UCLA Reviews | Glassdoor

UCLA Reviews

Updated December 12, 2017
1,543 reviews

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4.2
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UCLA Chancellor Gene D. Block
Gene D. Block
426 Ratings

1,543 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • high pressure for graduate students to graduate as quickly as possible (in 37 reviews)

  • Long hours depending on your professor (in 28 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (2)

    "UCLA - work if you want stability but don't come for money, fun, growth, or normal workign relationships"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Management Services Officer in Los Angeles, CA
    Current Employee - Management Services Officer in Los Angeles, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Retirement and benefits. That's it.

    Cons

    Management and leadership is terrible. Petty and personal agendas dominate the working landscape making for inefficient workking environment, inconsistent treatment and little to no chance of professional growth or advancement. And the pay is not competitive. So many people are so overly protective and paranoid.

    Advice to Management

    Cut the fat. Tighten the ship. Fire the stragglers. Acknowledge the ones who work hard and haven't been poisoned by this cancerous work culture.


  2. Helpful (2)

    "Glad I got out before the physcological abuse did any permanent damage."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Business Requirements Analyst in Los Angeles, CA
    Former Employee - Business Requirements Analyst in Los Angeles, CA
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    Good vacation, sick pay, benefits

    Cons

    There is no reward in working there. You are just glad you made it through the day.

    Unless you are liked by the 'right' people, there is no chance for promotion or gain interesting assignments. The business unit does not promote or appreciate different view points. There is no incentive to produce. Everyone is too busy playing politics to do any actual work. Projects are seldom delivered on time.
    he BRA manager is very controlling unless you are favored or male. I was once told I should tell my co-worker when I go to the bathroom so they would know where I was. I was also told what color to fill an Excel spreadsheet cell and how to format the document. I was told I am not to talk to other group's managers. I was critized for coming back from a meeting a few minutes late. I took the iniative to attend a class and was severely chastised for bein absent, for not getting approval.

    There is no sharing of information, no team work mentality. Management lies and condone inappropriate and unprofessional behavior. Senior management waste money to feed their ego and fuel their self importance. The business unit can function better or same with half the staff currently employed. It is a good example of how public sector wastes valuable resources and funds. Their motto is to benefit the students on campus yet the students are required to jump through hoops to get parking. The business does not serve the campus well. The are their to stroke each other's ego. A complete overhaul would benefit the campus and the few good people that actually produce work results.

    The work environment is clickish and Physcologically abusive.

    Advice to Management

    Get over yourself. Your purpose is to serve the students on campus, not to sooth your own ego and abuse other just to feel superior. Find some other avenues to deal with your own insecurity.

  3. Helpful (2)

    "Lack of leadership and accountability."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Los Angeles, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Los Angeles, CA
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    - There are a number of employees who are brilliant, extremely talented and kind people.
    - Quality reputation from the outside looking in.
    - Good benefits

    Cons

    - Everything you know about bad management is here.
    - Funds are constantly inappropriately allocated. Paying high fees to outside contractors where the same (most likely - much better) job can be done in-house.
    - Not rewarded or recognized for achievement unless you among the select few who ALWAYS get the pat on the back and some $$ added to their paycheck.
    - Huge employee turnaround.
    - Inability to think about the future of the organization strategically.
    - No opportunity to grow, advance within the department.
    - Low salaries for most employees (but high salaries for upper management).
    - Relatives, friends and friends of friends of senior leadership get hired for high positions (often incompetent and not qualified for the job), where qualified existing staff isn't even remotely considered for advancement.
    - Although there is a huge budget crisis, money is always found when a perfectly fine senior level manager's office needs to be "renovated" and new designer furniture bought.

    Advice to Management

    Ask yourself, "What have I done that is positive within the last year"?
    Ask yourself, "How many extremely qualified individuals have come through these doors and quit? Why did they resign?
    Check the pulse of your team once in a while and see how they are doing.
    Listen to criticism because your job is not to react but solve issues or make things within the unit work better and employees happier. Happy employees=productivity and progress. Haven't you figured it out yet?!


  4. Helpful (3)

    "Poor Leadership"

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

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

    Pros

    Great benefits and a beautiful campus

    Cons

    Management is extremely condescending and has no training on dealing with employees. One supervisor made her employees write down on a white board the times they went to the bathroom. My direct supervisor was so afraid of her manager she would never stand up for us and let us down a lot.

    Advice to Management

    Take some training on communicating with employees.


  5. Helpful (2)

    "A suspicious, insecure, toxic, fear-based workplace"

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

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

    Pros

    Great work-life balance. Excellent, inexpensive benefits package. UCLA takes the health and wellness of their employees seriously.

    Cons

    Not much has changed in the two years that the other individual who reviewed UCLA external affairs originally posted their cons about working at UCLA.

    Suspicion and insecurity rule this department. No one is trusted to do their job--much time is spent waffling to make sure that nothing is done that could endanger the positions of the middle managers. There is a complete lack of knowledge of industry best practices--not that knowing them would mean they would be implemented. The middle managers are only concerned with making sure they look like they are doing a good job managing. There is no leadership or mentorship.

    When I first started working at UCLA I had to give myself work to do--I was never assigned anything from my manager. I had to request weekly 1-1 meetings so I could tell my manager what I was working on and the status of my projects. I was never given any feedback on my work--my manager would have to speak with his manager first, then he would tell me what I could and could not do. If I took the initiative to start a new project I was discouraged from spending time on it--when the projects were successful there was no reward or acknowledgment. I was not allowed to have meetings with people without my manager present, and if I did I was grilled to inform him what the meeting was about and what was said. My recommendations based on years of private sector experience (for which I was hired) were never acknowledged. I was there to do the job the way my supervisor wanted me to it. There was never any trust--not for me or my colleagues.

    UCLA is not a place to grow, or to learn. UCLA is not a place to do good work--good work is stifled and discouraged. The middle managers are completely incompetent, and so fearful of their incompetence, that they do everything they can to maintain their positions. They maintain their positions by making sure that those that work below them stay where they are.

    The people that work at UCLA are capable and smart--but the result of the management environment is complacency. Any motivation in the department is purely fear-based. Morale is sluggish and discouraging. The negativity is so widespread that it seems like an infection. I have never seen or heard more rude and unprofessional communications--via email, in meetings, on the phone--in my entire career.

    The most important thing to know--is that any time spent at UCLA will set you back professionally for future positions. Because of the innovation-adverse environment, any new industry standards, technological advancements or strategies will pass unnoticed through the department. You will have a lot of catching up to do when you leave.

    Advice to Management

    Hire third-party companies to do more technology/outward facing work. Being innovative and cutting edge is not a reality for this department. The management team you have in place have created an environment that is purposefully slow and ineffective.


  6. Helpful (1)

    "Dont do it"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Research Associate in Los Angeles, CA
    Current Employee - Research Associate in Los Angeles, CA

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

    Pros

    None, really. I am serious, perhaps the healthcare benefits? Parking there is a mess. And expensive. Traffic sucks. The buildings are either really good or terrible to work in.

    Cons

    Backstabbers,liars, lazy people with no incentives to do work, but they really love to get into your life. They are all nosy.

    Advice to Management

    Resign.


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Bewildering"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Assistant Professor in Los Angeles, CA
    Former Employee - Assistant Professor in Los Angeles, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    UCLA has a beautiful campus, wonderful weather, and is populated by some amazingly intelligent, motivated, hard-working students.

    Cons

    Job expectations could not be less clear. I'm guessing this is probably because no one in the administration knows what they are either. You are evaluated by sets of committees filled with nameless members whom you never meet. The criterion you are evaluated on are sometimes secret and often contradictory (from committee to committee). The worst part is there is no one to discuss your performance with because you have no idea who will be evaluating you and this will be different every time.

    Advice to Management

    While I understand the importance of shared leadership, accountability has its advantages as well. It would be nice to create a system where employees could have some idea whom they could turn to for reliable job advice. It would be nice to have some hints at standards by which one could assess oneself. I have heard many people discuss how difficult it would be for the multiple layers of committees with their ever-shifting membership to establish any criterion at all. While I recognize the difficulty in this, consider the even greater difficulty this poses for employees being evaluated by groups of people who have given up hope on the idea of agreeing as to how to evaluate them.

  8. Helpful (1)

    "School of Law terrible place to work, not sure of other areas on campus"

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

    I have been working at UCLA full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Flexible schedule, good health coverage

    Cons

    Zero raises, chastised if ask for raise, ignorant management, unfair balance of wages, favoritism, zero training opportunities, zero motivation, not rewarded for work, increasing workload and responsibility with zero compensation for said increase, expected to live on stagnant wage, treated with contempt, disappearing benefits, specifically retirement program.

    Advice to Management

    Interact with your employees to actually see how much work they do


  9. Helpful (1)

    "Deceptive hiring practices. Too many oldtimers - who are WAY behind the curve."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Program Manager in Los Angeles, CA
    Current Employee - Program Manager in Los Angeles, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Great Benefits. Working with students is by far the best part of working for UCLA. Get out and enjoy the beautiful campus.

    Cons

    Stuck in the past. Management refuses to embrace technology or new best practices. Anderson school of "mis-Management" has a horrible culture. High level professors, especially the emeriti, are a sham. Definitely a case of "those who can't do - teach".

    Advice to Management

    Wake up and appreciate new talent and clear the path for advancement by thinning out the old wood instead of letting us slip through your fingers while you chase your tails and quote policy and procedures from the 1980's.


  10. Helpful (2)

    "Understaffed, Underpaid, Micromanaged, Moronic"

    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 UCLA full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    There are a few gems you will meet in this department, but they are few and far in between. Those are the only people that matter in this toxic environment.

    Cons

    The management is awful and moronic. They do not know what they are doing and treat every single employee as if they are replaceable. However, the management is SO bad that they can't even replace an employee. While other UCLA departments can hire within 30 days, UAN management takes at least 4 months just to hire for a position they knew about for over 2 years. The management is also passive aggressive, selfish, and will penalize you for everything. If you accomplish something, the manager will take credit for it, and if the management fails something, they will not hesitate to place the blame on you. They are also so oblivious to anything that goes on around them. This was by far the worst management I have ever seen and even after you leave the department, they will tell everyone to cut all ties with you. The manager is so paranoid that she theorized about how past employees may be sabotaging and manipulating her files in the server; which is not possible. And past employees are so relieved to get out of the department they don't ever look back, not to mention waste their time manipulating her templates.

    Advice to Management

    Management is the problem and they are the reason that people can't do their work. This environment is TOXIC, negative, unmotivational, and self-deprecating. Management is selfish and oblivious, unorganized and passive aggressive, and overall just the worst. There is NO room for movement and NOWHERE TO GO from here.


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