UC San Diego Reviews

Updated May 18, 2015
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Pradeep K. Khosla
5 Ratings

Pros
  • Great work life balance as well (in 15 reviews)

  • UCSD offers great benefits as well as retirement if you are committed to staying here for 20, 25 (in 25 reviews)

Cons
  • Parking is expensive and not very convenient to some places (read: Atkinson Hall) (in 8 reviews)

  • For those not into research and/or engineering, it's a bit hard to find your niche (in 5 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

12 Employee Reviews

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  1. HDH

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Fun place to work and works with school schedule

    Cons

    Boring and monotonous at times


  2. Helpful (1)

    Does not value staff at all.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at UC San Diego full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    The only benefit to working at UCSD is to have a steady (though barely livable) paycheck and affordable/comprehensive benefits.

    Cons

    No flexibility in work schedule; horrible commute both ways; staff parking costs nearly $1,000/year; bureaucracy thicker than concrete walls; extremely low pay for staff employees - the average is around $40k/yr and that's for a position requiring a Master's degree; very little room for advancement; staff is COMPLETELY unvalued and underpaid...the only people compensated well and respected are tenured faculty & senior-level directors; completely incompetent "business office" that runs all HR/Payroll for the six colleges; terrible employees are never fired b/c it's insanely hard to get rid of someone once they are employed past the 6 mo probation period; mandatory 7% pension contribution, which most employees will never reap the benefits of unless they stay 40 yrs; most other staff members are miserable and in bad moods most of the time; laughably small discount on tuition for employees; need I go on?

    Advice to Management

    Get a clue. Seriously. Your staff people are what make your organization run. Value them and pay them a livable wage. This is San Diego, not rural Oklahoma. Single people can't survive on the net incomes you provide. Do you think your pretentious faculty would have the slightest idea of how to keep operations going? And your senior management/vice chancellors/etc are overpaid morons, too. Best decision I ever made was leaving this place!


  3. UCSD runs like a corporation more than an institution of higher learning

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    Good benefits (if full time/career position)

    Cons

    Training is not a well-organized process. Managers of some departments try to create a staff vs. faculty environment. Staff and management hide how they spend their time/resources from faculty. Heard multiple times that we were not allowed to tell faculty what we were doing or what we were spending funding on because manager knew they would disapprove. Wasting university money on things like catering for one hour staff meeting for only a few people (UC's have been struggling to get state funding for the last decade, yet resources are being spent on things like this). Mismanaged and too many employees feeling expendable and undervalued.

    Advice to Management

    Quit wasting money on unnecessary items for staff and focus on being support for faculty. Better communication as well!


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  5. UCSD Scientist

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I have been working at UC San Diego full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    good scientific network some excellent PIs

    Cons

    no respect for scientists poor environment poor IACUC comeetee


  6. Unfair, Poorly Trained, Management and Human Resource Department

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Clinical Professional Staff in San Diego, CA
    Former Employee - Clinical Professional Staff in San Diego, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at UC San Diego full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    It is a Teaching Hospital

    Cons

    Limited or no training for staff, does not value knowledgeable, experienced staff, but those that comply to managements ideals and objectives not the patient care or quality of care. Fair/responsible/experienced Leadership is lacking.

    Advice to Management

    Fairness. Stop favoritism. Value your employees by not just saying you do but acting on it. HR should be fair and objective. The HR department should seek the truth and no blindly support management no matter what.


  7. Helpful (1)

    Discrimination and racism at all levels of leadership

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at UC San Diego full-time

    Pros

    working on a very scenic college campus

    Cons

    Board of Regents runs this university like a corporate entity with a team of the best lawyers to get away with it. They practice discrimination in hiring and promoting employees. Add to that an extremely low salary and very limited advancement opportunities and you're better off looking elsewhere.

    Advice to Management

    Hire and promote people based on merit. Treat your employees right and stop abusing them.


  8. Helpful (1)

    UCSD IR/PS always advertising for temps, always losing them

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at UC San Diego part-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    sunshine, near the beach, spacey campus

    Cons

    UCSD is a mess - too many departments are essentially autonomous under a central office that is careless and unresponsive. They employ a few tenured or vested staff, but mostly at-will and temporary staff, who are treated as expendables. The culture here is terrible - idle and uncooperative. Staff here hide behind ignorance or literally just hide in their offices - they hide behind student interns and unload all their responsibilities on to them. The departments claim to not know what each other are doing and drag their heels on everything. The spread of these departments across an enormous campus doesn't help when a car ride is necessary. My experience was at IR/PS, which is always advertising for temporary faculty - I saw another ad today and felt compelled to record my warnings. This school is a case in point: still led by a Dean with no qualifications in the field, who is never in his office and has no permanent administrators, has a few loyal mediocre faculty, then a mass of temporary and part-time faculty. The school will admit any students, and will do anything to graduate them, such as demanding that the grades are curved with a bottom of B+ and changing grades to help students graduate. So guess what, you get the lamest, idlest students with a culture of doing the bare minimum, cheating, and running to the Dean whenever they don't get what they want. Most are foreigners who don't speak English well enough to participate - class attendance and participation are casual. I tried to raise these issues three times to the Chancellors office, without reply. I did my research and could not find any responsible office. I tried the student ethics office, which wasn't interested, then the ombudsman, who was clueless. Now I understand why IR/PS is so irresponsible.

    Advice to Management

    it's not rocket science: change the chiefs, establish a responsible office, survey for issues, and investigate them


  9. Either you have thee best skills in the world, Nepotism, or A. Action gets you in the door

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at UC San Diego (More than a year)

    Pros

    Nice weather, great university, nice facilities

    Cons

    nepotism, grossly overpaid and incompetent managers rampant

    Advice to Management

    Lower everyone's pay and make it match the private sector. People here are grossly overpaid.


  10. being a posdoc at UCSD

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Postdoctoral Fellow in La Jolla, CA
    Former Employee - Postdoctoral Fellow in La Jolla, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at UC San Diego full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    The whether is great, love the city. The university offers a very open environment for collaboration between labs, departments and institutes around the area.

    Cons

    It's hard to live on the stipend as a scientist or a postdoc from UCSD, some labs pay less than NIH scale, but the area is very expensive... Generally speaking, most people have to do a 5-year postdoc or even two postdocs to be promoted to a project scientist (if you get your transitional grant). Postdocs are generally under-appreciated in this school. Not enough help or training is provided to the trainees in terms of career development. The postdoctoral association has started to include some special events for the postdocs to be familiar to environment other than academia, which is very much needed. PIs, however, at least the ones that I have interacted with, do not care or support your career development.


  11. Vivian Hook laboratory

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral in La Jolla, CA
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral in La Jolla, CA

    I have been working at UC San Diego full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Nice city, weather, outdoor environment. UCSD could be a good experience depending of which lab you work with.

    Cons

    The lab PI has all the power over you and can abuse it as much as they want, nobody will do anything against, as long as they don't harass sexually or physically injure you.

    Advice to Management

    Take management classes.



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