The UUA Has 216 Employees: The Answer to Today’s Trivia Quiz

If we include Beacon Press and the handful of positions that are currently empty (but are expected to be filled again by new hires), then the UUA has 216 paid employees. About two-thirds of them work in the Boston area, though not all at 25 Beacon Street.

The UUA itself is larger than this, of course, since there are many volunteer positions as well, including some involved in the governance of the organization.

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2 Comments

Filed under Liberal Religious History, Unitarian-Universalism

2 responses to “The UUA Has 216 Employees: The Answer to Today’s Trivia Quiz

  1. Bashing Boston and its “insidious and bloated” staff has been a honored tradition since the original AUA started out with a corresponding secretary. A lot of folks are going to see 216 employees and start muttering under their breaths about an evil empire.

    I visited 25 Beacon Street a few years ago when my little book of poetry was being marked up by Skinner House. I was struck by how cramped and—it must be said even if the address is prestigious—seedy our headquarters building is. And by how few folks actually work there.

    Remember that 216 people includes receptionists, secretaries, mail clerks, Beacon Press and Bookstore customer service people, tech support, and, yes even custodial staff. The ratio of functionaries, bureaucrats, and officers actually charged with beating innocent congregations into submission is hardly a corporal’s guard. Like “Boston” or not, you have to respect that as such organizations go they are a lean and mean fighting machine.

    The Washington office, now charged with most of the UUA’s public ministry and lobbying, has now I believe three full time professional positions and a small rotating cast of part-timers and interns.

    Most of the rest of the staff is scattered as UUA supported congregational service staff working out of de-centralized District offices and a cadre of contract congregational consultants.

    Back in Boston, a few short miles from 25 Beacon sits the headquarters of Christian Science, a denomination not significantly larger than the UUA. It sits on a full city block and includes not only a magnificent Mother Church building but an array of modern office building teaming with employees. Even given the magnitude of the Christian Science Monitor operation, you have to conclude that they gin up a much larger administrative apparatus.

    I have made these points before in other venues. Some folks think I am a knee jerk defender of the machine. Not so. I frequently differ on significant policy issues. I currently am very critical of the damage being done in the name of a current fad—Congregational Polity fundamentalism. But I have never thought the UUA administration was inherently evil, power mad, or—least of all—overstaffed.

  2. The UUA Directory shows how the staff is actually divided up. See pages 18-47 in the 2008 edition for a descriptive guide to each staff group. See pages 48-49 for an organizational chart. District staff and officers are listed on pages 51-58.

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