Columbia University Reviews

Updated 16 Jun 2021

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4.2
83%
Recommend to a Friend
74%
Approve of CEO
Columbia University President and Trustee Lee C. Bollinger
Lee C. Bollinger
890 Ratings
Pros
  • "Great benefits and security in a difficult pandemic time(in 128 reviews)

  • "good work environment is ensured(in 121 reviews)

  • Cons
  • "Admin stance on unionization is quite appalling; cost of living is high(in 39 reviews)

  • "new york might be too expensive to live in(in 39 reviews)

  • More Pros and Cons
    Pros & Cons are excerpts from user reviews. They are not authored by Glassdoor.
    1. 4.0
      Current Employee, less than 1 year

      Working event staff for Columbia Athletics

      12 Jun 2020 - Event Staff Member 
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      - flexible hours - great management (understanding, funny, kind) - great colleagues

      Cons

      - task can be repetitive

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    2. 2.0
      Former Employee, more than 3 years

      Bureaucratic nightmare

      18 Nov 2015 -  
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      I was fortunate to work with some talented colleagues. Additionally, my on-campus housing (I believe this is only for research staff) was quickly and easily arranged. Apartment maintenance was performed promptly. The IT department (CUIT) proved flexible and willing to solve our problems.

      Cons

      The bureaucracy is an unstoppable force; paper forms abound and forget about doing anything not covered by an existing policy or checklist. Department administrations appear stuck in the 1970s with staff that, on average, do little more than the bare minimum. Capable staff are hamstrung by arcane procedures. I fear this extends to the educational aspects of the University, which is compounded by a lack of willingness to change. My appointment was bungled no fewer than three times, leading to delays in pay and lapsed health insurance. At one point I was forced to purchase my own health insurance from the state exchange because of an administrator's error. Expense reimbursements sometimes took months to arrive. Procurement was an embarrassment. Several times during my tenure vendor accounts were left unpaid. Dozens of hours were wasted trying to follow up with our department's business office in attempts to rectify said situations. It took over a year for our group's charge account at Staples to be approved for use.

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    3. 4.0
      Former Employee

      Talented colleagues, always opportunities to learn

      18 May 2021 - Director in New York, NY
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      The people I worked with were among the most talented colleagues I've had. I really enjoyed their competency and ability to deliver high quality deliverables and outcomes. I also loved being surrounded by ideas and opportunities to learn about new topics from the world's top experts. Working at a place like Columbia allows you to do high-profile work at a high level, which is exciting. Also, there were a broad array of benefits.

      Cons

      Higher education can be very political. Whom you are aligned with can matter more than how well you are able to contribute--this can lend itself to a tribal-like thinking that is demotivating and difficult to navigate. I found Columbia to be similar to other higher education institutions in this way. Also, when I worked there, some of the top leadership was against working remotely. Columbia is very decentralized, so how this played out depended on what unit or school you worked in and the type of work you did. For me, the inflexibility of some leaders on the topic was disappointing.

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    4. 5.0
      Former Employee, less than 1 year

      Research Assistant Review

      14 Jun 2021 - Research Assistant in New York, NY
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Exposure to actual current research in the process of being published. Opportunity to work with renowned professors.

      Cons

      Low pay. Limited career growth without obtaining PhD

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    5. 5.0
      Current Employee

      Nice Benefits

      10 Jun 2021 - Lab Technician 
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      As a union member you get quite alot of personal/sick days off and you also receive tuition assistance that allows you to take Columbia classes entirely for free.

      Cons

      Salary could definitely be better

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    6. 5.0
      Current Employee, less than 1 year

      Graduate Research Assistant at GSAS/ ISERP

      11 Jun 2021 - Research Assistant in New York, NY
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Great learning scope with knowledgeable professors

      Cons

      The usual pay for research assistants anywhere

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    7. 3.0
      Current Employee, more than 5 years

      Good place work But!!!

      15 Jun 2021 - Anonymous Employee 
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      The name on ur resume helps get you to your next place.

      Cons

      Columbia does not fight to keep you.

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    8. 4.0
      Former Employee, less than 1 year

      Working at Columbia as Research Assistant

      5 Jun 2021 - Graduate Research Assistant in New York, NY
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      The institution has a lot of academic resources and provides an ecellent pool of some of the most well-known professors in the country. So if you plan to do research or use your working experience here as a stepping stone towards a doctorial program, maybe this a place you might want to start.

      Cons

      It felts like at times workload assigned was excessive. Sometimes you're called upon to carry out some small tasks during the weekend. Maybe this is the nature of the office I worked with. But I also heard similar stories from colleagues working in other offices.

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    9. 5.0
      Former Employee

      Good mentorship

      11 Jun 2021 - Student Worker in New York, NY
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Flexible schedule, helpful supervisor, learned a lot on the job

      Cons

      I was very happy in the job

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    10. 3.0
      Current Employee, more than 3 years

      History, Tradition, and Pursuit of Excellence

      18 May 2021 - Director in New York, NY
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      1) Columbia was established before the U.S. was formed and with that comes a rich history, tradition, and pursuit of excellence. 2) Outstanding faculty and colleagues - seriously! 3) Great for researchers!

      Cons

      1) Bureaucracy & hierarchy rule here, period. What that means in real-time is committees of committees will need to consider, discuss, review, request additional information, approve or deny your committee's suggestion for improvement if your leader thinks it's worth exploring - seriously! 2) Low comp overall and general leadership mindset that "you're lucky to be affiliated with Columbia" which leaves staff feeling unappreciated.

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