like a second class citizen. The corporate culture is deplorable. If you think UW isn't a business, you would be wrong. If you are considering applying as an administrator, know that you will never get a day off and everyone's problems will be your job. Faculty and graduate students expect you to be their slave, and this is born out by HR.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Investigate high turnover in administrative positions and DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6.  

    No career progression here

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Research Scientist IV in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Research Scientist IV in Seattle, WA

    I have been working at University of Washington full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    There is no where to progress as a research scientist. I have never seen a contract or list of duties, and as such have worked doing a lot of things that I believe should be outside the job requirement (for example sys admin work)

    Cons

    University takes 50% of grant money in overheads yet don't provide paper towels or hand soap.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7.  

    Not paid enough for all the grief you're given

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Project Specialist in Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Project Specialist in Seattle, WA

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

    Pros

    Somewhat altruistic, if you actually get to help students through their college career.

    Cons

    Culture of many departments is: Faculty are gods, staff are scum. Faculty gets all the pay raises, staff have gone 9 years without a raise - until this year when they got 2%. If they were lucky. Faculty treats staff like slaves.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8.  

    stay away

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

    I worked at University of Washington full-time

    Pros

    Leave time accrued (after many years)

    Cons

    No raise in years, was expected to perform job duties way above pay grade (and take on co-workers work in their absence who were far above my pay grade). No merit raises or promotion in job title to reward hard work, competency or taking on additional higher level work. Forced union membership.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop trying to nickel and dime your good employees- get rid of the fat and reward high performing staff. It would be cheaper than re-training the constant turnover. Good people will move on to higher paying companies.

    Doesn't Recommend
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    Hierarchical

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Nurse in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Nurse in Seattle, WA

    I have been working at University of Washington full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    The brand, the name, nothing else. It looks good on a resume which is the only redeeming value. Use that to get a real job.

    Cons

    You're not encouraged to advance or grow career wise. You must stay in the same job and it's expected. Managers grandfather in friends which makes the working enviornment that much harder. Refer a friend and if they don't meet the criteria, i.e. pretty blonde girl or blue eyed guy then forget it. They have the same hiring criteria as Abercrombie & Fitch. The infamous benefits are not that great.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop allowing mangers and employees to run the company without supervision. Create a more diverse and fair playing field.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10.  

    biblically screwed up

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Research Assistant in Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Research Assistant in Seattle, WA

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

    Pros

    Sometimes very interesting priojects in engineering research, if you work hard enough and fight the system you might really have an impact on new discoveries and technology

    Cons

    terrible managment and planning, major challenge implementing even the most simple or obvious changes. Feels like a massively incompetent goverment agency.

    At times the work enviorment was hostile, abusive and corrupt.

    Peter principle can be seen with many of the faculty and staff, senior employees are almost never fired no mater how utterly incompetent.

    Compensation is low, and they try to screw you at every turn if you become eligilbe for benfits.

    Very few people truly striving to do better, most talented staff/students move on quickly making turnover on projects very high

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Cut the dead weight, stop just looking out for your own skin and actually put some energy into enriching the program for students instead of just focusing on balancing the department budget to pay your own inflated salaries

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11.  

    Health Professions Sick with Disastrous Hierarchy/Cronyism/Bullying

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

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

    Pros

    Working with the students - although there is a growing number who give off a sense that they are "entitled."

    Cons

    Medical, Dental, and Nursing schools are steeped in hierarchy and turf protection. Cronyism is a real problem. Devil Wears Prada atmosphere where woman on woman bullying is the norm.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Watch where there are areas of large turnover. Seek out information about bad management by faculty - bullying of students and staff. Students at least have a voice - staff feel small, voiceless, and defenseless.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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