Northwestern University Reviews | Glassdoor

Northwestern University Reviews

Updated April 12, 2017
23 reviews

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Northwestern University President Morton Schapiro
Morton Schapiro
10 Ratings

23 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • Work/life balance is not that great (in 27 reviews)

  • Salary could be higher especially for graduate students and post-docs (like all academics) (in 24 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Terrible, biased, lying institution"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Researcher in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Researcher in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend

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

    Pros

    None. I worked in research at the medical school. This place has the worst politics of any employer.

    Cons

    They steal your ideas. They don't compensate you. They drum up lies to get you to leave. They have an anti-male agenda as well. The double standards with this group & the pattern of defamation as a tool to pressure people to quiet is not only unfair & biased, it is arrogantly trumpeted as a strength by an organization so busy patting itself on the back, it's lost the capacity for self evaluation. Do not work for the Medical School. The world would be a better place, & your tax dollars would be better spent, if it no longer existed.

    Advice to Management

    Grow up. Learn what integrity actually is. Start by looking up the definition online.


  2. "STAY FAR AWAY FROM THIS PLACE"

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

    I worked at Northwestern University full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    The best part about working for CTD were definitely my coworkers. Most of us just completed our freshman or sophomore year of college, so we were all young, close in age, and able to get along very well. Many of us went out and got dinner once or twice per week and maintained a very friendly and professional relationship while at work. Additionally, most (though certainly not all) of the students were very respectful, bright, motivated, and fun to be around. It was really nice to have the opportunity to get to know them, be a role model for them, and spread your knowledge and academic passions to them. The students generally come from high-SES families so you can expect gift cards and private tutoring offers at the end of session if you built a strong relationship with their son/daughter!

    Cons

    As great as the coworkers and students are, I STRONGLY DO NOT RECOMMEND WORKING AT CTD. STAY FAR FAR AWAY FROM THIS PLACE. First of all, the stipend they offer TAs literally equates to less than the Cook County minimum wage ($10.50/hr, soon to be $11/hr). You will be putting in between 40-50 hours a week when considering the actual hours you are expected to be in class and the time spent planning and preparing for class and TA-led study session. Furthermore, you are expected to work during lunch; there is no such thing as lunch hour at CTD for TAs. Administrators here treat you terribly, with unreasonable demands and a complete lack of support. The job description does not encompass half of the things I ended up doing for my students, supervisors, and the classes that I served as a TA for. They have all these ridiculous rules, such as being REQUIRED to write "log reports" on any single small incident that occurred in your classroom. If nothing has occurred that necessitates a log report, the supervisors essentially require you to fabricate an incident so that you can fulfill your required quota of log reports for the day/week. Furthermore, I'm pretty sure this is illegal, but at times, you will be required to supervise a group of 16-18 students BY YOURSELF. If you do for some reason decide to work here, I recommend that you find yourself a second job that starts simultaneously with (or ideally before) CTD, as there is no promise of job security AT ALL. That's what they mean in their contract when they say "things may change." The summer program has a poorly managed budget and starts off each session overstaffed, thus requiring a significant amount of personnel shifts and layoffs. There is no HR. There is no due process. There is no progressive discipline. There is no union. You can be terminated without any prior warnings.

    Advice to Management

    An organization is only as good as the way it treats its employees. Instead of expending a great amount of time and energy *pretending* to care about us, saying that we are valued/honored/distinguished/"bright shiny stars" and surveying us/having us evaluate you, take the time to actually SHOW us that you care. Treat us with respect and dignity. Give us a raise. Implement an HR department (the Summer Program Coordinator does not qualify as HR).


  3. "Research Administrator"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Program Administrator in Evanston, IL
    Current Employee - Program Administrator in Evanston, IL
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Northwestern University (More than a year)

    Pros

    Awesome training and great resources for research administrators

    Cons

    Pay is subpar but that's about it


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  5. Helpful (2)

    "Low Morale"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Evanston, IL
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Evanston, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Northwestern University (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    The benefits are excellent. Healthcare benefits are a bit pricey, but give you access to virtually any doctor. Tuition benefits are also excellent, but later career employees do not really get the full benefit due to their life commitments. Beautiful campus.

    Cons

    My biggest complaint is that the university puts some (poorly performing) faculty in administrative jobs they are not suited to do. They should be doing academic work not managing people. There is always some type of review of the departments going on. Everyone is on pins and needles worrying that they are going to cut jobs and outsource. Janitorial, maintenance, and repair jobs are almost all outsourced. Quality is low. This spreads out to all jobs at NU. Departments are merged and people are let go. And, we have to pay for parking. Morale is so low -- wake up Morty!

    Advice to Management

    Engage the employees. REALLY engage the employees. Pay them what they are worth. Treat them fairly. Make a plan and stick to it. IT'S NOT ALL ABOUT THE MONEY.


  6. "Disappointing environment"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Assistant Professor in Evanston, IL
    Former Employee - Assistant Professor in Evanston, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Decent benefits but I can't really list many more pros

    Cons

    Culture of volunteerism. Ask for personal sacrifice into personal time with no compensation. Make employees pay for parking and gym.


  7. "Poor management of Alumni Relations"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Program Assistant Alumni Relations & Development in Evanston, IL
    Current Employee - Program Assistant Alumni Relations & Development in Evanston, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Good benefits including medical, time off, etc.

    Cons

    Very top down, old man's club. Lack of employee satisfaction. Compensation is low among our peers. Alumni are rude and extremely privileged.


  8. "The pros and cons of working at Northwestern University"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Evanston, IL
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Evanston, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Northwestern University full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Very friendly coworkers. Beautiful campus. If you are into performance metrics, this is the place for you. Pays better than fast food restaurants.

    Cons

    Although they do pay better than fast food restaurants, it's hard to make ends meet with the salary they give pay you. It started out as a very friendly place to work, great coworkers, and we had wonderful management. Lately they have drastically changed their management style. Everything is now performance metrics. Coworkers are afraid to talk to one another or take time off. I've heard from people that they have been restructuring and laying of or "retiring" loyal workers who have work there for years.

    Advice to Management

    Performance metrics might seem to be a good idea to management. You will be able to count how much you've progressed immediately. However, what you've lost are loyal employees' intuition and insights of what they can do to help Northwestern if just given a chance and a few more resources. Many of these talents can't be measured. If given the chance, many if these employee's would have gladly produced innovative projects to get more people interested in Northwestern (donors, students, interested people). You did save a few thousand dollars by eliminating these people but have lost millions/billions of dollars that could have been generated with these peoples skills.


  9. Helpful (1)

    "Dead End"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Marketing Manager in Evanston, IL
    Former Employee - Marketing Manager in Evanston, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Work life balance is good -- its a very lax environment and paid time off is about as high as you will find anywhere. It is very easy to shove off work, there are no real deadlines. It is next to impossible to get fired from here. If you are just looking for a job with semi-decent pay, good benefits, and not much else going on, work here.

    Cons

    Complete lack of communication (and often understanding) through all entities. If you are really good at what you do, you don't belong here because the employee system rewards mediocrity. It is nearly impossible to get fired, so people who should have been long gone will be sticking around to make your life more difficult. God forbid you should try to change something to make it more efficient or make more sense. With many jobs there is little to no room for growth. Sometimes you will be promised growth but have to be there for a bit to see that it is not happening.

    Advice to Management

    Allow people that excel to change the status quo -- they are excelling because they know what they're doing.


  10. "salary is poor- I would say below average"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Analyst/Programmer in Evanston, IL
    Current Employee - Software Analyst/Programmer in Evanston, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Northwestern University full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    tutiion benefits, health insurance etc.

    Cons

    salary, if you are go-getter then what are you doing there? if you have plans for your kids college funding then stick there.

    Advice to Management

    increase the salary of the current employee otherwise they will also be gone like so many good people you lost.


  11. Helpful (1)

    "Director of Operations in a multi million $ federally funded Research Center"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Director of Operations in Evanston, IL
    Current Employee - Director of Operations in Evanston, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Great science, outstanding faculty, excellent students, superb reputation

    Cons

    Upper management is largely clueless about how faculty directors manage personnel and funds. Certain faculty get "rockstar" status based on their scientific accomplishments and can misuse federal funds without intervention from the university leadership.

    Advice to Management

    VPs are usually arising from within the ranks of faculty. Hence, impartial oversight does not take place.


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