Australian National University Reviews | Glassdoor

Australian National University Reviews

Updated October 18, 2017
82 reviews

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3.6
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Australian National University President and Chief Executive Officer Brian P. Schmidt
Brian P. Schmidt
12 Ratings

82 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Good work life balance, tight community, good exposure to a diverse portfolio of activities and tasks in higher ed sector (in 4 reviews)

  • Friendly colleagues, world class university, good pay, PD opportunities (in 6 reviews)

Cons
  • Many under performing yet tolerated staff, little room for career progression, slow-paced unchanging environment (in 4 reviews)

  • Hard to get consensus for decisions across many corporate and academic stakeholders (in 2 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Great work environment"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Australian National University full-time

    Pros

    Great working environment and committed colleagues. Generally good working conditions. Leading institution so easy to get behind the mission

    Cons

    Frequent mid level mgt changes and lack of clear priorities. Too much authority given to administrators and emphasis put on trivial savings, at the expense of staff morale, autonomy and operational efficiency.


  2. "Postdoc in biology was fun"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Australian National University full-time

    Pros

    good facilities, friendly people, yay

    Cons

    work hours, far from the beach

  3. Helpful (1)

    "Super Racist and Unfair system of academic managers"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at Australian National University full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Nice campus, Sufficient lab facilities, Nice weather

    Cons

    People in charge look very nice in your face but infact they are super racist and bossy. They form a group of bosses and use everybody else like slaves. No honesty, trust, respect and employee right. Their consultants are taught to approach you for help and take your information in the universities' favour. I and many others ended up with depression and severe stress problems. You will find yourself having no energy to fight and counting down to run away. They make you work like hell and feel like useless. Finally they throw you out like a trash. You have to be one of them or a fantastic politician to survive there!

    Advice to Management

    I have been in many universities, among all this university is the worst worst! The university managers have to change their manners towards academic employees. Fundamental changes are required to make it like a normal university.


  4. "PHD student at Research School"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I worked at Australian National University full-time

    Pros

    Best in the country.
    Beautiful campus

    Cons

    Could be more oversight of students to ensure they are on track for completion in a reasonable period of time. Choose your supervisor wisely!


  5. "Great RA job"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Research Assistant
    Former Employee - Research Assistant
    Recommends

    Pros

    good payment, supervisors and co-workers are friendly and supportive

    Cons

    the facilities in the lab should probably be updated (they may have done it now)


  6. "Fun working environment in ANU"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    I was in ANU for undergrad engineering, and took the Facilities & Services for internship. My supervisor was Ben Crossling and he was a very friendly person - open for discussion from minuet technical details to visionary discussions. I remember asking him about how about cybernization on human brains and he gave me a book published around 1970 which already envisioned futuristics concepts, like the ones in Matrix. The other cohorts are very helpful and they are always ready to help.

    Cons

    I have heard a number of things about the management as well as the salary, however, I was not a paid intern, nor had I stayed long enough to provide insightful comments.

    Advice to Management

    The management was somewhat loose - which provides a lot of freedom (which I did take upon and created a short project on improving a system interface problem). However, there is minimal training for the internship.


  7. "Great place to work and do research"

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

    Pros

    friendly people, good access to research facilities, awesome social events, healthy work place

    Cons

    Not many career opportunities and if you are in research its really hard to get a permanent position or have long term contract as the funding may not continue.

  8. Helpful (4)

    "Serious internal issues needing to be addressed."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Professor in Canberra (Australia)
    Former Employee - Professor in Canberra (Australia)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Australian National University full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Canberra is a beautiful, clean, safe, city in which to live and work.

    Cons

    The University seems caught between the Scylla of anachronistic and not-fit-for-purpose middle-management structures, remnants of a time when it was a research-school-focused post-graduate-only campus, and the Charybdis of modern neoliberal management cultures that seem neither willing, nor able, to defend the integrity of core disciplines, and the contracts of trust with academic staff that underpin traditional academic values.

    Advice to Management

    Management needs to recognise that the current managerial structures are not fit for purpose. Reform is necessary and urgent if the ANU is to remain a leading University on the world stage.


  9. Helpful (3)

    "Very bureaucratic, lack of leadership"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Australian National University full-time

    Pros

    Good reputation in Australia and beyond
    Intelligent people around (though living in their own academic world)
    Compensation is relatively good compared to other universities in the world, especially for entry level researchers. However, salary curve is rather linear and flat.

    Cons

    Admin is overwhelming. Prescribe everything with endless lists of policies that constantly change. Researchers spend much of their time on admin tasks, getting their head around rules and regulations, filling out forms and waiting for admin to process them, etc.
    Have an offering of courses for staff development, but that was never encouraged and there was no time at all to pursue this.
    Supervisors overwhelm academic staff with work, often at very short notice, expect them to be available round the clock and to put in long hours (way over the 35 hour regular time per week), weekends and public holidays without any reward (such as overtime compensation, extra pay for overtime work, boni, promotion, etc.).
    Internal promotion unlikely due to strong focus on internationality.
    Grants are difficult to obtain (in general, not just at ANU), which leads to constant financial pressure and hardship, lots of time spent on (often failed) grant applications, and making it difficult especially for young academics to become independent.

    Advice to Management

    Put in place a professional management system with regular performance reviews, close monitoring of professors and senior-level staff, and provide young academics with career development support, both internally as well as for careers outside ANU.


  10. Helpful (6)

    "ANU will ruin your life"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Canberra (Australia)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Canberra (Australia)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Australian National University full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    It all looks good until you get there. Australias Number 1 University. You will be faced with unprecedented bullying and harassment and cover ups every day you are there until they destroy you, and your reputation.

    Cons

    Most deceitful and unconscionable HR department, council and VC ever encountered. Absolutely, no integrity, values or conscience except for their own personal careers and bank accounts.
    Bullying, lying and career assassination and many other unethical practices are encouraged and enforced at the ANU by the highest levels and down.
    If you are good at what you do, you will either quit or will be pushed out.
    If you do not do as you are told and push back against illegal directions you will either quit or be pushed out.
    Every thing that depicts negativity including rape, sexual assault, bullying statistics, is covered up by all levels with full knowledge of the VC.
    If you are injured your Comcare claim will not be accepted and will be fought with the same deceit and lies from HR and senior management that caused your injury and will be fought with unlimited public funds by high priced lawyers external to the ANU funded totally by the taxpayer.

    Advice to Management

    Fire the VC, Investigate the council, Fire the executive of the Administration and Planning and all its Directors, starting with Human Resources.


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