University of Minnesota Reviews | Glassdoor

University of Minnesota Reviews

Updated November 19, 2017
74 reviews

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2.0
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University of Minnesota President Eric W. Kaler
Eric W. Kaler
26 Ratings

74 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • Low pay and lots of bureaucratic nonsense (in 45 reviews)

  • It is a little harder for grad students to have work-life balance (in 15 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (2)

    "Review of my employment at the U"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Operations Specialist in Minneapolis, MN
    Former Employee - Operations Specialist in Minneapolis, MN
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    The benefits package is attractive. Some of the highlights include the solid medical and dental plans, the Regent's scholarship for tuition, and the wellness programs to reduce medical plan costs for those who wish to participate. The campus is very attractive with historic buildings, a beautiful mall area, and the vibrancy of its population. There are great places to eat in Coffman Union, Dinkytown and Stadium Village.
    The University truly is like a little city onto itself, with medical facilities, a veterinary clinic, education (obviously), fitness centers, post offices, and just about every other amenity you can imagine!

    Cons

    The University is plagued with issues that affect just about every other college, and then it has it's own sets of problems.
    First, the institution is decentralized to the point that it is essentially crippled when it comes to making key decisions that can transform a process. Every unit/department believes that their agenda is THE most important, and those units (no matter how small) can kill an important initiative that could potentially benefit about 99.99% of the university. Basically, the squeeky wheel wins, OFTEN.
    Second, there are many high level administrators who use schmoozing and friendships as their guiding light when it comes to hiring and decision making , rather than using insightful analysis, expert input, and data driven strategies.
    Third, as is the case in most higher education institutions (at least one would assume), tenured faculty are treated like royalty, meaning that they are often allowed to get away with verbally abusing staff, flagrantly ignoring policies, and creating costly headaches for university administration.
    Finally, there are the well known, embarrassing scandals of ivory tower priviledge.. the US Bank Stadium VIP boxes being used by high level athletics administrators, the former CIO using funds for personal expenses, the Psychiatry scandal...

    All of these can make the university a very frustrating bubble to inhabit. There is alot passion, but there is also alot of ego, entitlement, and priviledge. It takes a thick skin to work there, at all levels... from individual contributor to administrator.

    Advice to Management

    I honestly don't have any advice to offer senior leaders, because I don't believe that with the decentralized nature and the autonomy that faculty have that they will be able institute any change that would be profound. Change will need to come from the federal and state legislatures in order to change the university's ways of doing business and hold them accountable.


  2. "Unfriendly Work Environment"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at University of Minnesota full-time

    Pros

    good location, work can be self-directed

    Cons

    lack of support from management

  3. Helpful (1)

    "Interesting"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at University of Minnesota part-time

    Pros

    Access to the arts and performance.

    Cons

    A lot of micromanagement and has not integrated the organization with the local arts community.

    Advice to Management

    Lay out a clear vision and plan and allow staff to execute.


  4. Helpful (4)

    "Good for most, but systemic problems still growing"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at University of Minnesota full-time

    Pros

    Great Benefits
    Good Location
    While not always common, very competent and helpful coworkers can be found in most departments

    Cons

    The continuous and precipitous decline in public funding has led to an environment higher up where bringing in huge grants, private partnerships, and new revenue streams is way more important than anything else that is in their mission statement. This is the reason for the tremendous administrative bloat in most departments.

    If your dean or PI can bring in lots of money, their peers and the U will turn a blind eye to pretty much everything else they may do. This can end up as a blank check for some extremely bad and abusive behaviors. You're doubly at risk for this if you're stuck here on a visa.

    Choose your PI or administrator very wisely. Trust your gut no matter what is promised to you. Pick a good one and you'll probably have a great experience with lots of professional mentoring and support. Pick a selfish or bad one, and well.. sort by negative reviews. Some of the war stories are very familiar ones.

    Know that you too can end up under the bus one day if things ever go south badly, and that this person can control the direction of your entire professional career.

    Advice to Management

    No easy answers with the current state of funding. The status-quo is still going to have more and more real tangible costs down the line that will probably keep legal and PR earning their paychecks.


  5. Helpful (4)

    "Liability Over Pedagogy, Union Busting"

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

    I worked at University of Minnesota part-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Worked here as a teaching assistant in the humanities for four years. Health benefits were good.

    Cons

    Pay was atrociously bad compared to grad assistants in the STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering and Medicine). Every six years or so, an effort to unionize graduate assistants is sponsored by a major union. The University pays millions of dollars to an alumnae-founded labor-law-firm to bust each union drive.

    Advice to Management

    Stop treating the humanities as second-class departments.


  6. Helpful (7)

    "Expect to be not paid your worth if you are support staff"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Office Manager in Minneapolis, MN
    Current Employee - Office Manager in Minneapolis, MN
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at University of Minnesota full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Free tuition if you are obtaining your first bachelor's degree.

    Cons

    Must pay for parking currently about $70-100 dollars a month.
    Support staff (including mangers that are union backed) are under appreciated and under paid.
    Incivility from those who consider themselves to be higher educated - often treating others like peasants.
    Support staff wages do not even keep up with cost of living, so do not plan on working here for a long time without working your way up the ladder.


  7. Helpful (1)

    "UofMN"

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

    I have been working at University of Minnesota full-time

    Pros

    benefits package for faculty positions are great

    Cons

    There is little opportunity for growth or movement within the organization

  8. Helpful (1)

    "Fine, not great"

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

    Pros

    Tuition reimbursement/assistance
    Flexible scheduling
    Good PTO/time off

    Cons

    Sexist "boy's club" atmosphere in administrative/services
    Way too much bureaucracy, pace of change is glacial


  9. Helpful (2)

    "Not as great as it sounds"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Administrative Assistant in Minneapolis, MN
    Current Employee - Administrative Assistant in Minneapolis, MN
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at University of Minnesota full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Benefits & number of paid days off.

    Cons

    They're chipping away at the benefits and increasing premiums if not every year, every other year (though it's still better than most other places). They stopped doing Employee Appreciation Day. Management doesn't care about the people that actually do the work - no one to talk to and nothing gets done even if you find someone to listen. Little to no transparency.

    Advice to Management

    "That's the way it's always been done" is not a reason to not make changes to policy or procedure. Listen to the workers more and actually implement the good ideas instead of your own, which are usually a waste of time and money.


  10. "Department of Family Medicine and Community Health"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Intern - Human Resources Intern in Minneapolis, MN
    Current Intern - Human Resources Intern in Minneapolis, MN
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at University of Minnesota as an intern (More than a year)

    Pros

    Laid back office environment.

    Cons

    Work is highly mundane in nature.

    Advice to Management

    N/A


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