Penn State University

  www.psu.edu
Work in HR? Unlock Free Profile

Penn State University Reviews in State College, PA

Updated Jul 24, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

3.8 228 reviews

80% Approve of the CEO

Penn State University President Rodney A. Erickson

Rodney A. Erickson

(70 ratings)

84% of employees recommend this company to a friend

Review Highlights

Pros
  • There is a friendly environment, and a culture of professionalism and work-life balance(in 12 reviews)

  • Great benefits, lots of opportunities, great if your boss is as cool as mine(in 15 reviews)


Cons
  • If you are unfamiliar with the area, it is in what many would consider the middle of nowhere(in 11 reviews)

  • small town, basically in the middle of nowhere(in 12 reviews)

228 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews
Relevance Date Rating
in
    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    Beautiful Campus and good atmosphere.

    Graduate Research Assistant (Current Employee) State College, PA

    ProsSmall town feel, with most of the professors being laid back and accessible. Nice bus schedule. Good overall community and school pride. The summertime here is heaven.

    ConsGraduate health insurance just skyrocketed, and the construction seems to last an eternity. The student population can be overwhelming at times.

    Advice to Senior ManagementKeep up the good work!

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    Great people, awful leadership

    Prefer Not to Say (Current Employee) University Park, PA

    ProsMost of the faculty and staff are passionate about making a positive difference in the world. There are many great resources to tap into.

    ConsThere is a lot of rot and ego in the administrative components. Everything that should be swiftly decided and addressed is done by committee. Everything that should be done by committee is done behind secret closed doors.

    Advice to Senior ManagementQuit. The management is terrible. They should be removed and the faculty and staff should develop a new set of leaders and governance.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities

     

    Great place to work!

    Project Coordinator (Current Employee) University Park, PA

    ProsI am working as a program coordinator while earning a PhD for the past four years. Very flexible, laid back, friendly environment. Under the grant I have been able to work as a graduate fellow allowing for additional tuition assistance.

    ConsNo major challenges. However, I have no control over pay. My salary comes from a grant that has restrictions.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

  1. We want your feedback – Are these company reviews helpful to you?  Yes | No
    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

     

    Best Public Ivy League University

    Graduate Research Assistant (Former Employee) State College, PA

    ProsInternational Student Advising
    Quality of Computer Science courses and professors
    Safe and beautiful college town - State College
    Penn State Football! Go Lions!

    ConsNothing significant to report here.

    Advice to Senior ManagementKeep the acceptance rate low and remain competitive.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    Chemistry Undergraduate Research Assistant

    Undergraduate Research Assistant (Former Employee) State College, PA

    ProsYou can choose which project you want to involve and be able to interact with the professor directly. My summer research was paid 1500/month but it depends on how much funding your professor has. They have extremely good instruments and you can basically run every experiment you'd like to preformed.

    ConsThe labs here are different from commercial labs, so find an internship instead if you want to get more industry experiences.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities

     

    Great school

    Graduate Assistant (Former Employee) State College, PA

    ProsSupportive environment for graduate teaching opportunities

    ConsStudents motivation can be low at times

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

     

    Enjoyable and challenging until you hit the plateau

    Systems Administrator (Former Employee) University Park, PA

    ProsBiggest and one of the best employers in the area. IT people left other nearby companies to work for Penn State. Many who gain employment by the university stay and develop long careers in higher education.

    Retirement benefits are strong: the university contributes 9% to a 403(b) plan or you can opt for the state employees pension plan. Health care benefits are mediocre. PTO is 24 days per year for full-time staff plus another 10 paid holidays. In my opinion, that is the best benefit of all.

    Depending on the department, you may have many opportunities for professional development. I did, and enjoyed the travel to courses and conferences around the country.

    I really enjoyed working with coworkers who wanted to work and had some life in them. However, there were too many folks who got in and then got lazy. They did the bare minimum and made work difficult for the rest.

    Amongst good employees, there is a culture of pride in the work done and in serving the students and faculty so that Penn State could accomplish its mission.

    ConsCompensation differs greatly from department to department for the same kind of job. Once you have mastered your job, if the management says there's no room for growth, the only way to stay challenged is to apply to other positions within the university or outside. There is no promotion plan. In the central IT unit, there are too many layers of management, making bureaucracy a real problem. It takes a long time to get things done. Good ideas often rot on the vine because of the slow nature of university management.

    Advice to Senior ManagementFlatten the org chart, especially in ITS. Provide more career mobility and opportunity for climbing-the-ladder growth. Be more aggressive about removing lazy employees who hold everyone else back.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

     

    Okay

    Grad Assistant (Current Employee) State College, PA

    ProsI can't comment on all the departments as apparently grad. student employments differs greatly by department.
    If you can get a research assistantship you will be working with interesting thinkers and learning a great deal. If you realize you are not moving to a big city and don't expect big city living, the State College is an affordable town with a good deal interesting people living here.

    ConsIn the college of ed, there are no guarantees of funding at even a minimum level and there is even less a culture of transparency which makes it very difficult to determine who gets funding and why. Another example of failed transparency is the health care debacle which exemplifies PSU cavalier attitude towards grad students. This leads to much insecurity and apprehension as funding renewal season roles around. Little funding and many grad students lead to many avoidable issues.

    Advice to Senior ManagementIf the College of Ed is serious about becoming a premier program, it should only admit the number of grad students it can guarantee funding for their time at PSU while planning for cost of living increases. Further, it needs to seriously consider its transparency measures as they are non-existent.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities

     

    Great experience working at Happy Valley!

    Graduate Assistant (Former Employee) University Park, PA

    ProsThere is a friendly environment, and a culture of professionalism and work-life balance.

    ConsLiving in Happy Valley can sometimes feel isolated if the rest of your family lives far away, or out of state.

    Advice to Senior ManagementThere is support and culture that promotes growth.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    Research Assistant

    Research Assistant (Current Employee) State College, PA

    ProsBeautiful campus, well-equipped labs, good research experience

    ConsHourly/wage payroll positions cannot exceed 24 hr/week, no temperature control in many campus buildings during the summer (little or no air conditioning)

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

Worked for Penn State University? Contribute to the Community!

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