Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation Reviews

Updated February 16, 2015
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Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation President & CEO Bill Buckner
Bill Buckner
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Employee Reviews

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  1. Loved working with my co-workers, have completely lost faith in the company.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Administrative in Ardmore, OK
    Former Employee - Administrative in Ardmore, OK

    I worked at Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    My co-workers and the feeling we were working to help researchers, farmers, ranchers and the community.

    Cons

    Management that looks at their workforce as a risk that must be managed instead of an asset. HR leadership has forgotten they are there to assist the employees rather than to punish. Employees either are waiting to retire or have resumes out. Their stature in the industry has been compromised beyond compare. The community (as a whole) looks down on this place with either pity at what it has morphed into or utter distain. Required (perhaps compensated is a better word) community service by the employees is touted in the newspaper in order to bolster the company's fading local image. Morale is at an all-time low. Those that can leave/retire are doing so, resulting in a significant loss of talent.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Channel Lloyd Noble and follow his vision for this foundation. Otherwise, turn off the lights and let all of us remember how this once great foundation led the way. The trustees are evidently clueless about the legacy of Lloyd Noble. The current president is feckless, hired only to cut vital programs and put the foundation on a path of "feel-good" initiatives rather than practical science. All is not lost - yet. It is sad to see what NF has been allowed to become.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2. Excellent

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

    I have been working at Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation

    Pros

    Good lunches and office spaces

    Cons

    Parking fees are too high.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep up the good work!

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3. Was excellent place to work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Post Doctoral Fellow in Ardmore, OK
    Current Employee - Post Doctoral Fellow in Ardmore, OK

    I have been working at Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Excellent Research Environment and career transition

    Cons

    In the middle of no where - but good salary and benefits

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The management was great the then

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5. Irresponsible management and trustees

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Working Stiff in Ardmore, OK
    Current Employee - Working Stiff in Ardmore, OK

    I have been working at Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation part-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    Not many pros, other than its a job during a recession.

    Cons

    Hostile atmosphere, especially in the ag division. Dishonesty, especially in the ag division. Professional bullying and cronyism, especially in the ag division. Management making bad decisions for the Foundation and research in favor of personal profit, especially in the ag division.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get rid of management in the ag division. Do some serious research and dig deep to find out what is truly happening, or every honest and good employee will be jumping ship. It's a shame that Lloyd Noble's dream is squandered on petty personal gain of management.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. 1 person found this helpful

    The best thing was, when I voluntarily resigned.

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

    I worked at Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation full-time

    Pros

    There is good news: there is life after Noble. I am much happier in my current position, and know that I am more appreciated and respected, and what I do will lead to success in the future. To current employees: it may be hard to make a change, but the change may be well worth it. It was for me. Let's just say it was a learning experience. I know who I don't want to work for ever again. But to try to include something positive, the cafeteria and fitness center on campus were convenient, I usually had the resources to do my job, and direct co-workers became close friends.

    Cons

    Here is what I didn't like about the foundation:
    -no appreciation
    -no respect
    -minimal pay and pay raises
    -little promotion potential
    -too much gossip
    -no leadership
    -lies after lies
    -benefits taken away
    -had to start paying insurance
    -too many meetings
    -wasted time and money
    -too many egos
    -superiority complexes
    -people overpaid and underqualified
    -"Noble-ism" - the term for the Noble employees that think they are elite or superior, and entitled to everything because they work at Noble

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Fire yourselves, but we know that won't happen. Someone should clean house.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. Not what it appears on paper. Lack of direction and leadership. Morale is going down hill quickly.

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

    I have been working at Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation

    Pros

    Personal time - time allowed to employees to take care of family matters and personal business, which does not require that vacation time be used. Comparable vacation time and holidays. Access to on-site cafeteria and gym. Recreational use of foundation owned properties.

    Cons

    The Foundation used to be an employer of choice where employees would make the Noble Foundation their career, but that is no longer the case. The foundation does little for recruitment although they want to "be the employer of choice." This cannot happen when a company does not have anything better to offer than another, and for which an employee will have to put up with all kinds of dishonesty and internal politics. One former benefit was the insurance and retirement plans - both cease to exist. Employees are now footing a large proportion of their insurance premiums, which can take a huge chunk out of the majority of peoples' salaries. There used to be a pension plan, but not anymore - the current retirement plan (used loosely) is a joke!

    The leadership is barely competent at best, and are not leaders of an organization this size. Under new leadership, the foundation is being taken in a different direction that DOES NOT meet the mission of the foundation - it's all about the name and not the mission (get Noble's name out there versus let's do something for the community and landowners). Philanthropy was cut way back in recent years - this should always be in place as it was part of what Lloyd Noble wanted, but now it is all about the money. Money you ask. A non-profit shouldn't be about making money, but they are now - too much focus on developing intellectual property and commercialization. I can understand that the foundation should save money, but not try to make it through commercialization.

    The science is mostly basic science with no direct application to landowners, although that is how the scientists sell it. Anything that is halfway applied science has been done about a million times and contributes nothing new to science or to landowners. More was done at the foundation in it's first 15 years of existence than has been done in the past 50 years.

    Transparent - the leadership says that they are "transparent" with how they conduct business yet we cannot get the whole story. If they are going to be transparent then show the employees everything. I think the leadership isn't even using the correct terminology - they are actually operating with some level of transparency, which may only be 10%. And, the times that employees are told something, it is usually a half truth, or someone else will be told something else, meaning "we'll tell you what you want to hear" to get you to leave us alone.

    Morale is very low. After making cuts in late 2012 (10% of employees), there was still mass exodus. Either people being fired or leaving on their own because things have gotten so unbearable. In all, the foundation has lost about 115 employees over a span of 1.5 years - that would be approximately 1/3 of all employees. So tell me, what's the cost of losing employees and rehiring and retraining new ones? Trying to save a buck? Then keep your employees happy and they will stay around - that's good for the bottom line and for the reputation of the company. And, it's not over yet. Many people are searching for jobs.

    Last - too many other points to list. Things sure can change in a hurry, so prospective employees, do your homework before taking a job here or else you might not be around for long, either by your own choosing or by someone making the decision for you.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The board of trustees needs to know what is happening at the foundation; not just the bottom line, but the loss of employees, lack of trust and morale, etc. Management needs to rethink their role in running the foundation - the leadership dictates what will go on and holds all of the power. Instead of motivating their employees they are running them off. I don't see this changing anytime soon with the power trips going on here and people in fear of losing their jobs so they will just follow to keep their job.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. A company with an awesome mission, but lacks a board and management team to see it realized.

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

    I have been working at Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    The employees, access to a company plane, computer and other IT services

    Cons

    Management is from a 'good-ole-boy' system and tends to use the vast financial, employee and land resources for their own benefit. Scientific research has become marginal to non-existent over the last several years. The idea that Noble does a excellent job helping farmers, ranchers and landowners in the southern plains is almost laughable, although there is a handful that have received special consideration and time that would likely disagree. Management has lost site of the original purpose of the Foundation and the Board of Directors (mostly family members) seem to be very disconnected with what is actually going on in the company. Typical large Non-profit. Senior management use scare tactics with employees and at least one VP has instilled fear into his employees. I suspect if more taxpayers were truly aware of the waste in terms of management spending of interest earned on the endowment on management activity they would vote to abolish non-profit foundations like NF.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    What's to advise. Many non-profit foundations are poorly managed, because prices do not allocate the resources. With that said, management would do better to actually stick with a strategic plan that lines up with a stable mission. Current management speaks with multiple tongues, kind of like Congress. Say one thing to the public, then do another. Honesty and consistency.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  9. Employee/Scientist

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

    I worked at Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Nice facilities; good people; Lloyd Noble started something great.

    Cons

    Organization looks good on paper, but that about sums it up; old culture; very poor morale; lacks any direction; promises are not always kept to employees; health plan and compensation are not great; recent mass exodus of good people; poor leadership with a serious lack of understanding of science and AG; it's in Southern OK; I would not recommend a job at The Noble Foundation to anyone.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10. Used to be a nice place, going a very steep downward slope

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

    I worked at Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    Nice facilities; kind colleagues; peaceful small town for ones that like country-style living

    Cons

    Senior management have no idea what they are doing; Recent strategic decisions have made people very nervous and concerned; Two widely-recognized research SVPs together with several very intelligent D-level leaders have left; the remaining good and smart employees are leaving or looking; and they are having difficulty recruiting and keeping even less-qualified people.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Understand the organization's culture and recognize the reality they are facing before making short-sighted decisions based on their past experiences from a different environment.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful

    Very disappointing

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Ag Consultant in Ardmore, OK
    Current Employee - Ag Consultant in Ardmore, OK

    I have been working at Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    Smart employees, nice area to live in

    Cons

    Management making bad decisions, lack of leadership, no pay raises, drop in benefits

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The management of the Noble Foundation needs to take care of their employees. Cutting benefits and no raises will make the good employees leave, and you will only be able to hire substandard people. The employees don't trust management. The morale here is very bad, and seems to be getting worse. There have been some very bad decisions by the trustees and management lately, and the foundation is suffering as a consequence. It's really sad to see the deterioration of this place over the last few years.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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