Columbia University Reviews

Updated April 26, 2015
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3.8
449 Reviews
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Columbia University President and Trustee Lee C. Bollinger
Lee C. Bollinger
208 Ratings

449 Employee Reviews

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  1. I only worked there temporarily, in a specific department.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Temporary Development Officer in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Temporary Development Officer in New York, NY

    I worked at Columbia University (Less than a year)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    The campus itself; the location; my office; being around highly motivated and idealistic students.

    Cons

    I happened to be working for someone who was not very supportive. She had a job for life, and she knew it. She used her position as a private fiefdom and was not accountable to anyone.

    Advice to Management

    In this case, there was no upper management. Columbia is a huge community with many niches. In this niche the person who ran the department didn't answer to anyone else.

  2. Helpful (1)

    Mind games and politics

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Assistant Professor in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Assistant Professor in New York, NY

    I have been working at Columbia University full-time (More than a year)

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

    Pros

    Chance of working with some great minds. A few in leadership positions are very good. Good benefits. Mailman School has some really bright individuals and strong leaders.

    Cons

    Very oppressive work culture. Surgeons are the worst. They are really not the brightest crowd, but have god complexes. Clinical research is sub standard and surgeons publish with zero quality standards. Very low pay. Tyranical leadership and some just dont care.

    Advice to Management

    Believe in what you want to do. Provide a conducive atmosphere for younger and brighter people. Being a place for old, white men doesnt really promote diversity. Get rid of tyranical supervisors and leaders. Raise standards from mediocrity to excellence

  3. Helpful (1)

    Awful infrastructure run by overpaid and indifferent executives and managers.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Assistant Director in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Assistant Director in New York, NY

    I have been working at Columbia University full-time (More than 5 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    Location. Tons to do nearby. Lots of restaurants and food options. Good public transportation.

    Cons

    Everything else. Bureaucratic. Indifferent management.

    Advice to Management

    Where to begin. This is by far the worst place I have ever worked. I'm shocked they have such a high rating on GD. it's like working at the MVA without all the glitz and glamour (sarcasm).

    The People: Most of the central and administrative staff consists of folks too ignorant, incompetent or indifferent to be of any utility whatsoever. Most are underpaid and under-qualified resulting in a high turnover rate. Those employees who do stay learn quickly to keep their head down and pass work off to some other poor soul.

    The Systems: Timesheets are done manually. Seriously Columbia? What year is this? Good luck remembering your project's account number - which some genius changed from 6 digits to 54 alpha numeric "chartstring". Want a project financial report? Be prepared to spend 15 minutes trying to access a system that logs you out every 60 seconds. If you are lucky enough to finally pull a report, the output is literally 20 columns long with a font size an ant couldn't read. Have a technical problem? Submit a "Service Now" request and someone will quickly give you a non-answer and close out your ticket to keep the response metrics high.

    Senior Management: Completely tone deaf. Too busy patting themselves on the back for all the nonsensical "business-speak" they vomit daily. Most spend their days go to meetings about meetings or trying to figure out the least productive way to run something or how to shake down some rich alumni to fund some unnecessary special project. The President is pushing the University to expand into Harlem and globally without the necessary capacities or cultural competencies. His deputies are too busy brown-nosing they push impossible tasks downward with disastrous outcomes. Case in point, they converted they entire financial system to some off-the-shelf ERP product in under a year on the cheap and most of the staff left out of frustration

    Bottomline, Columbia looks great on a resume but if you are looking for a professional and meaningful work environment, go elsewhere.

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  5. Helpful (1)

    Not as Great as they appear

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Technician in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Technician in New York, NY

    I worked at Columbia University full-time (More than a year)

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

    Pros

    there are great employee benefits

    Cons

    they are not really an EOE. The jobs posted on the website are already filled, or the employer already has a candidate in mind. The job is still posted for the public to view and apply for, but it is already filled.

  6. Unprofessional Environment

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Accountant in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Accountant in New York, NY

    I worked at Columbia University full-time (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Good campus, benefits and holidays.

    Cons

    If you are part of Morning Side Campus at Earth Institute, there is a lack of direction from senior leadership.Dysfunctional upper management who discriminates the staff. No promotions/bonuses internally. Untrained managers have poor leadership skills. Management doesn't obey the same rules that apply to their staff. The administration is very tight-fisted, and high performance is not rewarded, unless you are very astute politically.

    Advice to Management

    Listen to your staff. Respect them and treat them equally. Senior management is not skilled to be managers.

  7. Difficult environment to work in

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Administrator in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Administrator in New York, NY

    I have been working at Columbia University full-time (More than a year)

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

    Pros

    Good benefits, opportunities to move around within the organization

    Cons

    Large bureaucracy, which is difficult to maneuver in

    Advice to Management

    Provide more support to staff.

  8. Facilities management at Medicial center leadership is deficiient

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Project Manager in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Project Manager in New York, NY

    I worked at Columbia University

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    celebration of monthly birthdays with free cake every month is the only effort made to boost the severely sagging morale at this place

    Cons

    cramped work spaces, with some staff stuffed into empty old apartments instead of professional office environment
    senior leaders are very disrespectful of project managers time with constantly rescheduled and cancelled meetings, sometimes showing up up to 30 minutes late, sometimes never showing up at all- without any explanation.
     Extremely high turnover- 4 managers have quit , each staying less than a year on the job.

    Advice to Management

    Look at your extremely high turnover and extremely low morale as a reflection of an unprofessional environment.
    Why schedule internal departmental meetings with staff if senior leadership assigns these meetings such a low priority that they are so frequently rescheduled, cancelled, or senior leadership doesn't even show up for their own staff meetings? clearly the message is that you could not care less about your staff or the work they do

  9. Helpful (1)

    Lack of leadership led to wasted effort.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY

    I worked at Columbia University

    Doesn't Recommend
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    The ability to interact with other departments and physicians at a well respected Ivy League University in a fantastic City.

    Cons

    A lack of direction from senior leadership leads to wasted effort.

  10. Helpful (3)

    My experience at Columbia is horrible, for an Ivy League institution ALL of their administrative staff is horrible.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Benefits Specialist in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Senior Benefits Specialist in New York, NY

    I have been working at Columbia University

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Decent tuition benefit if you have children going to college and they can either (a) make it into Columbia University or (b) your income is too high to get government assistance for your child go to a 3rd party school. If you want to work in the same job, same position, same responsibilities for the next 30 years of your career and you like lazy people who do not care about doing their jobs well.

    Cons

    Benefit cuts are coming, tuition is the only benefit that is still somewhat good but that will go too. Management is horrible. No promotion opportunities. Alot of "lifers" with no incentive or motivation. A lot of broken / old systems. Negotiate a good salary because once you get there you are not getting anything. Their system for increases is as follows this year 2% for everyone who makes above a certain $ amount in a certain salary grade and more for those who make below a certain level. No performance is taken into account.

    Advice to Management

    There are many with the title Manager who do not fit the bill. Columbia University should send these people to management boot camp, and even then it probably wouldn't do anything.

  11. As an Ivy league school, I'm really disappointed on how they treat their staff.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY

    I have been working at Columbia University

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Free classes and degree if accepted into a specific program. Columbia gives you a lot of vacation time as an employee.

    Cons

    No promotions/bonues internally. Poor leadership skills. Management doesn't obey the same rules that apply to their staff. No advancement opportunities available.

    Advice to Management

    Listen to your staff. Management doesn't work well with the staff and they create silos. Appreciate your staff and treat them with the respect that they give you.

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