There are newer employer reviews for University of Chicago

A great company to work for...

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

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

Recommends
Neutral Outlook
No opinion of CEO
Recommends
Neutral Outlook
No opinion of CEO

Pros

Loyal to employees. Strong and stable company. Great place to retire from.

Cons

Chicago is very cold in winter. If you don't like cold and snow, this might be the place for you.

Advice to Management

Improved parking and transportation would greatly enhance the quality of the campus and the employee experience.

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  1. Overall good experience

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

    I have been working at University of Chicago full-time (more than 8 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    The people here are fantastic! Working in academia has been a fairly good experience for me. I love how laid back things are and working with some of these faculty members is like working with mini celebrities given their backgrounds, discoveries, etc. Very smart, nice people for the most part. You definitely get a few bad eggs, but typically people here are wonderful. The benefits are also astounding! I currently have the UCHP health plan and I love it! Very good experience and great docs. One other bonus about working at the University is that we have an amazing retirement plan. We have a 403 b (i believe) retirement plan and in addition to that, after you have been at the University for over 3 years you are eligible for a pension. Having both a pension and a 403 b now a days a bit unheard of so props to the University on that!

    Cons

    I second what many of these reviewers have been saying in terms of poor management, politics, and a somewhat messed up culture in which the majority of staff is looked down upon or devalued in comparison to faculty or higher management positions. This is something that I really wish would change here. The staff at the University is fabulous and I do not feel that we are recognized enough by Faculty and University Administration for what we do. Sure, the University is full of amazing faculty and brilliant minds but where would a lot of these people be without the staff that keeps this University running, submits their grant proposals, pays their salaries and supports them? It also is a bit hard to take sometimes when you see a staff member get let go or reprimanded for something small while some upper level staff or faculty can act completely horrific and nothing seems to occur. I also really felt it back in 2008, when their were 1000s of staff layoffs all while the University was spending tens of thousands into beautifying the quad. I understand that there are other issues at play here including limitations on what one can do with tenured faculty or even limitations on certain gifts and money that we are given. Some large gifts have to be spent on creating new buildings/fixing up campus versus salaries. However, I think the perception of these things tends to create a bit of an us versus them mentality and I think that University Administration should recognize this for once and start to work on shifting the culture and backing their staff a bit.

    Advice to Management

    My advice would be to recognize some of the issues with the politics and culture here and start to work on shifting it. Work with faculty or managers on their supervisory/people skills if they need help with this. Don't just let certain things slide because of their position. Also, perhaps having some more staff appreciation functions/days would be nice. We do get honored if we give so many years of service but I don't see much else coming from the University on this.

  2. Helpful (1)

    Not as good as Harvard

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

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Great benefits. You start with 3 weeks of vacation. Pretty campus environment with many cafes and coffeeshops. Great for taking a walk to clear your head. Good reputation.

    Cons

    Massive bureaucratic gridlock, lack of creativity, disinterest in actually obtaining results. Lip service given to anything and everything. Administrative jobs operate primarily in support of lip service, not to advance innovation, learning, or quality, or to support students. General lack of competency and talent among personnel.

    Advice to Management

    Write a mission statement. Hold people accountable to it. Stop trying to be Harvard. There is a fundamental conflict between wanting to excel and wanting to replicate. Excellence is achieved by leading, not by following.

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