Working in higher education is not typically seen as a place to get rich, but it can definitely have its perks. Full-time employees often have great health and dental plans, and classes come highly discounted for them and their dependents.
Not all universities are created equal, though. Glassdoor, a website that gives an insider’s look at potential employers, annually looks at the 25 best universities to work. What they failed to highlight, however, are universities with not-so-great reviews.
Many higher education institutions have dismal ratings on Glassdoor, and terrible management, high turnover, and nepotism are all common grievances. Here are some of the colleges and universities with the most 1-star reviews:
1. Colorado Heights University - Denver, Colo.
The school got points for its scenic location, as well as its student body, but that’s about where the accolades end. Almost all of the reviewers trashed the board of directors, accusing them of inefficient micromanagement. Turnover is also allegedly high, with some in managerial roles having “no experience or skill set to complete their functions.” One reviewer even advised senior management to “close this place down before you hurt more students.” Ouch.
2. University of Advancing Technology - Tempe, Az.
Lack of culture was the major complaint at this for-profit technology institute, which was called “pitiful at best.” The for-profit attitude also bothered some, claiming that the university has “become so ‘sales’ oriented in order to obtain students that it borders on unethical.” The faculty received praise, although some claimed that they were highly unappreciated by the staff. High turnover was also a complaint, stating the school had no options for internal growth.
3. Everglades University - Boca Raton, Fla.
Poor management was the resounding cry at this Florida institution. One former employee even called the school “the worst work experience I’ve ever worked in.” Several claimed the university was a “revolving door” of employees because of disrespectful and unprofessional management. Others decried the steep price tag of almost $79,000 for an undergrad degree, calling it “crappy” and “overpriced.”
4. Governor’s State University - University Park, Ill.
This university was praised with its decent benefits and free classes, but like the other schools, was criticized for its lack of quality leadership. Morale was touted as being low, with no options for growth.
5. William Jessup University - Rocklin, Calif.
This Christian university was accused of being “Christian in name only,” with a patriarchal management that marginalized women, according to reviewers. The university was also called out on nepotism, hiring mostly through personal and church connections. One former instructor even called students bratty, saying they had to deal with “continuous talking during lectures,” and “sour looks.”
So what does a university need in order to be one of the “best to work at?” We found flexibility, friendliness and supportive co-workers to be common themes. Here are some of the happiest university workplaces we found:
1. Texas Christian University - Fort Worth, Texas
The home of the super toad earned high marks for its work/life balance. While most of the schools on the “worst list” complained about poor oversight, employees at TCU consistently called their management friendly, accessible and respectful. While “low pay” was a complaint, many admitted that the benefits were above average. Employees also gushed about the tight-knit, “family” feel of the staff.
2. University of Richmond - Richmond, Va.
This university was lauded for its leadership that “supports employees and looks out for their best interests.” Many even complimented the pay, saying it was above average for working in higher education. Others praised the flexibility, saying there is “no pressure to work overtime” and student workers can “do homework while at work.”
3. Brigham Young University - Provo, Utah
“Great” and “fun” people were the general consensus at BYU, with employees at the Mormon university thankful to be working with like-minded people. While low pay was a common complaint, reviewers overwhelmingly said they loved working in a faith-based environment.
4. Carnegie Mellon University - Pittsburgh, Pa.
Not shockingly, the brilliant faculty and world-class research facilities earned praise at this prestigious university. Even though it’s considered a top-25 school, competitiveness doesn’t seem to be an issue, with many remarking on its friendly students and supportive staff.
5. Iowa State University - Ames, Iowa
Located in the heart of the Midwest, it should come as no surprise that “friendly” was the definitive adjective for Iowa State. The school has also appeared to do the impossible with the recent announcement that it is the only school in the past decade to hire more full-time faculty while shrinking its administration — a true feat in our recession-addled economy. Not to mention, the cost of living in Ames is pretty low.