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University of Washington Reviews

Updated January 12, 2018
375 reviews

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3.0
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Ana Mari Cauce
32 Ratings

375 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • Depending on your department, work-life balance can be difficult to maintain (in 17 reviews)

  • nothing really, a pretty standart part time job (in 29 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (1)

    "Cool School | Career Development Lacking"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Director, Program Management in Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Director, Program Management in Seattle, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    I worked in the business school for 5+ years. What I loved about working at UW and the b-school:
    +There is a lot of organizational pride and external recognition when working for a well-known and respected university and top ranked business school. I loved the love and smiles I got when I told people in the community where I worked. It was always a conversations starter.
    +The campus is really beautiful and a nice place to work. Seeing students of all ages on a daily basis is energizing. It's great to be a part of someone's education and dreams. Many of my co-workers were in it for the mission and love of what higher ed stands for -- rather than money (goodness knows staff are not paid top dollar). Thus, there is a lot of passion for the work. While I went to college elsewhere, I got to be a Husky by profession. That was and still is cool! It's what I miss most.
    +Benefits are very good and competitive with corporate jobs.
    + There are lots of really smart people in a university and that raises the floor and the ceiling in terms of the quality of people attracted across every type of job. That's a powerful asset (sadly wasted -- see cons).
    + Public transportation options are pretty good
    +Diversity is cherished. I think UW in general and the b-school in particular truly do a lot to be inclusive regarding a wide range of individual differences. The one ironic exception (noted in cons) is discriminatory attitudes and treatment based on faculty/staff and union/nonunion labeling. Coming from the corporate world, this can be very off-putting.

    Cons

    -Too much bureaucracy and politics in the University as a whole and in the b-school to allow for innovative thinking. There are a lot of silos and a lot of places and ways for inept people to hide out. It becomes frustrating to see this dynamic after a while.
    -Faculty / staff status differences are very dysfunctional. Staff are second-class citizens -- even when they have advanced degrees and/or more real-world experience than faculty. The tenure system is also dysfunctional because faculty can come and go as they please, telecommute, get the best parking -- while staff are seen as worker bees. There are different performance and retention standards for staff and faculty that reinforce faculty's view of themselves as superior. This is an ugly fact that just gets denied and ignored because the tenure system is so embedded in universities in the US.
    - Professional development is sub-par and not really encouraged, which is ironic for a University. Lack of upward mobility and career paths for staff was one reason I left.
    -UW has a number of unions for certain types of jobs. While I know its important to protect employee rights and collectively bargain for wages and wage equity and all that...there is a lot of dysfunction created when you have two classes of staff (union and nonunion) -- and adding in faculty as the "upper class" creates a very tiered status system. I've worked in large corporations with some unionized workers ... academia+unions creates a much worse hierarchy. Again, it's ironic that the unions actually perpetuate a we/they inequity and rank system rather than creating unity. If you are looking to work anywhere in UW, you will need to be OK with this atmosphere.
    -Traffic and parking at UW has gotten significantly worse in recent years. My commute time increased to the point where I was spending about 3 hours a day in transit. That and the inability to telecommute (frowned upon in the b-school and required Dean's approval) was the final deal breaker for me.
    -The hiring systems is super slow. When I was trying to hire any new staff, things had to go through central HR before being posted. Often by the time I got the applicant list, the best candidates were no longer available. The b-school HR department was helpful, but at the mercy of central HR in terms of the process,
    -The B-school itself should practice more of what it preaches. There are distinct soloing, status and favoritism issues. There is a lot of room for improvement in terms of collaboration, innovation, openness to new ideas and courageous leadership. Rankings went up during my time there, but I saw other strategic goals go by the wayside because so much energy was focused on national rankings. It felt like there was opportunity left on the table because of this tunnel vision.
    -Funding for raises, promotions, training & development is a constant issue - particularly for staff. Most people in the b-school complained about being underpaid and overworked. Even if you love higher ed and academia, that gets old.
    -There were a lot of dissatisfied employees who were sticking around because they liked being affiliated with UW and the b-school, liked having a job with good benefits and security, and liked some of their co-workers ... but complained a lot about leadership, the little untouchable empires or fiefdoms inside the school, the politics, etc. It is sad to see people feeling oppressed and stuck and just deciding to live with it because of the cache of working at a well-known b-school and much beloved university. I'll admit that I stayed much longer than was healthy for me and my family because of the cool-factor.

    Advice to Management

    +At the U level, consider a future without a tenure system. That might revolutionize higher ed in the US.
    +At the U and b-school levels, embrace telecommuting. Traffic in Seattle is getting much worse.
    +At the b-school level -- improve talent development. I can think of lots of good people who left in the last 10 years because opportunities were lacking. Look at how many dead-end jobs there are ... or people who feel stuck. If someone has had their same job for 10, 20 or 30 years and is just hanging on until retirement, what does that do to innovation, process improvement and job mobility.


  2. "Research/Teaching Assistant"

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

    I have been working at University of Washington part-time

    Pros

    Great Benefits
    Flexible Schedule
    If you're a graduate student, your tuition is covered if you get a TA/RA-ship

    Cons

    TA's and RA's are only supposed to work 20 hours a week in order to have time to also complete their graduate coursework/research. There is a union that can help enforce this, but often, you will work more than 20 hours depending on your teaching/research assignment.

  3. "Stability can be good and bad"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at University of Washington part-time

    Pros

    The UW provides excellent benefits and employment stability.

    Cons

    Career stagnation is a real issue here. There is effectively no worthwhile central training and development, nor can most department budgets support employee-initiated professional development. Work here for more than a few years and your skills are in danger of becoming obsolete.


  4. "Student Assistant"

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

    Pros

    No heavy work
    Can work Study

    Cons

    some weird people
    I don't recommend if people cannot manage their time


  5. "Assistant Director, Advancement"

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

    Pros

    The resources of an amazing campus community; supportive, collegial peers very interested in supporting each other; steady professional development opportunities; mentorship-encouraging culture.

    Cons

    Significant and shifting objectives for a position that was new; changing focus of the position after hiring; multiple direct-reports with differing views of priorities; very little in terms of leadership and solid direction from direct-reports; primary supervisor had little to no fundraising background; lack of mission, vision, planning that should have been done well in advance of hiring.

    Advice to Management

    Although I feel I developed a firm understanding of how UW approaches advancement and was supported with the professional training and resources I needed. Sometimes the culture of the unit contrasts with that of advancement. While one is a model of best practices, some of the units in which advancement has a role are monuments to process. Maneuvering the two cultures is certainly doable and is almost a given, and was also not the real issue. However, my difficulty came in working for someone whose career up to that point had consisted of more traditional, bureaucratic campus roles who also had little to no background in fundraising/development. They did not provide the leadership, encouragement, support, or even the benefit of wisdom and experience employees often need to some degree from those above them in the field, because they had no perspective of that past experience to offer. While colleagues from other units shared their own experiences of gaining a firm footing in the university happening over a time of six to eight months, I was told that wasn't an option, and yet, while I was eager to launch into donor discovery, my supervisor would not allow it unless she attended, which impacted my ability to schedule unless she was able to also join,. Ideas, project work, etc. were routinely met with negativtiy. With little direction, I assembled materials and drew ideas from my own fundraising experience, which, again contrasted with my supervisor's limited understanding of the field. Weekly meetings were also routinely negative. While I offered suggestions for building out the program, being shut down with little more than personal opinion at every turn, coupled with how little my supervisor could offer professionally ultimately led to my leaving the position. I should note that I actually do not dislike this person. I had hoped to build a significant mentoring relationship and in the process share what I knew of fundraising. As a weekly focus of disdain, I was encouraged to resign. Upon leaving the university, I was given advice by a very senior person in the UW community - "Next time, make sure you look for and find the right boss."


  6. "Regulatory Affairs"

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

    I have been working at University of Washington full-time

    Pros

    -Great benefits
    -Motivated Staff
    -Strong research portfolio

    Cons

    -Difficult to break into unless you already have a connection
    -Not a lot of opportunity to advance

    Advice to Management

    More competitive salaries.


  7. "Good Balance for Grad student"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Contractor - Anonymous Contractor
    Current Contractor - Anonymous Contractor

    I have been working at University of Washington as a contractor

    Pros

    Decent pay including stipend and tuition waiver

    Cons

    Terrible students, pay not commensurate with evals

  8. "A big one but not great one"

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

    I have been working at University of Washington full-time

    Pros

    very acedemic and good for your knowlege

    Cons

    bad administration and culture in the whole campus


  9. "About our department"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

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

    Pros

    Many people in the department don't seem to be too political.

    Cons

    Too many students with too few faculty members in our program


  10. "rough on grad students"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at University of Washington part-time

    Pros

    good health insurance for grad students

    Cons

    don't listen to grad students' comments or complaints about course availability


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