I have been working at Athabasca University (More than 10 years)
Benefits and salary are the only pros I can think of... Academics have it good, real good. Professionals and support staff, different story.
Everything else that excludes S&B. HR, management, VPs, even the university secretary. No leadership, people made supervisors without any supervisory skill training, end up in being supervised by unskilled people, making your work that much more depressing and frustrating. This place is no fun or challenging or interesting to work at. If you just want a good salary with great benefits, it's the place. Easy to get in a rut and get entrapped with other negative people that constantly complain about their work.
And then, you turn around, and see some support staff doing very little in their days, and you wonder why the university is financially struggling.
Advice to Management
Money is tough, you're busy with meetings all the time, I hear this all the time. But make a point to visit with your staff one-by-one once in awhile, at least once a year. If you are a new manager/director, make the round and introduce yourself. Going to satellite offices and not stopping by your subordinate's office to personally introduce yourself is cheap, unprofessional, and only result in a bad impression from the get go.
The interview was a panel interview with computer testing of excel and word. The panel consisted of six people who were all managers or academics. They asked a serious of questions and the interview lasted about one hour. The computer test was 30 minutes. They had asked for references after the interview.
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