Savannah College of Art and Design

  www.scad.edu
  www.scad.edu

Savannah College of Art and Design Reviews

Updated October 12, 2014
Updated October 12, 2014
82 Reviews
2.5
82 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Savannah College of Art and Design President Paula S. Wallace
Paula S. Wallace
54 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Faculty and staff start out positive, but that doesn't last long (in 8 reviews)

  • Good benefits, multiple campuses, and the students are great to work with (in 3 reviews)


Cons
  • gym benefit is actually for students, and faculty and staff must leave a station or class if a student wants the space), no sick time ( (in 4 reviews)

  • The work/life balance is exceptionally unhealthy (in 4 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1. 5 people found this helpful  

    Innovative and Driven University

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Savannah College of Art and Design (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    The university is always looking to improve the experience for its students. The faculty are amazing and administration (while most on here believe are self-centered) really do try to bring things back to the students-- just in ways that are unconventional (expensive and often poorly planned).

    Cons

    Workload can be very high and stressful. Most staff far exceed expectations, yet are never compensated for the 'going the extra mile" that HR lauds. After hundreds of miles, it's exhausting. Staff turnover is extremely high due to burn out.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The time it takes to make even the slightest decision causes projects to be delayed by weeks, if not months. Very ineffective and inefficient org chart/decision tree.

  2.  

    Great peers, poor sense of community

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Savannah College of Art and Design

    Pros

    The opportunity to work with some very talented, creative people

    Cons

    Managers are given very little autonomy to promote and otherwise reward hard working employees. Loyalty is rewarded above all else

  3.  

    Great School

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Professor in Savannah, GA
    Current Employee - Professor in Savannah, GA

    I have been working at Savannah College of Art and Design full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Respected institution. Faculty freedom and very progressive curriculum.

    Cons

    Salaries are average to good, but certainly not great,

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Salaries more inline with state guidelines and salary surveys.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5. 5 people found this helpful  

    Hostile work environment.

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

    I worked at Savannah College of Art and Design full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Good students. Interesting courses to teach.

    Cons

    Average to poor supervision. Inadequate evaluation procedures.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6. 2 people found this helpful  

    The early years of my career were wonderful, the last year's were a nightmare

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Technical Specialist in Savannah, GA
    Former Employee - Technical Specialist in Savannah, GA

    I worked at Savannah College of Art and Design as a contractor (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    I Loved the students. Much of the staff had the desire to provide students and parents with a positive experience.

    Cons

    In the beginning there was a great atmosphere, with supportive executives. There were high expectations, but the efforts made by the staff were appreciated. The last decade was the opposite. There was constant stress. The administrative departments were restructured several times.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 5 people found this helpful  

    Great mission, poor leadership and execution

    Former Employee - Senior Admission Representative
    Former Employee - Senior Admission Representative

    I worked at Savannah College of Art and Design (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great mission, students are mostly excited to be there, good amount of PTO

    Cons

    administration is very involved in day to day activities, could not function without a lot of watchful eyes, all goals (however ridiculous) came from the top, the admin is delusional and expects the impossible. Bad compensation and by the time I left there was no flex time, and now admissions reps don't even manage their own schedules.

    Disapproves of CEO
  8. 8 people found this helpful  

    So Much Potential Squandered -- Very Negative Environment

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Institutional Advancement in Savannah, GA
    Former Employee - Institutional Advancement in Savannah, GA

    I worked at Savannah College of Art and Design full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    SCAD attracts some very talented, driven and ambitious students, as well as a large number of unbelievably well-qualified, talented and dedicated faculty and staff -- all of whom are a joy to work with and around, especially if you enjoy a creative academic environment.

    The city of Savannah itself is also a considerable draw: the historic district is picturesque and welcoming; it's a small city with a fairly reasonable cost of living; has a burgeoning arts and culture scene; and the weather is temperate 9 months out of the year.

    Cons

    The cons are many, unfortunately:

    The worst is the pervasive culture of fear and intimidation. It is, without question, the most toxic environment that I have ever worked in, in over 25+ years. Literally everyone lives in constant fear of being fired at any moment, without warning -- it doesn't matter how smart you are, how dedicated or how successful in your role or area of expertise.

    The vast majority of upper level management are not qualified for the positions that they hold and are in their positions only because of their personal relationship to the president of the college or a member of her immediate family, all of whom hold executive level positions. Their incompetence creates a horrible ripple effect of unnecessary problems and issues for the college as a whole and for those in middle management and below, who actually are qualified and are working tirelessly to do their best for the benefit of the students and their co-workers.

    In fact, the more successful one is in their role, the more they have to fear. Executive and upper management does not want to be challenged or held to the universally accepted standards for institutions of higher learning. Management is more interested in blindly-loyal foot soldiers than in innovative, qualified and (gasp!) confident administrators or faculty. People who suggest ways to improve, who strive for best-practices, or push for transparency are shown the door and quickly.

    The work/life balance is exceptionally unhealthy. Staff and faculty are expected to work 50-60 hours a week routinely and even longer hours at several busier times throughout the year. You are expected to have no other interests or activities outside of SCAD. Additionally, if management can figure out how to turn your side passion or freelance successes into something that benefits SCAD, they will lean on you, hard, to do so.

    Although starting pay is often better than other area entry level positions, the regular raises and performance/merit incentives promised during the interview process, rarely if ever materialize. It is not uncommon to be told that if you hit certain benchmarks that you will receive an increase in pay, only to have the benchmark moved up just before you reach it, or to be told that your supervisor has no recollection of ever having promised you an increase.

    Employee turn-over is incredibly high, which is discouraging for those left behind. Intelligent, competent and talented staff and faculty would often get frustrated by the horrible work environment, the broken promises, the pressure to behave unethically, the horrendous expectations regarding working hours, the lack of academic integrity, the focus on appearances above substance, and their pay being "capped" or being ineligible for raises due to constantly moving targets. The constant change of staff and faculty makes it difficult to maintain a stable and productive work place.

    Alumni and donor relations are both incredibly shallow and disingenuous; there is no interest from upper management in investing in these important relationships. Development staff was given inadequate resources and constantly dealt with unrealistic expectations. It was commonplace for fundraising events to be excuses to spend obscene amounts of money to throw a party, only concerned about the college's image and or PR opportunities, and not to actually earn any money towards the department, program or scholarships that it was meant to go to. By the time I left, management was actively lying to donors and misrepresenting where their donations were going and how their gifts were being used.

    When I first started working at SCAD the culture wasn't as ridiculous, damaging or negative as it was when I left. It was very sad and discouraging to watch the college deteriorate over the years, rotting from the inside-out, due to the gross incompetence of management and the deep, deep paranoia that seems to drive everything that they do for the past decade. I held on for much too long, hoping to see it return to its original mission and to once again find its way, only to be disappointed that it continued to get worse and at a more rapid pace. The loss of several qualified high-level leaders in the span of two/three years seemed to contribute to this acceleration; they were replaced by warm bodies loyal to the president and her son and incapable of advancing the college in a meaningful way. It really is a shame -- there was so much potential that has been squandered.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Executive management suffers from delusions of grandeur and are absolutely obsessed with celebrity, as opposed to being interested in academic rigor and true innovation. My advice to management would be to focus on excellence at a genuine and deep level, not just trying to figure out ways to monetize the college for your own benefit. Give the talented faculty the space and encouragement to be innovative, instead of tying their hands behind their backs. Address employee morale in a meaningful way -- not with the ridiculous and rigged SCAD Games -- and provide opportunities for continuing education and promotion from within. Establish a succession plan to put in place a QUALIFIED and EXPERIENCED academic administrator, not your woefully ill-equipped son and his band of idiot sidekicks, to lead the college and then retire.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 2 people found this helpful  

    Graphic Designer

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

    I worked at Savannah College of Art and Design part-time

    Pros

    Young Culture, Talented Team, Personal Growth, Benefits, Good Hours, Great Teachers

    Cons

    Low Pay,Not Room to Grow into better position

  10. 8 people found this helpful  

    Great for students, terrible for employees

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

    I worked at Savannah College of Art and Design full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    SCAD has developed some of the most excellent academic programs in art and design education. Students greatly benefit from the wealth of knowledge faculty bring to the university. SCAD has purchased some of the most robust and up-to-date technologies, better than what most employers are able to provide.

    Cons

    Strategic decisions are made without regard to how they will impact the future of the university. Actions are taken simply to laud the university, not to actually make the university excel. Employees are forced to take actions that are unethical and illegal. If you don't like it or don't subserviently fall in line you're forced out or fired.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 8 people found this helpful  

    Little respect given to employees

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Admissions in Savannah, GA
    Former Employee - Admissions in Savannah, GA

    I worked at Savannah College of Art and Design full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    The students get a good education and are in the dark about how bad the experience is for the employees. Typically, your colleagues are great, but don't expect to be colleagues for too long as there is an enormous amount of turnover. The benefits were good and then they slowly took them all away. Scare tactics make the machine super efficient, so at least you have that.

    Cons

    Pay is low. Micro-management is high. You are in constant fear of losing your job. Do not dare offer your opinion on anything because a) it is not valued and b) you will lose your job. Promotions generally go to the least competent people. Oh and it's a fear-based workplace.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Respect your employees, there are some smart ones out there that could really help make a difference. Instead of paying consultants to tell you what's wrong and offer some solutions, listen to your employees.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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