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Academy of Art University Employee Reviews about "upper management"

Updated Sep 30, 2020

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2.9
35%
Recommend to a Friend
26%
Approve of CEO
Academy of Art University President Elisa Stephens
Elisa Stephens
332 Ratings
Pros
  • "It's located in the beautiful downtown San Francisco with plenty of things to do and places to eat(in 23 reviews)

  • "My manager was one of the few great people in this organization(in 22 reviews)

  • Cons
  • "Upper management and General Managers are not respectful(in 40 reviews)

  • "Ethics aside, the work environment is not that welcoming(in 28 reviews)

  • More Pros and Cons
    Pros & Cons are excerpts from user reviews. They are not authored by Glassdoor.

    Reviews about "upper management"

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    1. 3.0
      Former Employee, more than 1 year

      Great place to expand your skills, but really no room to advance.

      Jul 24, 2020 - 3D Animation/VFX Lab Technician in San Francisco, CA
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      You get to use all the software that is available to students, so you can work on your portfolio while getting paid. Immediate supervisors are fantastic people. Helping students find solutions to problems gives you Satisfaction at the end of the day.

      Cons

      Some of the teachers talk down to you. They make you feel like your 7 years old and act like you do not know what you are doing and I am in my late 30 and I was in Management for 7 years. Upper management that actually runs the school seems like a joke on a weekly basis. No benefits, no incentive to want to stay. Budget cutting seems to be a norm for a school that advertises to be top of the line. I felt very disposable and there were at least 4 times I almost packed up and left.

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      1 person found this review helpful
    2. 2.0
      Former Contractor, more than 1 year

      Great Job But no advancement to stay

      Sep 30, 2020 - Lab Technician in San Francisco, CA
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Galina is a great manager. I loved working with students to create amazing art. You are given time to work and grow as an artist.

      Cons

      Most of the Instructors talk down to Lab Techs. Upper management and General Managers are not respectful. No career advancement.

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    3. 2.0
      Former Employee, more than 5 years

      Poor workplace

      Jun 30, 2019 - Gallery Associate 
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Depending on the major the students there are very talented

      Cons

      Poor upper management and a bad organization overall.

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      Academy of Art University Response

      Talent Success Team

      We agree! Our students are incredibly talented and we are thankful for both our former and current employees who have shown up each day ready to support our students in their ongoing success. Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback and for the many years you spent as an employee at Academy of Art University.

    4. 3.0
      Current Employee, less than 1 year

      administrative positions

      Jul 3, 2014 - Academy Assistant in San Francisco, CA
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      There are about 22 different departments or "schools" within the University. So it is fun and exciting learning about all that the school offers and being that I am interested in many of the arts they provide, I have found it to be riveting to walk around all of the different buildings and meet all of the directors.

      Cons

      My pay is not great and I am not doing anything like they said I would. I basically am sitting and searching the web all day or reading a book. When I get assigned to a new department, its the same thing. When I am in the executive office they have NOTHING for me to do. So i find it hard to sit and be satisfied that im not doing anything better with my time. when i got hired they said I would be on salary but I'm on hourly and I only make 16.83 an hour.. that only comes out to 35000 if i work 52 WEEK OF THE YEAR. Thats absolutely ridiculous considering I'm completely over qualified for this job. I have not been paid this poorly since i was 17 and when i got the job they pitched it to be WAY different. I have heard nothing but nasty things about this school since ive worked here from people who have been here for awhile-- Upper management sucks, the schools cheap (even tho they make MILLIONS a year and own a collection of million dollar cars). I'm thinking of leaving because I don't like what I've heard and the little I've experienced

      3 people found this review helpful
    5. 3.0
      Former Employee, more than 3 years

      Reliable employment during hard times

      May 7, 2016 - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      I took free online classes during my years working for AAU in an entry-level position. I built my portfolio and was able to get a professional job as a result. My boss was a warm and nurturing person who wanted the best for her employees. There are motivated and talented students who can be very inspiring to work with, especially those paying their own way.

      Cons

      A stereotypical corporate nightmare. All employees are treated as cogs in the machine, not as people. Everyone who works there is always stressed out, jaded and resentful. Gaining new students is clearly the primary (and secondary and tertiary) goal of the business, not so much educating the students they already have. Upper management is filled with political animals who are motivated to steal resources from other departments rather than work with what they have and focus on improving their own dept. Because money comes before education, classes in most depts. are aimed at the lowest common denominator, and there are many rich, entitled, ignorant and unqualified students to deal with and help graduate.

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      6 people found this review helpful

      Academy of Art University Response

      Talent Success Team

      It’s heartening to hear that you were able to build your portfolio by taking classes at the Academy. Your success speaks to our purpose. Thank you for your critique as well. We are committed to constantly evaluating and evolving our management and organizational culture. Fundamentally we’re a mission driven art school. We’re not perfect, but we’re getting better all the time.

    6. 2.0
      Current Employee

      It's all about which group you work for

      Jan 31, 2013 - Admissions 
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Diverse workplace, talented students and instructors to work with, great industry events. Some departments are stable, with responsible, fair, and competent managers. Generous President/CEO. Compensation is good for revenue-generating departments. Employees who are committed to growing the campus community and improving student experience.

      Cons

      Not enough time off. HR policies not uniform across the company. HR dept not there to support or protect employees- only have the backs of upper management. Upper management severely out-of-touch with needs of employees. High turnover, unrealistic work expectations, demoralizing environment, management decisions often do not make sense (Admissions). Open admission policy makes it hard for academic departments to maintain academic integrity as so many students are unprepared or poor performers.

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      2 people found this review helpful
    7. 3.0
      Current Employee, more than 1 year

      It is all about the individuals, not the institution.

      Apr 18, 2017 - Anonymous Employee 
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      A lot of the people that work here are really awesome. Many are friendly and caring about their fellow employee and they all look out for each other. This will obviously depend on the people you work with and the specific department you are a part of but I have had a generally good experience with the other employees.

      Cons

      It seems like there is a disconnect between some of the education departments and the departments of the management. It feels as though senior management can either micromanage too much or at times, leaving the departments without support. There seems to be this idealized version of what the students like inside the minds of the upper management because they don't seem to want to hear criticisms about themselves and often don't want to change to help benefit the school or students.

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      Academy of Art University Response

      Talent Success Team

      This is important feedback, thank you. We have a tremendously talented workforce and we are devoted to student success. We’re an art school with an amazing mission and a talented team. Like many organizations, not all departments operate and function the same. However, when we receive feedback like this, we take time to evaluate our processes and, where appropriate, make adjustments. We are learning as we grow.

    8. 1.0
      Current Employee, less than 1 year

      Run away!

      Sep 28, 2016 -  in San Francisco, CA
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      This may differ by department, but you will meet the best people you could ever work with. Everybody is open, respectful, and nice. They make this place bearable. Depending on where you work, the location could also be a plus. Transportation benefits are nice, I guess, but they're also standard at every workplace. I usually leave by the time I am supposed to. I don't work 12 hour days.

      Cons

      This is very long, hence the list. The cons far outweigh the pros. Remember, this is a toxic for-profit university! - The obvious point: it's more about money than the students. - Turnover rate is very high -- huge red flag. - You are seen as a cog in a machine. Your performance is measured constantly, but you receive minimal support from upper management for the work you do. Other places do this well; constant support and flexibility. This is not one of those places. - Extreme micromanagement about performance. - Absolutely no room for growth. - Lack of transparency re: salaries and business practices. - No financial support. We are expected to buy everything ourselves. We don't get tea or coffee. - No work culture. No fun. We come in, we work, we go home. Everybody is jaded. - No communication at all.

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      5 people found this review helpful
    9. 3.0
      Current Contractor, more than 1 year

      Lack of support for faculty

      Jan 10, 2018 - Adjunct Faculty Member in San Francisco, CA
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Some of the most dedicated students, many of whom are very talented. The facilities are very upscale, and for the most part, up to date.

      Cons

      Upper management is very insecure -- lots of useless politics being played all over. There is absolutely NO job security. Teachers are replaced as fast as they can find a new one. Therefore, no new teacher has a chance to get used to the school policies. Teachers are not given any responsibility to deviate from the standard curriculum. Therefore, everyone is just a cog in a giant machine. There is an overall paranoia about job security since no one is given a contract for longer than 3 months.

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    10. 3.0
      Current Employee, more than 10 years

      Was good, but diminishing

      May 9, 2016 - Employee in San Francisco, CA
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Depending on contract you could have a bunch of paid vacation. Some departments are a blast to work for. Some! Opportunity to keep up to date on art and creative technology is at one's fingertips.

      Cons

      Upper management makes questionable decisions and assigns dual roles to under-qualified and/or mismatched workers to help save pennies, and in the long run only hurts the company. No raises, not even to keep up with inflation. No bonuses. X-mas party is awkward and makes you wonder why the money put towards that event can't be used to give folks a small bonus from time to time in lieu of the celebration. Underpaid.

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      6 people found this review helpful

      Academy of Art University Response

      Talent Success Team

      Thank you for taking the time to post. Staff are eligible for raises once a year and compensation increases are performance based. The Human Resources department welcomes the opportunity to speak with you directly about this. Our Holiday party is a University tradition that started when we were a small college, most of the faculty and staff knew each other, and the chances of winning at BINGO were much better. It’s important for us to have a night where we share food and drink, hand out prizes and have some fun.

    Viewing 1 - 10 of 40 Reviews

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