Stanford University - Stanford is so decentralized that one's experience there really depends on your organization and manager | Glassdoor
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Helpful (3)

"Stanford is so decentralized that one's experience there really depends on your organization and manager"

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  • Work/Life Balance
  • Culture & Values
  • Career Opportunities
  • Comp & Benefits
  • Senior Management
Current Employee - Administrative Associate
Current Employee - Administrative Associate
No opinion of CEO

I have been working at Stanford University full-time (More than 8 years)

Pros

Beautiful campus, culture of learning, education and training benefits, lots of smart and talented people, on-campus activities and perks

Cons

Few well-paid, professional-level opportunities; faculty have too much power and influence over staff careers; little recourse for unfair treatment

Advice to Management

I worked as an administrator at Stanford for several years in one degree-granting department. I felt under-employed during most of that time (despite some promotions and advancement), given my master's degree and many years of professional experience in marketing/technical communications as well as college-level teaching and tutoring experience. However, I appreciated all of the pros noted above, plus the work-life balance that my positions afforded as a working parent to young children.

All of that changed when the organization got a new faculty leader and an academic-staff-level manager above me. I think the faculty leader decided early on that he wanted someone else in my position, and I quickly became subject to quite harsh criticism about my performance (often for petty issues) and told that I needed to develop new skills quickly or my performance review would suffer. After exploring my (lack of) options with the university ombudsman, and trying to find other positions on campus quickly, I decided to quit that position rather than have my otherwise excellent employee file tarnished by a bad review. The whole experience left me bitter about the lack of power non-academic staff have, especially when compared to faculty. As another reviewer noted, there really is a caste system at Stanford (perhaps at most universities), as unequal as any found in corporate America.

I've since held a couple of temporary positions and am hoping to find a regular job within an organization that will offer opportunities for development and promotions along with support and positive management practices. I do believe such positions exist, but I suspect they may be more available in organizations where faculty have more limited influence. As noted above, Stanford is huge, so it is difficult to generalize about it, but I do feel there need to be more programs in place 1) to ensure fair treatment of employees and opportunities to negotiate conflicts without penalty, and 2) to promote career development for non-academic, particularly administrative, staff who are often treated and compensated as low-skill workers despite the complexity of the work they perform.

Other Employee Reviews for Stanford University

  1. "Overall, good experience"

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

    Pros

    Good facilities, good benefits for staff

    Cons

    Managers aren't always the best, but that applies just about anywhere.


  2. "research assistant"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    payment, generous and brilliant colleagues

    Cons

    lots of work but I enjoyed this, high rent

    Advice to Management

    not much

There are newer employer reviews for Stanford University
There are newer employer reviews for Stanford University

See Most Recent

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