Concordia University Chicago Reviews | Glassdoor

Concordia University Chicago Reviews

Updated May 1, 2018
31 reviews

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2.8
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Concordia University Chicago President Daniel Lee Gard
Daniel Lee Gard
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31 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (2)

    "A growing university with a lot of smart, friendly people"

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

    I have been working at Concordia University Chicago full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    The university is growing and expanding - lots of new programs
    If you have an idea and you have a plan, you can easily run with it
    Students are really smart, friendly
    Many local/Midwestern staff, faculty, students
    Close to the L, downtown, Oak Park
    Easy to get to know people
    Beautiful campus in a beautiful neighborhood!

    Cons

    Smaller university that is quickly growing, so a lot of people wear many hats
    Salaries are a little low
    Not very well known school - but has been around since the 1800s
    Some spaces need some updating, but they're working on it


  2. "Student"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Student Worker in River Forest, IL
    Current Employee - Student Worker in River Forest, IL
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Concordia University Chicago part-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    The jobs are unpredictable, and I am not under constant supervision.

    Cons

    The pay is very little for the amount of work we do.

    Advice to Management

    Pay your students workers a little bit more, they deserve it.

  3. "Great opportunities for entry level positions"

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

    I worked at Concordia University Chicago full-time

    Pros

    Great benefits, colleagues and business hours

    Cons

    Salary range is low for the work load


  4. Helpful (1)

    "Great community, poor management."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Graduate Assistant in River Forest, IL
    Former Employee - Graduate Assistant in River Forest, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at Concordia University Chicago part-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    -Great community of staff members within my department
    -Great location in a nice suburb close to down town Oak Park with a train going into Chicago. Campus is relatively safe.
    -My supervisors were good mentors to me
    -Upper management in our department was very approachable
    -The GA position was a great way to get a low cost degree while gaining real world work experience in my field
    -Got to know the other GA's pretty well from being housed in the same cluster in the dorms

    Cons

    -Management is terrible and has no idea how to run a profitable and functional business. School insists the president be ordained which resulted in someone with limited business background running the school. Their solution to most problems is "let's pray about it" over actually doing something to solve the problem.
    -Poor communication and mistrust between departments. Rather than working with each other to benefit the overall organization and the students, different staff members and departments work against each other and try to throw each other under the bus
    -Tuition waiver for GA's does not actually cover full tuition, so the little stipend you make goes back to the school to cover the remaining cost of classes. You're required to take summer classes to stay on track with your degree since the school will only let you take one class at a time, but these required summer classes aren't covered by the tuition waiver.
    -GA's aren't allowed to hold other jobs on campus and are typically expected to work full-time as GA's even though it's supposed to be part-time. This makes it very difficult to get a side job to help cover cost of living.
    -Housing in the area is expensive, so you're only real affordable option is to live in the same dorms as students which created several issues when we were here, since it's weird for GA's to live in the same building as students they supervise. We were given an RA who was a student I supervised as a GA which was a conflict of interest.
    -GA's are the only graduate students that live on campus as most others are adult commuters or online students. Because of this, there are no activities or clubs on campus for GA's to join. It is ridiculous to put GA's in this situation with no way to make friends on campus besides each other and expect them not to hang out with students. You can get fired for hanging out with students.
    -Most of the GA's were more qualified than their supervisors. The school loves to hire alums even if they aren't qualified. There are several people who have been working here for years who are highly unqualified for their positions and bad at their jobs, yet aren't given any training to help them improve and continue to produce low quality work. One of my supervisors was highly inappropriate around students and staff on a regular basis, but still has a job here despite several instances of making very inappropriate comments to students being reported.
    -The school does not make good use of time and resources and required us to waste a lot of time doing ineffective things just for the sake of doing it. Management watched our department like hawks and tried to micromanage our jobs on a regular basis even though their requirements were a waste of time causing us to fall short of our goals.
    -Buildings are very outdated. Only one dorm has AC. They refused to turn the heat on in the dorms before a certain date and some GA's got sick from having to sleep in constantly freezing cold dorms. Also mold in the dorms.
    -Food is terrible and makes people sick on a regular basis
    -I experienced sexual harassment numerous times in this job based on my gender, but was told to "ignore it" when I reported it to my supervisor.
    -Super low admissions standards lead to a lot of very ill-prepared students attending the school. Students who could not write comprehensible sentences in English were in my graduate level classes. We had occasional problems with the undergrads too due to the low standards of people accepted into the school.
    -No activities to do on campus on weekends with limited food service. Campus is totally dead and depressing on weekends.
    -Most of my professors weren't very good.
    -School drives good people away by poor management

    Advice to Management

    This is a business, not a charity, so put people in place to run it like one. Focus on putting the right people in the right places to excel in their jobs and encourage them to work towards common goals of the school and serving students. Don't create rules that cause departments or employees to be pitted against each other. Evaluate who really is doing well at their jobs and who isn't and get the bad workers training or get rid of them. Allow your employees to use their skills and judgment to get their jobs done efficiently and effectively rather than micro-managing them and forcing them to waste time on ineffective methods. You really need to hire an outside consultant to evaluate operations here as the school wastes time, money, and resources operating ineffectively and opens itself to many possible lawsuits due to negligence and lack or awareness of liability issues.

    If you give GA's full tuition waivers and room and board, you will attract much better applicants who will be more likely to stay the full two years since they then at least have the very small stipend to live off of. Or at least allow them to hold other jobs on campus for supplemental income. Don't put GA's in the dorms with students. Put them in off-campus apartments.


  5. Helpful (3)

    "Information Technology"

    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 Concordia University Chicago full-time

    Pros

    Based in the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod it is a place to work that takes personal spiritual development very seriously and is committed to not only education, but ministry to their students and staff.

    Cons

    This department is a mess. Anyone in IT with any degree of technical chops should run away. At Concordia you will be overworked, underappreciated and underpaid. You can write me off as a disgruntled former employee and severely disenchanted alumnus of the university or find out for yourself; however, I strongly suggest you heed my warning about this sorry excuse for an IT department with unbelievably poor and absentee management.
    The user services department is run by a manager who has no business being there and the entire department rests on the tenure of 1 Concordia lifer who is so abraisive and toxic that nobody likes working with him. The only saving grace I had in putting up with the abuse of this department was knowing that I was working for an institution that had given me my degree and that I was in some way contributing to a greater good (although based on the abuse I suffered from management my hard work and went largely unnoticed).
    The reason for this is because the director level management is dominated by long time employees (most of whom graduated from the school) who have become so isolated within the Concordia bubble that they have lost touch with the outside world.
    If you are not a fan of nepotism, this is not the pace for you. IT IS RAMPANT in all departments. However, even as a Lutheran and an alumnus I was not immune from being treated like dirt by my managers.

    Advice to Management

    Management gives lip service to valuing the individual (It is even part of their mission statement) but this is in NO WAY translated to the actual employment experinece. The employees in every department have grown to tolerate the misery and dysfunction of Concordia. The mission gets lost in their director level management and leads to a very dissatisfied workforce.


  6. "Office Assistant/Student Worker"

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

    I have been working at Concordia University Chicago full-time

    Pros

    Good management, amazing atmosphere, and hours easily work with class schedule.

    Cons

    It is good for a temporary job, but the pay is too low to live on.


  7. "Extremely Out-Dated School and Faculty"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Faculty in River Forest, IL
    Current Employee - Faculty in River Forest, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I have been working at Concordia University Chicago part-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great students, free parking, downtown Oak Park is near by.

    Cons

    The faculty are very out of touch with modern standards and what students need in order to get a job after graduation. Chairperson and faculty in the Arts are very hostile and very hypocritical ... they will come across as nice people, but there's one faculty member that has had a long history of anger issues. Students would remark: 'No one who is good ever stays' - the department does not offer any support or guidance. CLUELESS. Lots of office gossip & intrigue.

    Advice to Management

    The faculty are very out of touch with modern standards and what students need in order to get a job after graduation. Chairperson and faculty in the Arts are very hostile and very hypocritical ... they will come across as nice people, but there's one faculty member that has had a long history of anger issues - which has been enabled for years and yet covered up. Students would remark: 'No one who is good ever stays' - the department does not offer any support or guidance. CLUELESS. I hope the two old crony women in charge retire or step down and allow a more contemporary and realistic approach to educating. NEEDS A TOTAL RE-HAUL, BECAUSE AT THIS POINT, IT'S JUST A PAYCHECK AND NOT A PASSION.

  8. "Call Center Supervisor"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in River Forest, IL
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in River Forest, IL
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I worked at Concordia University Chicago part-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Great experience, Diversity, Flexible working shifts.

    Cons

    Seasonal work, Limited data, Rework due to bad telephone connections.


  9. "Everyone is nice here, very caring."

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

    Pros

    Nice people to work with

    Cons

    Sometimes very unorganized in the office


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Support Staff"

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

    Pros

    Co workers can be nice until they realize that you aren't Lutheran/LCMS.
    A few good people in the bunch trying to make things work against all odds.

    Cons

    Buildings out the 1970s/1980's with no rehab and poorly maintained.
    They've turned off the A/C off one day a week during the summer to save money - accept when there are visiting groups (prospective students and parents ) touring campus.
    Management at all levels that lacks direction.
    If you're not LCMS Lutheran - don't even bother applying. They claim to be Christian and open - but look at you cross eyed and as if you're not worth their time if it comes out that you're not Lutheran/LCMS.
    Poor pay and historical lack of raises.
    No retirement match.
    Nepotism runs rampant.
    No new thinking and they are not welcoming of new/creative ideas - people go to school there and get their degree then work at Concordia at a low paying job and never leave.
    Its who you know in the Lutheran network that counts - not what you know or how you can contribute.
    No growth/advancement track
    They are forever cutting budgets. - Bring your own supplies if you want pens or paper.
    A few good people but mostly have risen to their level of incompetence.
    Lacks direction.
    There are much better opportunities out there - even in the non-profit world.

    Advice to Management

    Yes you're here to support the Lutheran faith and you need to keep true to that - but learn some basic business strategies.


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