University Corporation for Atmospheric Research

  www.ucar.edu
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University Corporation for Atmospheric Research Reviews

Updated Jul 16, 2014

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3.6 10 reviews

100% Approve of the CEO

University Corporation for Atmospheric Research President Richard A. Anthes

Richard A. Anthes

(4 ratings)

78% of employees recommend this company to a friend
10 Employee Reviews
Relevance Date Rating
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    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

     

    Amazing company!

    Associate Scientist II (Current Employee) Offutt AFB, NE

    ProsGreat benefits, 26 days of vacation per year, competitive salary.

    ConsMedical insurance coverage is not that great, difficult to advance, lots of term jobs.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
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    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    Losing sight of their mission.

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsBenefits are great, with lots of training opportunities and a mostly flexible schedule. Education benefits are pretty generous and, on the whole, the people are really great to work with.

    ConsCompany culture has shifted and the focus is on management rather than true leadership. Pay scales in some areas are below market, raises are minimal and promotions are difficult to attain.

    Advice to Senior ManagementThe organization structure has too many levels of middle management and the organization holds on to staff who fail to fulfill their responsibilities. If they went back to a true merit increase system, slimmed down management and let go of non-performers the company would be more efficient, be able save a lot of money and cut out a lot of unnecessary steps in administrative processes. The savings would allow them to be competitive in the market and reward performing employees appropriately.

    • Work/Life Balance
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    Limited potential for professional growth and treated as second class citizen that lacks the "proper" level of education

    Associate Scientist (Former Employee) Boulder, CO

    ProsCOMET offers the opportunity to mingle with professionals in a variety of settings; operational and research alike. The possibility is there to travel and present your work at professional meetings, seminars, and conferences.

    ConsThe "O" in COMET stands for "operational", yet there are no members on staff with operational meteorological experience. They rely solely on subject matter experts in the field to edit, revise, and add to the product being created. In other words, too much theoretical and not enough practical. A product takes from six to nine months to complete--similar to writing a thesis--yet management shows little, if any recognition. And finally, despite an outward appearance of acceptance, COMET does not inwardly support members of the military reserve or veterans. Their ideal candidate is a post-doctoral fellow from a major educational institution; i.e., Pennsylvania State University.

    Advice to Senior ManagementProviding timely recognition for a job well done goes along way, especially if such recognition is spread amongst coworkers and peers.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

     

    great place to work

    Software Engineer III (Former Employee) Boulder, CO

    ProsGreat work-life balance, interesting work, interesting people, beautiful location, great benefits especially for parents (generous family sick leave plan). Excellent 403b plan with TIAA-CREF with 5% contribution required matched by 10%; vested immediately. Low turnover.

    ConsWorking in the basement and only seeing daylight at lunch. Low-turnover sometimes means fewer new ideas. Funding uncertainty is affecting morale.

    Advice to Senior ManagementContinue what you are doing. It's a great place to work.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
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    very satisfictory

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee) Boulder, CO

    Prosflexible schedule, many career developing paths

    ConsResearch field is somewhat narrow. Limited

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
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    • Approves of CEO

     

    Suggestion for improvement

    Software Engineer (Current Employee) Boulder, CO

    ProsWork that contributes to society. People who, for the most part, try to do the right thing. The ability to work relatively independently, depending on circumstances.

    ConsStovepiping between functional groups. An over reliance, in some situations, on the supervisory structure as opposed to a more sophisticated approach that considers both supervisory and project management activities.

    Advice to Senior ManagementThe supervisors in some groups think their group is organized functionally when, in fact, the groups activities have a more matrixed structure. If project-managers were included in the decision-making processes that affect them, then the groups would be more efficient, productive, make less risky decisions, and have higher morale. The supervisors appear to have a blind-spot in this area and behave as if they were unconsciously protective of their power.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
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    Good place to work in a good city

    Summer Intern (Former Employee) Boulder, CO

    ProsDecent pay, decent benefit, boulder is a really great city and the work schedule is very relaxed. Opportunity to do research as well as development.

    ConsJob prospect largely dependent on government grant which can be somewhat finicky sometimes, also the cafeteria is ridiculously expensive. High living expenses.

    Advice to Senior ManagementYou should spend more money on supercomputing research, there is no sight of NCAR when it comes to top 500 listing. Without sufficient computing power, there'd be no research.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
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    • Approves of CEO

     

    UCAR needs to institutionalize cross-divisional support

    Software Engineer (Current Employee) Boulder, CO

    ProsThe employees are, in general, intelligent and dedicated. The work environment is (at least in my sector) relatively low in stress. The work is challenging and benefits humanity. Also, it's possible to become a master of all trades (at least in my sector) due to the amount of work that needs to be done and the paucity of bodies to do it.

    ConsSpeaking as a software engineer, the organization has not institutionalized support for software engineering as much as it has for science (I suspect this is also true in other areas). For example, there are many instances of scientific "joint " (i.e., cross-divisional) appointments, which allow for cross-divisional communication and a concomitant increase in scientific productivity. Such institutionalized support is lacking in software engineering. To their credit, senior management is aware of this problem, but their attempts to fix it rely, for the most part, on extracurricular work by volunteers --- work that is neither compensated, nor, for the most part, valued by supervisors (with foreseeable results). As a result, there is little leveraging of software practices amongst the divisions, little synergy, and, consequently, lower productivity than what might otherwise occur.

    In a similar vein, one's supervisor is, for the most part, expected to be one's mentor. This can work well for those fortunate enough to have a knowledgeable supervisor whom one respects. There are cases, however, where the person being supervised is more technically knowledgeable than the supervisor --- with foreseeable results.

    Advice to Senior ManagementLook into institutionalizing orthogonal structures for the support of things like software engineering (and by "institutionalizing", I don't mean volunteer committees). Besides working for supervisors on one or more projects, one should also have a more experienced professional in one's domain whose institutional responsibility is to help one become as good as one can be. In some cases, this person could also be one's supervisor; in other cases, not. Yes, a person wearing another hat will have less time to devote to their "official" duties, but the entire organization will benefit due to synergy, leveraging, and mentoring with a payback in productivity that will more than compensate for the "lost" time.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    National Center for Stewarding Ancient Technologies

    Software Engineer III (Former Employee) Boulder, CO

    ProsThe Mesa lab is absolutely spectacular, an architectural masterpiece nestled beneath the beauty of Green Mountain.
    The vacation time and 401k are exceptional.
    There are many interesting people to meet.

    ConsFirst, this place is the living definition of stale. The technologies refuse to advance. The institution shows brazen disregard for new computational technologies, and relies on an illogical defensive stance to justify its use of ancient technology. An entrenched workforce of technologists from the 1970's run the show, resulting in frustration for
    anyone who has worked anywhere else in the industry.
    Second, the place treats employees with very little respect. It is virtually impossible to secure anything other than a 1-3 year term position unless you are management, secretarial staff or food staff.
    Management arbitrarily freezes raises for the entire institution when the budget is tight, and raises are within very tight brackets, so that, effectively, the salary schedule is predetermined by your starting pay for the rest of your career. Attempts to reclassify or reinvent oneself is blocked by people who blatantly disregard common standards for privacy in internal hiring and who politic without regard for common ethic.
    Management has been recently bloated by expectations of growth, so now the management hierarchy is more fitting of a place with 10,000 employees, with layer after layer of hierarchy and hundreds of divisions with just a few employees each doing actual work.

    Advice to Senior ManagementGood luck with that one.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Work/Life Balance
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    UCAR - Good for Scientists, Okay for Support Staff

    Computer Operator II (Current Employee) Boulder, CO

    ProsLocation: Boulder, CO is known as the home for several scientific research facalities. NOAA, University of Colorado and National Institute of Standards and Technology (they have the atomic clock) to name a few. Boulder is also a beautiful area nestled at the base of the Colorado Front Range with bike paths and a good transportation system. Boulder is just 30 miles away from Denver where one can find fine cultural events. Benefits: UCAR provided each full time employee with a choice of 3 types of medical coverage. Dental coverage is included. A retirement package by TIAA/CREFF allows you to choose how to build your savings.

    ConsSupport staff does not always get the recognition they deserve. Management ignores people problems.

    Advice to Senior ManagementIf you have a squeaky wheel, take time to listen and investigate the issues. Do not wait for more people to complain. Sometimes, only one person has the guts to say what is really going on.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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