Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute

  www.ski.org
  www.ski.org

Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute Reviews

Updated October 11, 2014
Updated October 11, 2014
3 Reviews
1.3
3 Reviews

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Employee Reviews

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  1. 2 people found this helpful  

    Difficult to recommend

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA

    I have been working at Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    Casual atmosphere, generous benefits, generous parties.

    Cons

    A large number of prominent and respected scientists left because of stagnant leadership and politics. Several scientists have reacted online, but it doesn't look like management or the board are bothering to respond to any of the criticisms.

    Casual atmosphere is relaxed, and tolerates some harassing behavior. Several people say supervisors just ignore review time, so it's hard to get increases or even cost of living.

    Core administration staff is being outsourced and many others are just plain leaving. The whole place is emptying out in general. A number express the opinion that it's impossible to care what happens to the place.

    It's a hard place to recommend, since it looks like it's dying.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  2.  

    A Fatal Case of "Founders Syndrome"

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Scientist in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Senior Scientist in San Francisco, CA

    I worked at Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    May still have good benefits, but maybe not. This is not a place to build a viable career!

    Cons

    A once excellent research institute has become a dead place, no longer providing a minimally supportive environment. S-K now features decaying facilities, perverse leadership, and is completely without effective day-to-day management.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    S-K Board members ignored repeated warnings, attempted to silence them, or quietly resigned. Scientists on the Board should have questioned the demonization, departure, or expulsion of most of the institute's scientific talent, and should have understood the consequences of directorial subversion, and then termination, of scientific recruiting, but they did not. Board members in finance might have questioned the costly abandonment of critical research facilities, the collapse of external funding, and the speed with which the institute was burning through its endowment, but either they did not notice or did not care.

    S-K's scientists, with few exceptions, raised only timid objections to obviously catastrophic policies, and a few even supported them (Stockholm syndrome?). Most able to leave S-K are long gone, and the unfortunate few remaining have unavoidably become enablers of the final stages of collapse. Specifics of S-K's disfunction have been widely known since 2009, yet colleagues in the medical, scientific, and funding communities who offered help, or stood up against this travesty in any way, can be counted on the fingers of one hand.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    Once an important biomedical research institute, S-K is in the final stages of collapse due to aggressive mismanagement.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA

    I have been working at Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute

    Pros

    Good medical, dental, vision care, and retirement benefits. A few good people remain, as do some fond memories. Management sponsors frequent celebratory parties.

    Cons

    Our 93 year-old founder remains in control through a hand-picked, uncomprehending board. Against all advice, he installed a director who did not want the job and does not direct. Our strongest labs have closed, and our main research facility is about to close. Most scientific and administrative talent has gone elsewhere or retired.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Resign and place the institute and its endowment in the hands of an independent group able to rebuild its staff, facilities, and reputation.

    Doesn't Recommend

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