Reed College Reviews

Updated September 5, 2014
Updated September 5, 2014
20 Reviews
3.2
20 Reviews
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Employee Reviews

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  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great place to work.

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Reed College

    Pros

    Good people, beautiful campus, great benefits

    Cons

    Like most of higher ed, changes can be difficult.

  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    Female staff need more support

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Reed College full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Beautiful campus, strong benefits such as health insurance and retirement

    Cons

    Salaries are not competitive for staff, supervisor training is lacking, facutly/staff tension is among the highest, HR policies are hard to find/often contradict themselves

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I met many roadblocks at Reed in regards to gender. Women who are direct are seen as aggressive in this largely passive aggressive environment. Salaries were below the market averages - and below similar employers in the city of Portland - and were incredibly difficult to negotiate. Faculty/staff tensions run high as the faculty runs the show in a more public way than some institutions. Students are kind but a bit unaware of the working climate. While it was a great stepping stone, it's not somewhere that I could see myself long-term as it stands now. Increase the presence of women on leadership levels, allow for more open negotiations surrounding pay (huge emphasis on egalitarianism - a smoke and mirrors show), and some departments need to value efficiency and accuracy over the intellectual musings of an academic.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
  3.  

    student & post-grad employment

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

    I worked at Reed College part-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    there are opportunities for student employment in student services that can teach some good work skills, wonderful staff serve as great employers, budding alumni network seems to be proving helpful, especially thanks to reed switchboard.

    Cons

    little to none research opportunities except for a few departments, out of touch and generally lacking career services office (except for your newest edition)

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    if you want your students to not spend their 'life beyond reed' regretting their choice to attend and maybe even give money back eventually, continue upgrading the decrepit career services office.

    then again, essentially every piece of this review from the perspective as a reed college employee contradicts what i believe as a reed college student, so who knows.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5. 2 people found this helpful  

    Archaic at Best

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

    I have been working at Reed College full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    Benefits and pay are generous; an annual 1-1.5% cost of living increase is almost always implemented. The location to Portland is wonderful and the grounds are amazing.

    Cons

    You’ll notice that the most positive reviews come from student employees and faculty/research staff. However, the vast majority of Reed administrative staff would have a different story to tell.

    The faculty/staff divide here is much worse than in other institutions in my previous 20 years of experience and qualified applicants seeking fulfilling administrative work should definitely look elsewhere. At Reed, your empirical data and years of experience will be ignored in favor of the opinion of veteran (very likely male) faculty members with advanced degrees in completely unrelated fields. Ego and bravado > facts. Supervisors (including, unfortunately, Human Resource staff) and coworkers routinely mistreat each other and the President and Vice Presidents act in self-serving ways without considering the benefit of the institution as a whole.

    Benevolent sexism is openly practiced by those at the very highest level: leadership routinely praise women but circumvent them on a day to day basis: the men in any given office are asked to head projects they have no experience with, to inform others of changes in institutional priorities, process and procedure, even without the administrative authority to deliver those directives. If you are a male staff member, however, you will enjoy disproportionate conferring of leadership status, title, and pay. Men are often hired at pay grades that exceed their experience and levels of expertise, while female candidates are deemed “not the best fit” or are simply “unimpressive.”

    Reed’s current focus on hiring a diverse staff and faculty has led to many truly qualified candidates being overlooked, internal candidates completely ignored, and an approach to hiring and promotion that’s ignorant and outdated. (The underlying assumption of course being that the only type of diversity that matters is the type of diversity that you can see). Promoting diversity does not require lowering standards- to do so is an insult to the individual and to the institution. Reed should replace this barbaric simplistic mindset with something meaningful, and focus more on genuinely mentoring internal talent (yes, even the Caucasian females), while working to improve its reputation as an employer so that the institution attracts external talent of all races and backgrounds.

    Because of the toxic culture and the lack of mature, ethical, informed leadership at the highest levels, individuals generally focus on protecting themselves instead of being fully productive. Capable individuals are at a disadvantage at Reed and are judged harshly when speaking out about unprofessional behavior or calling for more efficient business practices. Self-preservation has become the top priority and most staff members choose to look the other way rather than risk their positions by being truthful. Adopting and promoting “the Reed way,” no matter how ridiculous, is the only way to survive.

    Before considering a job at Reed College, thoroughly research the President and senior leadership and then do what the faculty and Trustees did not: pay attention to the findings.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The leadership touts “transparency” but speaking the word over and over does not make it so: the institution is small enough that insider conversations contrary to the stated message eventually come back to the parties involved and the facade wears away quickly.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. 2 people found this helpful  

    Toxic work environment, inefficiencies at every level, and prevalent sexism!

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

    I have been working at Reed College full-time

    Pros

    Good, comprehensive benefits. The college's location is convenient to most of Portland and the campus is nice and well-maintained. Fun (and weird) traditions.

    Cons

    Micromanaging is present in every aspect of administration at Reed at every level. It takes a considerable amount of effort to get the simplest task done when it involves anyone else as everyone feels the need to voice their opinions, discuss the pros, cons and historical significance of any decision, and then drag their feet on the actual execution of the task. Discourse definitely has value but at Reed it appears as if there is discourse merely for the sake of discourse even when it gets in the way of problem solving and basic daily tasks.
    Sexism is a part of the Reed culture and is promoted from those in leadership positions. Staff at Reed have a better chance of being heard, promoted, and included in relevant meetings and discussions if they are male. Sexism is so prevalent and ingrained that female members of the staff at every level also exhibit this discriminatory behavior. Furthermore, the culture lends itself to an almost high school like environment - direct conversations are discouraged while gossip and talking around the problem prevails. The result is a lot of mistrust of management and coworkers and the feeling that no one has your back.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Time for some house cleaning. Those in leadership positions shouldn’t be. Mediocrity and unethical behavior has been rewarded and Reed will not be able to improve while the current individuals running the college stay in their positions.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7.  

    Great place to work as a student

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Grader  in  Portland, OR
    Former Employee - Grader in Portland, OR

    I worked at Reed College part-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Many job opportunities within the department for students.

    Cons

    No cons really. Great faculty to work with.

    Neutral Outlook
  8. 2 people found this helpful  

    Run, do not walk... away!

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

    I have been working at Reed College full-time

    Pros

    The benefits package is pretty robust. Gorgeous campus. Very little work is required of those in staff positions (pro or con, you decide).

    Cons

    Those in upper leadership positions act without ethics or morals. Decisions are based on what serves those in power versus evaluating facts and looking at what would be best for the college overall. Additionally, there is very little room for growth or professional development. Promotions are based on the mood of leadership versus merit. Sexism is ingrained in the culture so much so that it goes unacknowledged and no actions are being taken to remedy this.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Look in the mirror and start behaving morally. Be transparent and direct regarding decisions. Take the politics out of the operations of the college.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9.  

    An excellent work environment

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Laboratory Associate  in  Portland, OR
    Current Employee - Laboratory Associate in Portland, OR

    I have been working at Reed College full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    I love the benefits package, my colleagues are great people, the campus is lovely, it is a very short commute from my home.

    Cons

    The salaries are low, but mostly balanced out by the other great things about working here. This is mostly a wonderful place to work.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Staff salaries appear to have been set with a dartboard-and-blindfold technique, relative positions' salaries don't make much sense.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. 3 people found this helpful  

    The campus is nice, students are great but management is lacking.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Community Safety Officer  in  Portland, OR
    Former Employee - Community Safety Officer in Portland, OR

    I worked at Reed College full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    The campus is beautiful! You can truly find a nice quiet place to relax on the campus. The students (most of them) are exceptional. The students are friendly and respectful.

    Cons

    Management is lacking. Human resources, like most HR's, is lacking and not there for the employee. They treat employees poorly and could care less about what is really going on. The lack of good values within the department I worked for was a huge negative. Most of the people I worked with wanted to sit around and do nothing all day/night. A lot of employees leaving reviews will say it was a good place to work but that is most likely based on not having to really work. Most of the employees are on the lazy side but management allows it.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    When you are responsible for students, some who have never lived away from home, you should take it seriously.

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

    I was a student employee at Reed for three years and it was a very useful experience.

    • Culture & Values
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Reed College part-time

    Pros

    Student employees in many departments have a good deal of independence, the pay is good, I've heard mostly positive things about every staff or faculty member that supervises student employees, and the payroll department is particularly on top of their stuff.

    Cons

    Student employment opportunities can be scarce.

    Approves of CEO

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