University of Washington

  www.washington.edu
  www.washington.edu

University of Washington Reviews

Updated December 12, 2014
Updated December 12, 2014
647 Reviews
3.8
647 Reviews
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University of Washington President Michael K. Young
Michael K. Young
127 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Work/life balance is pretty good; vacation and sick leave good (in 44 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

56 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    Be prepared to be treated like a child.

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

    I worked at University of Washington part-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Gained experience in teaching
    Got paid over minimum wage

    Cons

    The rate that I was offered was withdrawn after I had accepted employment, and they gave me $5 less/hr than they said they would.
    Also, don't expect HR to help you. As a student, their main goal is to squash your argument rather than attempt to reconcile issues between the employee and employer.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  2.  

    Great place for students, not so much for staff; overworked, underpaid, and under-represented.

    • 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

    There's a very active and bubbly campus life and students seem to really enjoy it. There's always lots of activities, plays, shows, and events to attend, and as a staff member you can get a pretty nice discount to go to these.

    Cons

    The politics more than ruin this place. Sometimes the politics make it downright impossible. There's plenty of diversity in the lower levels but certainly not in the upper management. Like a lot of typical government offices, the harder you work, the more work they dump on you, without the compensation to even it out. Furthermore, don't look to the union to help or protect you. I often felt marginalized, with nobody to reach out to. Nowhere have I been around so many people and felt so lonely.

    As for the "opportunities" the upper management knows it's cheaper to move people sideways than up. They encourage you, from the beginning, to look around at other job opportunities on campus, and hardly a word about how to rise up the ranks in your own office. Far too much favoritism and politics in a place that is meant to help students.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    How do you tell politicians not to be so political? It's like telling a donkey to not be a donkey. I'm sorry, but this was a terribly frustrating place to work, and I have no advice to management unless they are willing to change. Unless a donkey can become a lion, I don't see that happening.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3.  

    impersonal

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

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

    Pros

    state of the art instrumentation

    Cons

    Too many students per teacher

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

    Necessary, but frustrating

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

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

    Pros

    As a graduate student, it's one of the only ways to get your tuition paid. For out of state and international student, this is particularly valuable.

    Another plus is that you get to work on diverse and interesting projects that may turn into research opportunities for dissertation work.

    Cons

    Your pay is extremely poor, and you have effectively no ability to affect your pay rate, as it's largely defined by state funding levels. Advisors vary widely in quality, and your work load may exceed contractual requirements. Finally, since you're often tied to a particular professor through both your work and your research, you're effectively unable to move if conditions are unacceptable to you. This last point is really important - if you're lucky enough to work with someone you like, you're fine. But if you have difficulties with your employing professor, it's very hard to do anything about it without endangering your academic career.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    they are willing to train you

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

    I worked at University of Washington part-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    they are willing to provide training

    Cons

    funding is not always good

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    better communication

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    Stereotypical state job, for the most part

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

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

    Pros

    Good benefits, some unique (class discounts, academic software pricing, campus opportunities), even for half-time employees. Opportunities to work at less-than-full-time positions. Can easily advance through the entire salary range (classified employees). Many internal classes one can take as well. Beautiful campus in spring and fall (Seattle), somewhat invigorating to be around students.

    Cons

    Low salaries for all except many directors, big gap in-between them and staff, some of their managers. Generally lesser equipment and software. Lack of climate control (air conditioning) when I worked there, was very uncomfortable in hot weather. Bureaucratic. Poor performers, those offering poor customer service - particularly managers, and unethical practices are generally allowed to continue, which can be frustrating, but must be accepted in so far as possible. Difficult at best to advance, many interviews to fill a quota. The big picture isn't shared, senior management beyond one's department are invisible. No concern about employees as people. Due to pay system, many employees do the minimum, though I came across several exceptions, which was surprising.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Be more transparent. Encourage promotions from within. Deal with poor performers, poor customer service, unethical practices, particularly those in positions of power. Manage people!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8.  

    Interesting work, poor management and culture."

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

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

    Pros

    Set your own schedule, significant freedom.

    Cons

    Poor management, grant focused system.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Reward honest effort

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  9.  

    It's like holding up an under construction sign for the information super highway

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

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

    Pros

    okay benefits and pay. Many vacation days

    Cons

    extremely boring. people gain influence based on how long they have worked for the UW, not on their skill or current knowledge. The "top" network engineers know all about thicknet and atm but don't know anything about mpls or ipv6.

    You really feel like a state employee, unfortunately

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10.  

    There are some good people. But the politics can get out of hand

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

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

    Pros

    Work schedule can be flexible, which is especially good for those with family. Company does offer classes that might be related to your field for advance learning. Classes might be paid by the department or not, depending if your department will pay for the class. It is up to you to find that out.

    Cons

    People can be lazy, mean, steal ideas and present them as their own, or put the blame on you. Some people who have worked here for years are cocky and rude and think your questions will be stupid and laugh at the question. It has happened to me. No salary increase for years. No pay raise in the near future. Very little, to no chance to advance in your area unless you move to a new department.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  11.  

    Postdoctoral Fellow

    • 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 an year)

    Pros

    Flexibility
    Benefits
    Location
    Proximity to Fred Hutchinson
    Size
    Opportunities in area

    Cons

    Turnover
    Dwindling resources
    Lack of funding
    Skeletal staff
    Poor morale
    Highly political
    Brain drain
    Aging facilities

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop the bleeding before it is too late. At this rate, restoring the reputation of this institution will be next to impossible.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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