Excelsior College Reviews | Glassdoor

Excelsior College Reviews

Updated March 25, 2019
65 reviews

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2.7
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Excelsior College President James N. Baldwin
James N. Baldwin
18 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • "Nonprofit, sometimes flexible, mission-driven staff" (in 4 reviews)

  • "Courses are well designed and implemented, leaving faculty with enough time to do their core jobs of assessing and interacting with students" (in 3 reviews)

Cons
  • "An identity crisis having to do with straddling the space between business and higher education" (in 4 reviews)

  • "speed of decision-making, more financial discipline" (in 3 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Great Place to Work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Adjunct Professor in Remote, OR
    Current Employee - Adjunct Professor in Remote, OR
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Excelsior College part-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Wonderful people and student body

    Cons

    Inability to plan or know with a bit of certainty how many courses I will teach each term if any.

    Advice to Management

    Use data to develop a planning schedule that can be shared with adjuncts.


  2. "A lot of merits, a handful of challenges - overall, a rewarding place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Prefer Not to Answer in Albany, NY
    Current Employee - Prefer Not to Answer in Albany, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Excelsior College full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    My job is really rewarding - I come to work everyday knowing that my work can have a positive impact on my colleagues, on the institution and on our students. I am given room to grow and to work autonomously. My supervisor is incredibly caring and sets a really great example of what professional commitment and personal empathy looks like. The leadership of the organization maintains an open door policy and genuinely seems to value input. Benefits and compensation are beyond fair - especially medical. Having had to use them I can attest to how much of a difference that makes. The institution has a positive relationship with its students and the staff are mission-focused. You get to work with really great people in a community-minded environment.

    Cons

    As with most small higher education institutions, the College is facing pressures from the external environment and is also dealing with some internal challenges. Restructuring events from a year ago have also left some scars. Remarkably, there is a lot of resilience in the organization but the leadership and staff of the College need to come to a common understanding of that the future needs to look like for this College to survive and thrive. There is a sense that accountability isn't uniformly enforced. There are tensions between the academic and business side. Silos and factions get in the way of collaboration. Our processes are antiquated and lagging behind the competitive benchmark - the sense of urgency to remedy them is at times plodding and slow.

    Advice to Management

    Please ramp up the sense of urgency and please continue to communicate a vision of Excelsior in the 21st century. This institution has the benefit of its history and the vestiges of innovative practices in the past. Our uniqueness in the past is no longer a competitive advantage. Please work with middle managers to create a common understanding of who we need to be to navigate the turbulent waters higher ed finds itself in. Also, please nurture a climate of accountability and follow through. Above all else, lead people with empathy but manage processes with ruthless efficiency.

  3. Helpful (1)

    "Excellent Place to Work"

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

    I have been working at Excelsior College full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Excelsior College has been going through a period of transition. This is a time of rapid change and opportunity. Some employees and former employees have not been fans of the increased pace of change but this is an exciting time to be at Excelsior. The recent period of transformation means that there are opportunities for growth and chances to make a difference in the future direction of your department and the college as a whole. Personally, I would much rather work in a business that is willing to adapt than one which is static and falling behind the times. The reality is that the pace of all businesses today is much different than it was in the past.
    While it is true that there were financial challenges in the recent past, the college has turned the corner through making responsible fiscal decisions. Current management was handed a difficult job as prior executives were not proactive in determining current business trends or in reacting appropriately to those trends. Making sure that business trends and data are analyzed and accessible in a timely manner has been a huge priority to the executive team to avoid issues going forward. Being willing to make difficult choices for the long-term viability of the college wasn’t always popular but it was right.
    The current executives are very approachable. There are monthly breakfast meetings to bring people up to date on topics of importance and there are opportunities to sign up for small group meetings with the president to discuss ideas of personal interest. It is impossible to work at Excelsior without getting involved in some of the many larger picture projects going on. There are project groups and committees galore and there are often senior level leaders involved in these groups. It is easy to get to know people from across the college and make a place for yourself. I would absolutely recommend working at Excelsior College to my friends and acquaintances. Anyone willing to be passionate and committed will be successful here.

    Cons

    The staff who are struggling to adapt can be a bit bitter and resistant at times. The pace of change can be challenging.

    Advice to Management

    Keep clarifying the vision for our future growth and motivating the team!


  4. Helpful (2)

    "Still Struggling"

    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
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Excelsior College full-time

    Pros

    Tuition reimbursement. Flexible work arrangements e.g. telecommuting.

    Cons

    The college continues to struggle, financially. Current management is working to correct years of neglect, by the former president. It's tough sledding for anyone. Compensation is about 30%-50% below market.


  5. Helpful (4)

    "I was a nursing student"

    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
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Excelsior College full-time

    Pros

    At first the online degree was very convenient for my family and I

    Cons

    Everything else -the nursing department needs to stop failing people for simple little things like dropping a pen on the floor.

    Advice to Management

    Pay more attention to the nursing students recommendations. Please focus of making the CPNE fair


  6. Helpful (2)

    "Working on shakey ground"

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

    I worked at Excelsior College full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    the benefits and the people there were great. but upper management has a way of messing up everything. be careful.

    Cons

    upper management, has no clue. they make bad investments choices and caused company to have to downsize in the past not once but twice.

    Advice to Management

    Get a clue. you had terrific employees and you managed to downsize over half of them.


  7. Helpful (3)

    "Can't be loyal to a company who isn't loyal to me..."

    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
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Excelsior College full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Its mission is key! It is the only place of its kind. It's sorely needed in today's economy.

    Cons

    Lost sight of its mission. Got greedy! Money became it's #1 priority vs the people it was supposed to serve.

    Advice to Management

    QUIT! Give the place a fighting chance. Do a national search and bring in some qualified talents to run the place. The internals keep going in circles and are just digging themselves deeper in the hole.

  8. Helpful (4)

    "Sinking fast"

    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
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Excelsior College full-time

    Pros

    Excelsior has a lofty mission and many loyal employees in the front lines.

    Cons

    Jim Baldwin is a horrible leader, allowing pettiness/infighting and nepotism to rule decision-making. The board is completely asleep and not paying any attention to what is happening. They are letting go of good people, through forced retirement and layoff after layoff.

    Advice to Management

    Wipe the management slate clean and hire anew. There is much talent in the higher ed arena. Why not find a team who understands higher education?


  9. Helpful (3)

    "Downfall"

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

    I worked at Excelsior College part-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Some online courses are well-designed and workload per course is reasonable.
    Some program directors are smart, responsive and pleasure to work with.

    Cons

    Newer courses are poorly designed with overworked instructors who teach somewhere else dumping their files form the 1990's wholesale into new courses they "design."
    Some program directors do not respond to emails for months or at all, unless they can get some immediate benefit out of you, e.g., get you to design a course from scratch and do it for free.
    Administration expects hard, unpaid work, like course design, citing lack of budget for it. Imagine something like this taking place where you work--the employer asking you to work and in the same breath asserting they cannot pay you for your work. This seems to border on the violation of the Thirteenth Amendment, if not some state and federal labor laws.
    After not raising the pay scale for many years, the administration instituted a massive pay cut for online faculty, based on the rationale that their surveys show that Excelsior faculty are overpaid compared to similar faculty at other institutions. They also eliminated a number of useful, general-applicability courses. They simply got rid of them altogether, while offering niche courses, like African-American Studies, almost each and every term. They also made it clear to faculty not to charge students with plagiarism on first plagiarism but to "counsel" students how to avoid plagiarism. Students are being treated like customers who are always right. Faculty is approached like an expense to be cut as much as possible.

    Advice to Management

    You need to resign. This cut-throat business approach of yours is destroying a once-great online college.


  10. Helpful (3)

    "Quickly becoming dead in the water"

    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
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Excelsior College full-time

    Pros

    Some individuals were excellent co-workers and made work there seem so easy.

    Cons

    Administration is power-hungry, secretive, authoritarian

    Advice to Management

    If you say you are transparent, then be so!