University of Chicago Reviews in Chicago, IL | Glassdoor

University of Chicago Chicago Reviews

Updated May 15, 2017
511 reviews

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Chicago, IL Area

3.8
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Robert J. Zimmer
111 Ratings

511 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • hard to find a good work life balance (in 19 reviews)

  • Obscenely low pay made it difficult to find a good out-of-work life (in 23 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (3)

    "Choose another graduate school!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Graduate Student in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Graduate Student in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Name recognition associated with a degree from the University.

    Cons

    University is blatantly uninterested in the problems that face graduate students in the Social Sciences. TA's are grossly underpaid, the health insurance package is abysmal, and funding in general is insufficient and insulting.

    Advice to Management

    Take your graduate students seriously.


  2. Helpful (5)

    "I realize that job satisfaction varies widely across departments. My dissatisfaction stems from our non-responsive HR."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Administrative Assistant in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Administrative Assistant in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Surrounded by inquisitive and energetic students, low stress, plenty of lunchtime lectures and other interesting events on campus, good work-life balance, staff access to various facilities (e.g. athletic facilities, libraries)

    Cons

    The amount of red tape is wholly overwhelming. University systems, routines, and databases are slow, clunky, and outdated. There is little room for career growth and the salary is mediocre. To make matters worse, HR is avoidant and makes many empty promises. Again, experience differs greatly from department to department.

    Advice to Management

    If you want to retain talent, please start treating people with respect. Given the amount of red tape present, being an administrative assistant can be frustrating work; unreasonable (and unchecked!) demands from supervisors, empty promises from HR, and inefficient systems makes for a poor working environment.


  3. Helpful (5)

    "Not a good place to work here as staff- I know very few people who enjoy working here"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Admissions Coordinator in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Admissions Coordinator in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Good vacation benefits and health insurance. This is a prestigious university which attracts some of the brightest and interesting students that I have encountered.

    Cons

    People do not get recognition for the work they do. Compensation is quite low here, and it is very hard to advance here. Being a staff member at this university really is horrible and I know administration in many different parts of the university who are unhappy. Senior Management is horrible, the people who are in power are failed Ph.D's who could not get tenure-track teaching jobs and are now administrators. Fake and back-stabbing coworkers. All in all, not a happy place to work. Morale is bad.

    Advice to Management

    Staff members are key to a university and treating them with respect and dignity is important to the university. Better education benefits is also important. Retaining employees is important to an organization.


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  5. Helpful (2)

    "Disappointing with respect to management abilitites and agendas."

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

    Pros

    Laid back.
    Come and go as you please.
    Compensation OK.

    Cons

    Most management "juiced-in" from University family.
    Senior management overpaid.
    Medieval with respect to for-profit company thinking.

    Advice to Management

    Blow up the Press and start over again with management with at least room-temperature IQs.


  6. Helpful (3)

    "The worst place to ever work"

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

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

    Pros

    Location in the City is great

    Cons

    HR is terrible, there is no direction throught the entire university. No definable vision, no real plan of getting anywhere. If I could submit zero stars I would.

    Advice to Management

    Develop a plan that does more than use flowery terms and lip service. Action, Action, Action.


  7. Helpful (3)

    "The Urban Education Institute is beyond awful."

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

    I worked at University of Chicago full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    There are none. I guess if I had to say something it would be that they have decent benefits.

    Cons

    If you don't agree with your boss, you're in for trouble
    They will never fire you but I have heard them talk about making the environment bad enough to make people quit (constructive discharge)
    Very much a shut-up and do your work mentality
    Staff do not bother showing up for meetings on time
    Management has no real world experience
    Management is untrustworthy
    They waste grant money left and right

    Advice to Management

    Go out in the real world and get experience outside of the education sector.


  8. Helpful (5)

    "Not for everyone; certainly not for me."

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

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

    Pros

    High-prestige university and a big name in graduate business schools. Benefits were excellent; pay was good.

    Cons

    Raises were non-existent for the 3 years I was there, though that was supposedly due to the economic crunch. Faculty is, with notable exceptions, highly aware of their status and prestige, and treat support staff as underlings and nuisances. Managerial skills vary by department, but there seemed to be a disproportionate number of power-conscious blowhards who impose petty demands for the sake of proving they can.

    Advice to Management

    Keep a very close eye on your department heads; some of them seem to be given free rein to abuse employees, show favoritism, ignore stated policies, and perform active revisions of history ("I never said that", said one, and when the employee (not me!) presented this manager with an AUDIOTAPE of this manager saying the very words s/he claimed not to have said, the manager fired the employee for insubordination. That's par for the course.)


  9. Helpful (5)

    "The vast bureaucracy and insecurity of academics is hard to take"

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

    I have been working at University of Chicago full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    beautiful campus, discounted tuition, wonderful classes

    Cons

    a great many of the people who work for the University of Chicago spend much of their time trying to prove how smart they are. the posturing is tiresome.

    Advice to Management

    hire more folks who have worked in corporate and small business settings


  10. "Very Racist, Low pay"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Clinic Licensed Practical Nurse Senior in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Clinic Licensed Practical Nurse Senior in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    The Benefits are the only good thing

    Cons

    Very racist place to work and they will not pay LPNs what they are worth. My manager asked me to do things that were very unethical and could potentially cause harm to my nursing licences. The University of Chicago is very clickish and will down talk, and be very demeaning to there employees. I was asked to resign after i told my manager that i would not do unethical things. So i resigned. You win some and you lose some.

    Advice to Management

    Don't hire someone to do your dirty work because someone with sense will not do it. LPN's are nurse and should be afforded the same benefits as RNs. My manager got rid of me when she found out I wanted to go back to nursing school. Tuition reimbursement is 100% for LPNs that are full time which I am, and the info is located on their homepage website.


  11. Helpful (3)

    "Horrible toxic work environment"

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

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

    Pros

    The best reasons to work here are the caliber of students that you work with. They are highly intelligent and curious.

    Cons

    It is a toxic, sexist environment where the adminstration treats you like garbage. The benefits suck, many of your coworkers don't care about students and there is a lot of mediocrity, the commute sucks. This was the worst job I have ever had, and after this experience I will never work at a university again.

    Advice to Management

    Leadership is quite poor here. It is a very sexist, demeaning culture, and it is obvious that the culture of the place is all about prestige, and they do not care about employees at all.


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