Pros: health benefits, gorgeous campus, caltrain pass, training/education reimbursement plans
Cons: some faculty are brilliant, some are brilliant and mercurial..and some just mercurial
As a staff member, it can be an exceptional treat to be around people who are at the top of their fields and who are making world-class discoveries. The flip side of the coin is that in an academic environment, faculty members rule the roost -- whether or not they have appropriate management skills. At times, I've seen skilled, well-educated staff members put down or not allowed to advance forward in their careers due to mercurial decisions made by faculty. Some faculty run amazing workgroups, and some don't -- do your research during your interview process before you join a given department. Stanford has excellent benefits, including staff training reimbursement. Work-life balance is publicized a great deal, but in practice varies from department to department.