University of Connecticut Reviews | Glassdoor

University of Connecticut Reviews

Updated December 8, 2017
523 reviews

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4.2
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University of Connecticut President Susan Herbst
Susan Herbst
156 Ratings

523 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • low pay, slow to change anything (in 9 reviews)

  • There are a lot of things that take a long time to accomplish to get through "red tape" and redundancies in place to comply with State and federal laws (in 9 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Great Place to work"

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

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

    Pros

    Lots of possibilities to educate yourself

    Cons

    Not really. Everything was wonderful.


  2. "Lab Assistant"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at University of Connecticut part-time

    Pros

    Overall very good learning experience

    Cons

    Huge Time Commitment
    Off Campus location

    Advice to Management

    N/A

  3. "Research Assistant"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    very good academic environment with a nice campus during summer

    Cons

    rural area, but close to big cities


  4. "Good benefit, People Ok"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Medical Technologist in Farmington, CT
    Current Employee - Medical Technologist in Farmington, CT
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at University of Connecticut full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Good benefit
    Pay is decent
    Hours are not bad

    Cons

    Job security not there
    Food is not good...especially the chinese food and fried chickens

    Advice to Management

    Keep our workplace white and clean so we feel more comfortable


  5. "Tripled workloads + state/union mandated pay cuts = No, thank you."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    There are some great people here, and UConn sends a daily email about all the events, activities, and research that is being conducted, so it's easy to get involved in university activity. There is very much a family feel, and that made it hard for to leave. It's the quality of the people that offsets my star rating from the job itself, which would be zero otherwise.

    Benefits are good, although there have been some hiccups with the healthcare coverage. As new employees are hired, the cost of retirement benefits have been shifted more and more to the hire, as UConn's contributions steadily diminish.

    Vacation is great, although 0% of your work will be covered by anyone else, so if it's a busy position, you may have to work a few hours of each day or you'll be buried for weeks when you get back.

    Cons

    Connecticut's ongoing failure to resolve the issues behind its budget crisis had a direct impact on my job, as well as those working around me, and the solutions have been stop-gap, demoralizing, and ultimately self-defeating.

    First, the work itself: The bureaucracy is out of control, and fundamentally broken. There has been a longterm lack of reinvestment in business processes and software platforms, and as such, the amount of platforms, approval processes, and bottlenecks to complete any one task is ripe material for a Monty Python skit. This is further exacerbated by blending multiple positions into one as people leave or retire, so each person has more and more of the bureaucracy to contend with in order to fulfill their responsibilities. It is not uncommon for the same person to have to approve steps in the same task multiple times. If that person is out, it comes to a standstill.

    How bad is it? Two examples:

    -Just to hire an adjunct faculty member to teach a class, it requires 8 weeks of lead-time, two major software platforms (one of which is so buggy and poorly executed, that people frequently don't get paid on time), multiple approvals and signatures from the same people over and over and over (thus wasting their time with unnecessary redundancies), and since most departments have last-minute adjustments to courses and professors, some won't have access to their rosters, portals, and grading systems until two or three weeks into class. with the lag time in the payroll software, they also might not get paid until one to three weeks after that. This is a systemic problem and an understaffing problem, as those who are involved in this process are outstanding in the quality and quantity of the work they produce.

    -The financial software is just one step above DOS. When looking at your own work, or that of another, it isn't keyword-searchable once you get past the user filter, which makes finding anything a needle in a haystack proposition if you don't have a timeframe in which to narrow things down.

    My experience at UConn:
    From the word go, I was swamped. I quickly found out that the position was blended from a reorganization that had just happened, and as a result of the combined duties, the previous employee changed positions. Whenever I got to the point where I was almost caught up, a procedural change, or platform shift, or workload increase would bury me again. At this point, other people experiencing some of the same problems I was facing started leaving, or if they were of the right age, started retiring. As people left, I was given their full workloads as well as their supervisors, and was expected to get it all done even though there was barely enough time to complete my regular tasks, which, as mentioned, was already in itself a combined job from two previous employees. I was expected to complete all this, and do it in 35 hours a week. I asked about a pay adjustment commensurate with the doubled, and then tripled, workload, and was pointed to the union guidelines which clearly state that this is acceptable for a stretch of 18 months, with no compensation allowances. In short, I was already doing three to five hours of work each week, unpaid, in order to meet the performance standards of my job, now I was being asked to do more unpaid work, although not explicitly.

    And if that wasn't enough, then came the mandatory paycut.

    As part of recent contract negotiations, mandatory furlough days were agreed-upon by many of the unions, including UCPEA and AAUP. What this amounts to is three less days to carry the same administrative workload without being paid for it, so it IS a pay cut. Also, the same union I paid mandatory dues to agreed to no pay raises for two years, and a one-time bonus pay of $2,000, which sounds good, but after bonus pay taxes won't even cover the increases of my cost of living for one year alone, let alone two.

    On top of the out-of-control workloads and mandatory pay cuts, positions and salaries are being consolidated and then downgraded as people retire or leave, so salaries have been on an accelerating downward trend. With fewer positions to grow into, and smaller financial incentive to do so, those who are not vested in the pension plan are increasingly looking elsewhere to advance their careers, as I am sadly now doing. For those in the pension plan, I really hope they can find opportunities to grow, and get taken care of for all they contribute. For the quality of people that I met here, for them to receive any less would be criminal.

    Advice to Management

    Management doesn't read these things, job-seekers do, so please allow me to offer this to you, seeker of a position at UConn, or elsewhere:

    When reading a job posting, you might want to ask yourself if it seems like a list a mile long, and comprised of multiple career responsibilities, such as bookkeeper, HR representative, event planner, travel agent, and secretary. Are your responsibilities limited to those listed, or is there an "additional duties as assigned" line? If someone leaves, and you are assigned their responsibilities and supervisor(s), you are not allowed to say no. Read the union contract, its there in black and white.

    Speaking of union contracts, I would strongly recommend looking it over and making sure that you agree with what's in there before applying, for it determines your chances for reclassifying your position to a higher level (less than 20% are advanced, and not at all if there is an "other duties as assigned" line in the job description), opportunities for pay raises, how much of a raise, etc. I had a great main supervisor, but there wasn't a thing she could do for me because of this contract.

    Please, don't take my word for any of this. As time goes on, what I write here hopefully improves, or at the very least, will become obsolete. To help you determine the accuracy of what I'm describing, you should research at least some of what I say.

    These are questions you'll want to ask yourself, and in an interview:
    -Where did the last person in the position go?
    -How many hours did the previous person work each week, including unpaid time?
    -How is success in this position measured?
    -What are the salary trends for this position?
    -Is the salary listed for this position the actual salary, or is that before furlough days are calculated in?
    -As my skills grow and I take on more responsibilities, would I be able to request a raise in pay?
    -If pay increases are union-determined, can I opt out of the union and collective bargaining?
    -What career paths exist for this position? As my skills and responsibilities increase, where are my opportunities for advancement, generally and specifically?
    -What is the turnover rate in this department? Are some positions more prone to turnover than others? Is this position one of those?
    -How is work from employee turnover distributed? Does it fall on one person/position, or multiple? Do you limit the amount of overload you place on any one employee?
    -How many supervisors will I have? Do the supervisors coordinate workflow with one another? How are priorities determined?
    -Are there faculty secretaries, and if not, who is expected to fill that role? Is that responsibility shared?

    And finally, a word on the retirement plan: You'll need to choose on day one whether you go for defined contribution, pension, or a hybrid plan. Understand this and the implications before you start. Unless you KNOW you'll work here for your full career and retire out of here like I had hoped to do, you might think twice about choosing the pension. I'm walking away from three years at UConn, and will have nothing to show for it. If I had chosen the defined contribution, I'd at least have something.

    I wish you the best of luck in your search, and I really do Hope CT and UConn gets their stuff together. If not, please don't make the same mistake I did, it really hurt to see the vast difference between what this seemed to be, vs. what it really was.


  6. "Teaching Assistant"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Teaching Assistant in Hartford, CT
    Current Employee - Teaching Assistant in Hartford, CT
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at University of Connecticut part-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Relatively high salary for student employee

    Cons

    There was not formal work schedules


  7. "Post Doctoral"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at University of Connecticut full-time

    Pros

    Great environment, better research lab

    Cons

    Minimum paid, no benefits except health

  8. "Support Staff"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Storrs Mansfield, CT
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Storrs Mansfield, CT
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Nice location. Intelligent and dedicated staff.

    Cons

    Away from the Big cities

    Advice to Management

    Too Prolific


  9. "Student Worker"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at University of Connecticut part-time

    Pros

    Great flexibility, decent pay, easy work environment

    Cons

    Almost to easy you can get trapped in the system


  10. "Poor management training and supervision."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Program Coordinator
    Former Employee - Program Coordinator
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Strong community, family, and alumni connections.

    Cons

    Very hierarchical management. Verbal harassment from supervisor and co-worker went unchecked.

    Advice to Management

    Annual review of supervisors and co-workers by objective third party may prevent isolation within siloed departments.


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