University of Washington

  www.washington.edu
  www.washington.edu

University of Washington Reviews

Updated October 20, 2014
Updated October 20, 2014
604 Reviews
3.8
604 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
University of Washington President Michael K. Young
Michael K. Young
119 Ratings

Review Highlights

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

  • Best reason to work at UW is for job security and great benefits (in 44 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

53 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    Professors have no accountability for how they treat their grad students

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

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

    Pros

    good benefits
    good co workers
    Seattle is a beautiful city

    Cons

    Professors have no accountability for how they treat their grad students
    There is no respect for work/life balance
    I have worked in several departments and have encountered both verbally abusive situations and blatant disregard for my privacy. When speaking with HR/ higher ups I was assured of confidentiality, but had my confidence broken within 15 minutes of leaving the office.
    Coming from industry it blew my mind that workers and students were treated so poorly and their wasn't any recourse. I spoke with my co workers, my advisers, HR, and finally, with the ombudsman. The ombudsman was very helpful, but he was the only one.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Require reviews of advisers from students
    Don't dismiss any complaints

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    Good Health Care, Low pay, Poor research environment

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

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

    Pros

    Access to quality health care on campus is excellent. Numerous clinics around campus in addition to the University Hospital, all well run (at least from the standpoint of the consumer). The campus is especially scenic during cherry blossom season. Work here if you need easy access to good health care and like the pacific northwest, just don't expect to get too much research done or be well paid.

    Cons

    Bureaucracy is terrible and makes running a lab capable of cutting edge research extremely difficult. Faculty don't collaborate well and are typically very underfunded. Research environment is very poor. Outside of working with the minority of faculty who are good and well funded, don't expect to get very much out of a postdoc at UW.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Hire faculty who will work well together and contribute to a vibrant research environment. Consider hiring more staff scientists and engineers rather than postdocs.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3.  

    ok job

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

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

    Pros

    flexible job, good academic institution, no work pressure, work ethics not so good in my department, good access to public buses

    Cons

    poor pay, management team poor

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Review
  5. 2 people found this helpful  

    Not for those who are young and motivated...

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

    I have been working at University of Washington full-time

    Pros

    -Work-life balance is great
    -Nice to work for such a well-respected university that is vital to the Pacific Northwest region
    -Benefits are good, especially ability to take a handful of classes for a small fee (depending on space). ORCA card for about $40/month, excellent match on retirement, good health coverage, and discounts at local businesses
    -Job security - It is probably impossible to get fired from UW, even if you aren't fulfilling the duties in your job description.

    Cons

    -Abysmal "leadership" . People who do well and are promoted into leadership roles here are people who don't rock the boat and rarely do they possess any management or leadership skills.
    -Culture that is completely opposed to new ideas or process improvements. Refuse to take employees' ideas or suggestions seriously unless you've been sitting at your desk doing as you are told for 3-4 years first. Not a good place for someone who is young and motivated. Not a good place for someone who has worked at any other university and has knowledge of best practices elsewhere.
    -The most passive aggressive place you will ever experience
    -Not very customer-focused... few employees will go out of their way to help prospective students/applicants
    -Parking is insanely expensive - takes a big chunk out of your meager salary
    -Pay is far below market value and really no structure for merit increases or raises (particularly over last few years when there was a freeze on salaries, obviously out of manager's control)
    -Morale is low and everybody is miserable but sticks around because it is a relatively easy/ low stress place to work with a good reputation.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    People are miserable. No clear direction or focus on mission / goals. This office is in need of a major re-organization and re-evaluation of current employees and particularly leadership team. Need to bring in people from the outside who have real experience and actually encourage change and innovation.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  6.  

    Not a well-oiled machine

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

    I worked at University of Washington full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    * Flexible schedule for the most part
    * Amazing architecture in some of the buildings

    Cons

    * Limited opportunities for growth
    * Non-existent avenues for feedback and engagement with administration
    * Lack of vision
    * Lack of interest in educating students and mostly concerned about either money or power

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Remember that universities are meant to educate and conduct research. Over-emphasis on administration, compensation and squeezing money out of everything leads to the complaint most students have - we are caught in a money-grabbing operation with learning taking a back seat.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    So glad to be out

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

    I worked at University of Washington part-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Select professors have amazing amounts of funding, and the graduate health benefits are decent. If you get a committee that doesn't chastise you for taking courses outside your department that help you do your research, you have it made!

    Cons

    These comments apply only to my old department, I hope. Tenured professors weren't held accountable for their actions (e.g. sloppy teaching, poor advising, sexist remarks), but I suppose that's more a problem with tenure than with UW. Horrendous and toxic office culture, and the administration is often completely oblivious to student needs. You were seen as weak if you prioritized your life outside of work.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Don't solicit money from students BEFORE they graduate. I got several calls starting a year before graduation.

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

    Not a great experience.

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

    I have been working at University of Washington full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    I was extremely excited when I received a job offer from UW. I've heard great things about being a UW employee and after doing some research on this site, I saw all the positive reviews and thought it was going to be a great place to work. I was wrong! After a month, I submitted my resignation. I can't wait to be done working here! To be fair, many of my co-workers have told me to explore opportunities in other departments because things can be very different depending on the area you work in. Maybe I just joined the wrong team and the job wasn't a great fit for me. Either way, my advice would be ask A LOT of questions during the interview process to ensure you don't end up in this situation!

    Cons

    Does not pay well, archaic systems, unnecessary processes, monotonous work, controlling managers (micro-managing!!!), little autonomy, not a lot of flexibility (regarding work schedule or time-off), extremely formal, tense culture. In a nutshell, this place operates a lot like many companies did 10 years ago. They need to step it up and get with the times!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Hire managers that will engage and inspire their employees, invest in new systems and put leaders through change management and LEAN training.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    You'll be told your place

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

    I have been working at University of Washington (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    A diverse population and great research.

    Cons

    Management is increasing selected by relations and degrees from outside universities, few with management experience or training. If you come with work experience and intelligence only you will be told your place.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Start training staff and promoting from within the people that care about the campus and students.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10.  

    This organization is the most disorganized and confusing place I have ever worked.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    Current Employee - Network Specialist in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Network Specialist in Seattle, WA

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

    Pros

    Campus is nice especially in summer. When you tell people you work for the UW they are very impressed.

    Cons

    Total lack of coordination within IT which has resulted in multiple groups/organizations working entirely on their own with free rein to do anything with the systems. No communication between groups and no documentation about anything. Everything relies on workers memorys of how things work or did work.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    IT needs to be united into one department for everything involved with the UW. All groups need to communicate and work for the good of the UW. There needs to be documentation and standardization of equipment, programs, vendors etc.

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

    A good place to hone your skills but very cold staff.

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

    I worked at University of Washington full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    They offer some pretty good assignments. You learn and grow with each project. The staff seem to like what they do. The office culture reflects the great energy of UW's students.

    Cons

    Where can I start? UW and the Seattle freeze go hand in hand. Many of the staff are passive aggressive (like in Admissions). They like people who are local not from other cities, states or countries. If you have dark skin, chances are you won't go far here. For example, in Family Medicine, there is only 1 black female doctor. That dept. is FULL of political issues. They lack the diplomacy and tact to handle people. They like to mistreat people and they don't care at all.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Take some management skill classes to learn how to handle people. You worked there for so long and loses tough of handling people. You may excel in science, but not in people skills.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

University of Washington Photos

Work at University of Washington? Share Your Experiences

University of Washington

 
Click to Rate
or

Your response will be removed from the review – this cannot be undone.