Northwestern University: A Great Place to Work

[CLASSICAL MUSIC]>>Northwestern is definitely
a great place to be. Faculty and staff are friendly,
students are friendly.>>There’s an openness here
that I think encourages self- development, growth,
learning.>>It is a fabulous place
to work– great benefits, great
people.>>This is truly one of the
most diverse melting pots that I’ve ever run across.>>I was so excited to tell
people where I worked. They didn’t even ask me, I would tell them, “Oh,
I work at Northwestern
University!”>>Northwestern has
a great reputation, and one of the nice things,
it gets better and better. A number of my friends at
other research universities and liberal arts colleges said, “Boy, Mort, just look where
you are! Look where the
business school is. Look where the medical
school went up even higher. Look at economics or
sociology or chemistry.” So we’re very strong. And it’s really exciting
to be part of that.>>The story of Northwestern
begins in 1850, when nine Chicago civic leaders
set their sights on a beautiful
piece of property 12 miles north of the city. The plan was to create
a new university to serve what was then known
as the Northwest Territory. Within a year, Northwestern
University was established and on its way to becoming
one of the leading
universities in the nation.>>[PRESIDENT SCHAPIRO]:
It’s great to have these very
different things that we do. We have 12 different schools. Six of those 12 offer
undergraduate degrees. That’s very unusual in the
context of private higher
education. They all offer great
challenges and great
opportunities. And it’s part of what
Northwestern’s about.>>The Evanston campus
still retains much of the
natural beauty
that first attracted
Northwestern’s founders, along with buildings that
date back to the university’s
earliest beginnings — like University Hall. And it has grown over
the years to accommodate Northwestern’s many different
schools, libraries, and
facilities .. as well as unique features
like the Sculpture Garden .. and hidden treasures like
the Shakespeare Garden.>>There are some beautiful
spots on the Evanston campus. Everybody knows about
the Rock. And they know Deering Meadow,
in front of that beautiful
old library. But you just wander around and
you find your own spaces. And I never get tired of
wandering around the campus.>>I love its layout. I love the grounds, the way
the landscape works in with
the buildings and the changes in it. Right now, we’re in the
backdrop of some of the
older parts of the campus. You move north of here, and
it’s incredibly modern and
efficient.>>That mix of old and new
extends to the Chicago campus, which was established in 1926
to create a centralized
location for some of its graduate
schools. Located in the city so that
students could be close to
professionals in their fields, it further enhanced a
reputation that has drawn people from
all over the world to
Northwestern. What is that reputation
built on? In a word, excellence. Innovative teaching .. pioneering research .. and a highly interdisciplinary
environment with exceptional opportunities
for intellectual, personal
and professional growth.>>I think part of the
secret for our success is that we’re always looking
to get better. So we not only have
Evanston and Chicago, we have NU-Q, which is
in Qatar. And it’s a marriage of the
School of Communication and Medill — the school of
journalism. We’re in a part of the world
that needs communication
skills and understanding about
freedom of the press. And we’re proud to be there
contributing to that. It’s exciting to have
three campuses. I think it’s a strength.>>A lot of things attracted
me to Northwestern. One was the chance to
work with really bright
students. They just have a really
high level of competence.>>It always brings a smile to
my face to see all the students walking around and talking
about their biology class
and what have you.>>More than 8000
undergraduates and approximately 8000
graduate students attend Northwestern
full-time. They’re attracted by the
diversity and quality of
its programs. But what sets it apart from
other research universities is Northwestern’s emphasis
on interdisciplinarity
and collaboration. Northwestern was among the
first to recognize the benefits of people from
multiple disciplines working
together, starting back in the 1940’s,
with its program of African
Studies — the first of its kind in
the nation. Since then, more than 100
research centers have developed out of this
interdisciplinarity with various schools and
departments joining forces
on a wide range of subjects — everything from the
Institute for Policy
Research, to the Center for Sleep
and Circadian Biology, which is studying the
link between sleep and
obesity .. diabetes .. and cardiovascular
disease.>>Northwestern is a fabulous
place to pursue what I am interested
in, because we’re able to really connect what’s going
on in the Evanston campus with what’s occurring
here in the medical school and really being able to
translate that to patient
practice. We started with a very small
sleep program here — one of
the very early ones — and through support at every
level, we’ve really blossomed into
one of the largest ones in
the country.>>I think everybody wants to
be part of something that’s thought of throughout
the world as personifying
excellence, and Northwestern does. We are very proud of the
quality of our undergraduate
program, our graduate programs, our post-docs, the incredible research
that takes place here, our theater performances,
music, on and on and on. And I think the staff feel
fully engaged in that
process and very proud to be
wearing the purple at
Northwestern.>>We have the greatest people
who work here. And I think that’s what
ultimately helps our faculty,
our students succeed. They’re so dedicated and
they’re so good at what
they do that the mission of the
school happens as a
result of that effort.>>They might not think that
they loom so large in the
lives of our students, but they do. Whether they’re staffing labs, or working in the library
or information technology — wherever they are, they
either work directly or
indirectly with students. I think everybody can
take pride in what he
or she contributes.>>The creative work
environment not only attracts top faculty
and staff, it makes them want to stay
and be part of it.>>In my particular area, which is nanoscale science — the science of very small
things — Northwestern has made
a significant investment. We have one of the first
nanotechnology buildings
in the world.>>We are emerging from
being a very strong regional
university to being an international
center of excellence. Northwestern is really
one of the world’s
powerhouses now.>>Over the years,
Northwestern has garnered
scores of national and international awards for
the work being done here.>>One of the great things
about Northwestern is that, while the Engineering
School is absolutely
top-notch, it’s not the only top-notch
school. Our business school, law school, medical school, journalism school — across the board is
of highest quality. And as a result, no
matter what it is you
want to learn, no matter what it is
that you want to do, you can find someone
who’s world-class in
that area.>>Yesterday in this building, I ran into the researcher
that’s made some huge inroads into the cause and reversal
of Alzheimer’s — as I was measuring his
windows. So we had a nice chat. That’s a little bonus. And it happens all over
campus.>>You see something on
television and say, “Hey I know this guy!
I work with this guy!” And so in a way, you’re
participating in all of this. And it’s a good feeling.>>That feeling of
connection is what makes
Northwestern work. In fact, there’s even a group
for it: The Northwestern University
Staff Advisory Council —
or NUSAC — where staff members are
encouraged to give their input on ways to help maintain
a positive work environment and promote excellence in
the University community.>>Once you think of the staff
as being a tremendous
resource — as they so clearly are
at Northwestern — you want to make sure
that they get all the
encouragement to develop their skills. And they can avail themselves
of all kinds of possibilities
for enrichment, whether it’s taking
classes or cheering on the Wildcats or musical events and
theater. We did an Earth Day
celebration, and the
place was packed. The same thing at Martin
Luther King Day. And when we have those
kinds of big days, and you all want to
be together with
like-minded people, Northwestern provides those
opportunities galore.>>We have an advantage,
I think, because we are among
people who value learning. I’ve taken courses through
the School of Continuing
Studies, which has been a great
experience. There are wonderful
professors in that school. And the classes are
in the evening, so I can
keep my work day going.>>We also try to think
about opportunities for
promotion and expansion. Some of it is people moving
from Evanston to Chicago, or Chicago to Evanston. Some of it has been people
moving from Evanston and
Chicago to Qatar.>>They give you the
opportunity to move around and really develop your
skills.>>There are computer
classes, which I find helpful when I
start struggling with things
like Excel or PowerPoint. I’ve also taken a number
of the Human Resources
courses. They offer a leadership
and management series. I found that to be
extremely helpful.>>In addition to the many
training and development
opportunities for staff, Northwestern offers
tuition discounts.>>Tuition discount is
fabulous! I got a masters degree
in education, which was
totally unexpected for me, considering that I have
a background in accounting. I think most people would
have naturally thought
Kellogg for the MBA. But actually, I’m thinking
about that now. So essentially, it gives
you the opportunity to
be a lifelong learner, which I really appreciate
and respect.>>It was pretty neat when I
found out everything that they
do for their employees — vision, dental, the
retirement plan — I love
the retirement plan.>>Having been here
13 years, I’ve had a chance to build
up a decent nest-egg by just putting in what the
maximum is, and having the University
contribute.>>The benefits are great. We have portable tuition,
which helps me tremendously. I have twins, and they have
the opportunity to go to college here
or anywhere in the country. And I get a discount for that. I can also go to school here,
so I can continue on
my education.>>Another plus that comes
from working at Northwestern is that employees also
have access to its many
libraries, including the two main ones: Deering and University Library as well as special
libraries attached to
various schools — like the Feinberg School of
Medicine .. and McCormick School
of Engineering and
Applied Science.>>Working at Northwestern
provides you with an
atmosphere of growth — personally and professionally. For 20 years now, I have
grown from a data entry
clerk to where I am now. And it’s a nice feeling.>>One of the best perks,
of course, is just being part of a
vibrant university community.>>We love the University. We love attending
athletic events. We love going to the
musical things — We have one of the
great theater programs
in the world. We love going to see
speakers. Where in most jobs would you have the ability
to see pop culture people to heads of state — all in
the same week?>>I spend a lot of time at
Ryan Field, and I’ll tell you, when you go into Ryan
Field during a game and hear all the cheers
and the yelling, you really get the spirit.>>The recreational
facilities are really nice. It’s just a whole wonderful
group of wellness programs
there.>>The facility is
world-class — in my opinion, better than
any health club you’ll
ever find, at a fraction of the cost.>>Northwestern has
pretty much all the
things you’d like. We’re on the water,
which almost no other
university is. And we’re in Chicago —
the third biggest city in
the country — which has amazing theater
and amazing food and
amazing restaurants.>>We’re really fortunate
to have a magnificent
campus in Chicago. I mean, some of the
old buildings in the
law school, and the affiliated
hospitals and Feinberg. we also have part of
Kellogg down there, and we have the School
of Continuing Studies.>>It is wonderful because,
one, I’m a shopper, so I am
close to Chicago Avenue as well as Michigan Avenue. So I absolutely love the
campus.>>It’s great — it’s
overlooking Navy Pier.>>[LAUGHING] Northwestern
has the best real estate of any university that
I’ve visited!>>That includes the
city of Evanston, which literally grew up
with the University. In fact, the city itself
is named for one of
Northwestern’s founders — John Evans — while many of the streets
are named after some of the
other founders and early presidents. And for employees on
the Evanston campus, the town is a definite
perk.>>We’re in the center of
downtown Evanston, and we have everything!>>Great movie theaters, restaurants galore, good shopping as well.>>And the greatest part
about it is, if you use
your WildCARD, you get tons of discounts
at various locations.>>You can also use your
WildCARD to travel between the Evanston and Chicago
campuses.>>The shuttle bus has
been one of the nicest
perks. It doesn’t cost us anything,
and you just show your
WildCARD, and you can take the
shuttle during the
daytime back and forth. We also have the
Ryan Field shuttle, where you can park in
Ryan at a very reduced
rate, and that will drop you
off where you work.>>There are so many
opportunities here, just for cultural and
educational events, but also culinary ones. We like to eat out. We
like ethnic food. There’s everything
available within a
couple of blocks.>>Explore. Try some new things, whether it’s mini-courses
at Norris, or speakers who come
to campus.>>The obvious recreational
opportunity is Lake Michigan. We have two beaches —
one for sailing, one for
swimming. Also, the lakefill gives
us a nice, park-like
atmosphere for walking around
at lunch.>>It’s very tranquil, so you can really get
an opportunity to
think. And also, you can see
the city of Chicago
from there, so it’s a great view.>>You really want an
environment that is pleasant..
that you can enjoy.. and that you will love
your work, and Northwestern has certainly provided that
for me.>>We all enjoy working
here. I’ve been in the same
department for 17 years. So it shows a lot of
stability. You bleed purple here!
[LAUGHS]>>I would not leave
Northwestern for
anything. I have had three job offers,
and I just refuse to. And it’s not about the money,
It’s about the environment.>>You’re in a good place. This is a great
organization to work for
and to work with. And if you’re interested
in your own personal
development as well as contributing to
the mission of a research
institution like this, you really are going to
find great opportunities
here.>>You’re going to find
that you’re not coming
here just for one thing, you’re coming here for
several things. You’re going to be
challenged. You’re also going to have
an opportunity to get
involved and meet some people
who are going to
challenge you, and probably become
lifelong friends and
lifelong colleagues.>>Northwestern’s a
wonderful school, and I think it’s a very good
employer. We’re always thinking about how do we improve the
lives of everyone that’s
part of the community? We think about it
constantly. So as good as it is to
work at Northwestern, my goal — and my job —
is to make it even better. So if you’re thinking
about joining this
Northwestern family, I look forward to
welcoming you to it. It’s been very welcoming
to me, it was just amazing how
quickly I felt part of
this. It’s a very special place. I’m proud every day to
be associated with it. And so will you.

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