University of Chicago

  www.uchicago.edu
  www.uchicago.edu

University of Chicago Reviews

Updated October 19, 2014
Updated October 19, 2014
333 Reviews
3.9
333 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
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Robert J. Zimmer
21 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • The University offers good benefits and a great work atmosphere (in 26 reviews)

  • Good benefits and reasonable work-life balance, if you want it (in 11 reviews)


Cons
  • Senior management is allergic to responsibility, yet repressive of initiative (in 6 reviews)

  • There is little room for career growth and the salary is mediocre (in 5 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Top-ranked university. amazing campus. awful weather

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at University of Chicago

    Pros

    UChicago is a top-ranked university. It has an amazing campus.

    Cons

    Chicago has an awful weather!

  2.  

    Excellent.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Scholar in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Scholar in Chicago, IL

    I have been working at University of Chicago full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Good training in leadership, competitive academic environment in one of the top-tier universities in USA, and constant intellectual challenge that will never leave you bored.

    Cons

    Sometimes work can get too competitive, and the location of the University is not in the best of neighborhoods in Chicago, but as long as you stay vigilant then it is fine.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    Post-Award Administrator

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Post-Award Administrator in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Post-Award Administrator in Chicago, IL

    I have been working at University of Chicago full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    It's one of the most famous universities in the world.

    Cons

    Since the limited budget issue, you will have less opportunity to continue to increase the knowledge.

    Doesn't Recommend
  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Review
  5.  

    Great place to work. Good professional environment and collaborative nature of work.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Scholar in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Scholar in Chicago, IL

    I have been working at University of Chicago full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    It has a very collaborative environment. Lot of opportunities for networking with researchers.

    Cons

    Location could be a problem for people looking to network with others in the industry.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6. 2 people found this helpful  

    Academic Environments Are Not All That You'd Expect

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Clerical in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Clerical in Chicago, IL

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

    Pros

    I was hired into a clerical position as an entry-level (recent grad) employee. There were lots of training opportunities, especially for specific software applications, if you knew which ones to pursue and could make the case for their relevance to your supervisor. Benefits were great and afforded lots of options; leave time was very generous (3 weeks vacation, 5 personal days, 10 sick days, lots of holidays, summer hours).

    Cons

    Mentorship was minimal, and the bureaucracy made moving within the organization difficult.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Don't hire smart, aspiring young people to do primarily rote data entry and filing unless you plan to really take the time to invest in their professional growth; growth along a clerical (union) trajectory is not the same thing, and very different skills are required to succeed in administrative support positions than in a strategic or analytical role.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7.  

    Index Analyst

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

    I have been working at University of Chicago full-time

    Pros

    decent pay, good place to learn, relaxed culture

    Cons

    you will be in your role for a long time before advancing

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    Decent first job out of college

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Research Assistant in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Research Assistant in Chicago, IL

    I worked at University of Chicago full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    smart people, lovely campus, decent benefits

    Cons

    low pay, little room for advancement

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    get pay/advancement opportunities in line with peer institutions

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9. 3 people found this helpful  

    UChicago Alumni Relations and Development: Deeply Flawed

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

    I have been working at University of Chicago full-time

    Pros

    The University's core mission is unimpeachably good, and it's a pleasure supporting the work of so many stupendously brilliant students and faculty members. Full-time staff members also enjoy generous vacation packages, even if it's difficult to take advantage of them due to uncompetitive pay, and some teams are happy to accommodate working from home.

    Cons

    Note: Some of the problems identified below, especially those relating to cronyism, apply more so to some teams than others.

    An outrageous, unchecked compensation structure funnels eye-popping raises and bonuses to top-level administrators at the expense of meaningful opportunities for upward remunerative and titular mobility for staff members. Turnover among talented workers is therefore high (especially for a large and putatively "mature" organization that should have clear career trajectories), and the absence of qualified meritocrats, particularly at the managerial level, allows sycophants, petty intraoffice politickers, and cronies to thrive and seize the few mechanisms for upward movement that do exist, thereby perpetuating a vicious cycle.

    Making things worse, the simultaneous threat of sudden restructures, the only mechanism available for rapid personnel changes, sows anxiety and encourages self-preservation over cooperation. The cliques and endemic siloing consequent to these structural and procedural defects effectively undermine most interdepartmental initiatives, which frequently devolve into office partisans jockeying for the biggest seat at the table instead of submitting to a sane, coherent strategy. This is particularly troubling as the University lurches closer to the next campaign. Were it not for an abundance of affluent, generous alumni and tireless work of small contingents of talented, resourceful, and extraordinarily patient individuals, the whole enterprise would surely buckle and crack under its own weight.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    A swift, merciless scouring of upper management would be satisfying, but the problems cited can be more easily remedied by installing effective oversight of and checks on administrative compensation and rational, fair, and transparent avenues for meritocratic upward mobility for staff members. Firings should be streamlined in order to dislodge unprofessional sinecures, and a select few politickers and empire-builders must be brought in line or be unceremoniously jettisoned.

    If such measures are too drastic, then upper management can at least take a tiny fraction of the $500M raised in FY14 and put it toward substantive raises or bonuses. For instance, a $10K bonus for everyone at ARD for this record fundraising year would only cost around $4M, which is a drop in the bucket and would VASTLY improve staff morale, motivating them to raise even more money in the years to follow. Until the University does right by its non-managerial staff, it will continue to hobble along from one near-crisis to the next.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10.  

    Excellent university for academic people to work.

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at University of Chicago

    Pros

    Great faculty, students and supporting staff team.

    Cons

    No serious complaints, but I do hope the salary for research fellows and staff can be a little higher.

  11.  

    Great opportunity for professional training

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

    I have been working at University of Chicago part-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Supportive supervisors who go above and beyond in helping your professional growth. Hours for intern positions are flexible. Good leadership.

    Cons

    Pay could be a bit higher. Some of the higher employees don't go out of their way to be friendly toward interns. Others more than make up for it though.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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