University of Alaska Fairbanks

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University of Alaska Fairbanks Reviews

Updated February 24, 2015
Updated February 24, 2015
22 Reviews
3.4
22 Reviews
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  1.  

    I loved teaching at UAF

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Contractor - Assistant Professor Civil Engineering in Fairbanks, AK
    Current Contractor - Assistant Professor Civil Engineering in Fairbanks, AK

    I have been working at University of Alaska Fairbanks as a contractor (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    It's a great university. The students are wonderful. I always enjoyed the campus and the work.

    Cons

    UAF is losing a significant amount of funding from the state this year. All programs and campuses are being affected. The chancellor stated that UAF will become a smaller university in the future, while maintaining it's excellence.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Do not rely upon state funding to maintain the university.

    Recommends
  2.  

    Great place to work with great benefits, though your salary

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Scientific Support Services in Fairbanks, AK
    Current Employee - Scientific Support Services in Fairbanks, AK

    I have been working at University of Alaska Fairbanks

    Pros

    -Excellent location with great views from campus, if you are on the main Fairbanks campus.
    -Generally relaxed, low-pressure work environment, though I'm sure this depends on whom you work with.
    -Close to town, amazing (probably best in the world or close) system of cross-country and bike trails right behind university FREE - if you are into outdoors and not afraid of the cold, you will be in heaven and will never want to leave!
    -Pretty decent benefits, including retirement.
    -Generally flexible work environment, though this is supervisor-dependent I imagine.
    -Impressively advanced IT and communications options on campus, tuition coverage.

    Cons

    -Salary is generally lower than in surrounding area though this is probably position-dependent, and probably does not apply if you are an upper level administrator or professor.
    -Their HR is REALLY incompetent. It took me 2 months until I received my first paycheck when I first started working there and they once terminated me by accident when I was being switched to a different type of position within the university causing me to lose insurance and miss medical appointments. This is not uncommon, a few colleagues have had seven worse experiences.
    -Parking has become kind of insane lately in some areas of campus where they are doubling the cost of a parking decal pass to raise revenue, but there is a decent public transportation on campus (free to UAF employees!) and many bike or ski to work.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I try to stay away from politics and management. There is often a lot of politics and drama when it comes to upper management and the people who actually run the university, in particular when it comes to funding and when it is being cut. In general the folks at the top are competent and have the university's best interest in mind when it comes to providing a quality education and doing research. However, it would certainly be nice if there was a better dialogue with the university's union reps!! It seems to me to be a very much dog eat cat type relationship. Also, leave the parking alone! Don't raise parking fees. Perhaps cut management's salary by 1% of you have to rather than making the folks who make $35-50K have to pay extra to raise university revenues.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
  3.  

    Frustrating

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

    I worked at University of Alaska Fairbanks full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    The benefit package is okay compared to what other companies are offering in this area.

    Cons

    Even though they say that they are an equal opportunity employer, I regularly saw raises, promotions and hiring practices done that involved favoritism and finding loopholes around the hiring process. They would advertise job openings so that they could give a promotion to a specific individual, everyone else would apply and interview but it was already predetermined who would be hired into the position. The interview panel would always lean the questions in favor of the candidate that they wanted to hire or promote. Raises were given based on favoritism and not on merit and the performance reviews were just more paperwork to fill out without any real substance or measurable standards to attain.
    The University keeps requiring more and more and more paperwork and reporting requirements year after year. People are so overloaded with STUFF to do that quality work is not being done and can never be done with the staff that they have. Then they layoff people but don't reduce any of the reporting or paperwork requirements.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    If you are going to promote someone, promote them based on merit. A measurable standard that can be applied across the board to truly see who is deserving and who is not. Don't open up job openings and give everyone an opportunity to apply if you don't intend to give the other candidates an honest chance. It's a waste of their time and yours.
    Instead of immediately thinking cost savings by laying people off, figure out where there is duplicative work and unnecessary work and eliminate that first. Only implement new computer software if it is going to save time and money, don't waste time with software that adds work and costs excessive.
    Listen to the workers that are actually doing the work.
    Chancellor Rogers needs to step out of his office and actually talk to the workers in all the departments, not just management on a regular bases. He rarely ever even talks to or acknowledges the workers at the University.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
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  5.  

    Confused and Unethical Employer and Management

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Assistant Professor, Organic Chemistry in Fairbanks, AK
    Former Employee - Assistant Professor, Organic Chemistry in Fairbanks, AK

    I worked at University of Alaska Fairbanks full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    I very much appreciated my colleagues and students for the efforts to which they went to support me while I was up there. I am still in contact with many of them. They also put on a very nice going-away party for me. Thank you very much!

    Cons

    Was hired for one specific research area, but a year later, management demanded that I switch to "Alaska-relevant-research", for which I had no background. So two years into my tenure track, I was let go of with nine months' notice. Large numbers of students and faculty protested to the Chancellor of UAF (who doesn't even have a PhD) but he refused to change the situation. UAF also refused to state why they were letting me go, but it was very obvious that senior management in the concerned academic division did not like my research area. Why was I hired, and moved to Alaska in the first place? Accordingly, the people hired to replace me have neither professional experience nor post-graduate training in the major courses (my field) which they are supposed to be teaching.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    (1) Hire a Chancellor who has a doctoral degree and experience in higher education, as opposed to simply being a businessman.
    (2) Appoint senior management in the concerned academic division which interacts with faculty candidates during the interview in a straightforward and honest manner.
    (3) Improve communication between senior management and faculty in hiring decisions.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  6.  

    Great people working together to bring IT to the University

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Student Technician in Fairbanks, AK
    Current Employee - Student Technician in Fairbanks, AK

    I have been working at University of Alaska Fairbanks part-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great people. Management is friendly and all the technicians and students work together well to get things done. There are lots of opportunities for cross training between the different IT departments and opportunities to get professional IT certificates as well.

    Cons

    IT support can be a little boring at times waiting around for instructors or students to come to you with problems. Decision making via Upper Management can be slow which hinders how much work the technicians can get done.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  7.  

    Excellent experience

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Mechanical Engineer in Fairbanks, AK
    Former Employee - Mechanical Engineer in Fairbanks, AK

    I worked at University of Alaska Fairbanks part-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    Very friendly, inviting and good community.
    People here are very polite and heart touching.

    Cons

    Have to deal with outside cold and irregular days

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  8.  

    not encouraging to develop.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Research Engineer in Fairbanks, AK
    Current Employee - Research Engineer in Fairbanks, AK

    I have been working at University of Alaska Fairbanks part-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    flexibility at work timings, great coworkers.

    Cons

    management is not good. They are not taking university in right direction.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    better change view of how things need to be get done.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
  9.  

    Good atmosphere, limited space

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Graduate Research Assistant in Fairbanks, AK
    Current Employee - Graduate Research Assistant in Fairbanks, AK

    I have been working at University of Alaska Fairbanks part-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    I really enjoy the atmosphere at UAF. It is very relaxed and people are willing to help each other.

    Cons

    Small departments mean you will usually be working by yourself. There is generally a very limited amount of lab space. I was told to use a general purpose lab and had to pack up my equipment every night. This was very frustrating because I spent a lot of time organizing my equipment every day and not on my research.

    Research funding is very tight in academia and I would not recommend this path to many people.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
  10.  

    UAF serves a vital role as an institution of higher learning in Alaska.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Communications Specialist IV in Fairbanks, AK
    Current Employee - Communications Specialist IV in Fairbanks, AK

    I have been working at University of Alaska Fairbanks full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    In the department I work in my supervisor is very supportive of professional development and training. He is also willing to allow me some flexibility in my work schedule to accommodate other responsibilities in my life outside of work. I am satisfied with my benefits package and regularly take advantage of the tuition waiver available to employees. I feel fortunate and have heard accounts from UAF employees in other departments who may not have such a supportive supervisor.

    Cons

    I think the expectations of my job are more than a single person can manage successfully and facing a shrinking budget situation in coming years, I think that will only get worse. I don't think the work environment is consistent across departments.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
  11.  

    Its a trap

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - UPS Package Handler in Palatine, IL
    Current Employee - UPS Package Handler in Palatine, IL

    I have been working at University of Alaska Fairbanks part-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    The benefits are the only redeeming part about this job. Tuition reimbursement

    Cons

    Low pay for the amount of work you do, no chance of getting longer hours, supervisors are generally 18 year old who just did their original job good enough but have no clue on how to manage people.

    Doesn't Recommend

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