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Division of Human Resources

Leadership Development

Leaders define, influence and model the core values of our university. By developing our leaders today, we ensure we are equipped to lead our university tomorrow.

The University of South Carolina offers three leadership development programs:

  • Pipeline for Academy Leadership (PAL)
  • Emerging Leaders Program (ELP)
  • Executive Leadership Academy: A Pathway to Women in Leadership (ELA)

PAL and ELP

These programs provide a framework for leadership development that starts at the personal level, increasing self-awareness to better communicate, influence and work with others; and then develops skills for leading teams and organizations.

Participants gain valuable insights into their own preferences, tendencies and behaviors as leaders by engaging a series of assessments, including a 360-degree feedback process. Cohort groups learn about the university’s academic and administrative culture and work processes through interaction with the institution’s leadership.

The PAL fellowship is an invitation-only program for academic leaders and administrative executives who are currently serving in, or who have the potential to, hold a high-level position at UofSC in the near future. Examples of the types of employees who participate in this program are: directors, assistant vice presidents, associate vice presidents, department chairs, assistant deans and associate deans.

To participate in this program, academic leaders must be nominated by the dean of their college or school, and then approved by the Office of the Provost. Administrative executives must be nominated by the vice president of their division.

Nominations for faculty members must be submitted to Dr. Cheryl Addy (caddy@mailbox.sc.edu) in the Provost Office by May 14, 2021.

Nominations for administrative executives must be submitted to Nathan Strong (strongn@mailbox.sc.edu) in the Organizational and Professional Development Office by May 14, 2021.

The Vice President for Human Resources and the Provost contacts each nominee to determine if they are able to participate. A cohort of 24-28 persons are selected each year.

In order to receive a certificate of completion, program participants are required to attend 85% or more of the leadership sessions that run from August to April. Participants are also required to participate in peer group coaching sessions, and a project that may involve additional meeting time outside of the scheduled leadership sessions.

A 360° feedback process is conducted which requires participants to meet with a coaching mentor from the Organizational and Professional Development Office to discuss the results. An Individual Development Plan [pdf] is created based upon the 360° feedback process and coaching conversations.

All costs associated with this program are covered by the university.

Nominations occur in April-May and participants are notified of their selection in June. The PAL program follows the academic year, running from mid-August through the end of April.


PAL dates for 2021-2022:

Thursday, August 12, 2022 from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Friday, August 13 from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Wednesday, September 15 from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Wednesday, October 6 from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. 
Thursday, November 11 from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. 
Tuesday, December 7 from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Thursday, January 6, 2023 from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Friday, January 7 from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Tuesday, February 15 from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Monday, March 14 from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Tuesday, April 26 from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.


PAL dates for 2022-2023

Thursday, August 11, 2022 from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Friday, August 12 from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Thursday, September 15 from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Tuesday, October 11 from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Monday, November 14 from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Friday, December 9 from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Thursday, January 5, 2023 from 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Friday, January 6 from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Wednesday, February 15 from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Monday, March 13 from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Tuesday, April 25 from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. 

Note: All sessions are scheduled for 1600 Hampton Street, Suite 101 unless otherwise noted. 

Contact Nathan Strong, Director of Organizational and Professional Development, at 803-777-3508 for additional information regarding the Pipeline for Academy Leaders program, or email the department at hrtrain@mailbox.sc.edu.

The Emerging Leaders Program is the University of South Carolina’s signature mid-level leadership program designed for high-potential staff who have proven responsibility and accountability over at least one of the following areas:

  • Managing a team OR
  • Providing direction/oversight to a program, system, or large project(s)

To participate in this program, the staff member must be in good standing and working in a full-time staff position as a University of South Carolina-Columbia employee for a minimum of six (6) months.

This year twenty (20) ELP participants will be selected through a competitive application and interview process.  

Number 1

Complete the Application

Complete the application in its entirety, including applicant, supervisor, and leadership signatures.  Incomplete applications may be rejected.

Number 2

Attach Letter of Recommendation/Endorsement

Attach a letter of recommendation/endorsement from your *leadership sponsor indicating: Their support and a commitment throughout the program including the cost of the program. Their understanding of the program time requirements. Why they are recommending you currently over others. What they hope you will gain from this program. Applications submitted without this letter attached will be rejected. *Leadership sponsor includes your respective Department Head/Chair, Dean, Provost, Vice-Provost, Associate Vice President, or Vice President.

Number 3

Email Your Application and Letter of Recommendation

Email your application and letter of recommendation packet to kpruitt2@mailbox.sc.edu by the deadline of Wednesday, June 23, 2021 at midnight.

Number 4

Interview for the Program in Early July 

Eligible, qualified applications are rated, and top candidates are selected to interview for the program in early July.  The review committee strives to create a diverse cohort of proven, high-potential leaders, representing many roles and work settings/departments across the university.

Number 5

Applicants Notified Early August & Program starts Sept 1, 2021

Applicants are notified of their application status by early August.  The program starts on September 1, 2021.

Program sessions build on content knowledge.Program participants are required to attend 85% or more of the leadership sessions that run from September to April to receive a certificate of completion.Participants are also required to participate in peer group coaching sessions and a project that may involve additional time outside of the scheduled leadership sessions.Participants will also participate in a 360° feedback process that includes an individual coaching session to create a personal SWOT and an Individual Development Plan based upon the 360° feedback process, other program assessment results and ongoing coaching conversations.

A non‐refundable fee of $700 is charged to the department if the applicant is selected to participate. This fee is used solely to cover Emerging Leaders Program expenses including speaker fees, training materials, assessments, and other costs.

The ELP program follows the academic year.

Activity Completed No Later Than

Program announced and deadline for application packets to be submitted to kpruitt2@mailbox.sc.edu.

Mid-May 2021 to Wednesday, June 23, 2021 at midnight.

Application and interview selection process.  Participants receive their acceptance letter and verify their commitment to the year‐long program.

July through early August 2021


Reminder: 85% session attendance required for successful ELP completion. All sessions will be held in-person at 1600 Hampton Street, Suite 101 unless otherwise noted. Sessions will not be recorded nor streamed for off-site viewing.

Session Date Time

Session 1 

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

1:00 pm - 4:00 pm 

Session 2 

Thursday, September 2, 2021

9:00 am - 4:00 pm

Session 3 

Thursday, September 23, 2021

9:00 am - 1:00 pm 

Session 4 

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

9:00 am - 4:00 pm 

Session 5 

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

9:00 am - 1:00 pm

Session 6 

Monday, December 6, 2021

9:00 am - 4:00 pm 

Session 7 

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

9:00 am - 1:00 pm 

Session 8 

Thursday, January 27, 2022

9:00 am - 4:00 pm 

Session 9 

Thursday, February 24, 2022

9:00 am - 4:00 pm 

Session 10 

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

1:00 pm - 4:00 pm 

Session 11 

Wednesday, April 6, 2022

9:00 am - 4:00 pm 

Weather Makeup Day

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

9:00 am - 4:00 pm

Note: All sessions are scheduled for 1600 Hampton Street, Suite 101 unless otherwise noted. 

Contact Kim Pruitt, Assistant Director for Organizational Development, at kpruitt2@mailbox.sc.edu for additional information regarding the Emerging Leaders Program (ELP).

 

Executive Leadership Academy (ELA) 

This program prepares women for advanced leadership positions at the University of South Carolina by focusing on professional development, application of executive competencies through completion of an institutional project, and mentoring.

The professional development portion is a one-year commitment with courses starting in September, and the project and mentoring portions are a three-year commitment. 

Applications Due April 15 

Applications for ELA must be submitted to Dr. Mary Alexander (malexand@mailbox.sc.edu) by April 15, 2022. See the Application and Selection section below for more details. 

The Executive Leadership Academy (ELA) consists of the following three elements:

For this element of the program, participants attend monthly in-person professional development sessions over the course of a year.

These sessions begin in September, and enhance leadership abilities and provide a deeper understanding of the operational aspects of the academy. 

Throughout the year, participants are also required to attend meetings such as:

  • Board of Trustees
  • Council of Academic Deans
  • Strategic planning and blueprint meetings

For this element of the program, participants are required to work on a project over the course of three years.

The project must impact some facet of the institution, whether it be their department, division or institution.  

There are two tracks available:

  1. Enhancing diversity, equity and inclusion
  2. Innovation

Note: As part of the application process for ELA, participants are required to describe their intended project and its perceived impact. 

Project Time Line 

In the first year of the program, participants plan and develop the implementation of the project. Participants meet with members of the advisory committee, members of their cohort, and their mentors to discuss the project for additional guidance and professional development. 

In the second year, participants are required to launch the project and evaluate its performance. A detailed report must be provided to the advisory board no later than March following the graduation.

In the third year, participants become a project mentor to the next executive leadership academy participants. 

For this element of the program, each participant has two mentors they will work with over the course of three years.

First Mentor 

The first mentor is a University of South Carolina executive who is closely matched with the participant's area of interest. Participants observe their leadership styles and effectiveness, decision-making and interaction with colleagues.

This mentorship is structured and participants are required to achieve specific milestones during this part of the program. 

Second Mentor

The second mentor is a woman in a leadership position outside of the University of South Carolina.

This mentorship is more organic. There are not any formalized milestones that must be achieved, but there must be at least monthly communication.  

The Executive Leadership Academy is designed for high potential faculty and staff with proven responsibility and accountability over at least one of the following areas:

  1. Managing a team of five or more people OR
  2. Providing direction/oversight to a program, system or large project.

Participants must be in good standing and working in a position as a University of South Carolina Columbia employee for at least 6 months. 

Faculty must be tenured or full professor, and staff must be at the level of director or above. 

Application Process

To apply for the Executive Leadership Academy, please submit all of the following items to Dr. Mary Alexander (malexand@mailbox.sc.edu) by April 15, 2022.

  • CV or resume
  • Two reference letters from either a leader within your organizational structure, a colleague or an employee you supervise
  • An essay describing what you hope to learn through your involvement in the program and details on your proposed project.

Below are some key points to include in your essay:

  • How do your current or past positions help you with this program?
  • How does this program connect to your larger employment and/or life goals?
  • What project do you propose to undertake within your department, college or institution? (Be specific)
  • How does this project or activity provide a way for you to develop as a leader?
  • What metrics will you use to ensure it was a successful project?

The essay should be no more than 2 pages, single-spaced, Times New Roman, 12-font, 1-inch margins. Essays that are merely a list of separate answers to these questions will not be competitive.

Selection Process 

The advisory committee will interview selected applicants and announce the cohort by the end of the semester.

Chair

Dr. Mary Alexander, Assistant Provost and Chief of Staff

Members

Ms. Caroline Agardy, Vice President for Human Resources

Dr. Jeannette Andrews, Dean of the College of Nursing

Dr. Shelley Dempsey, Director of On Your Time 

Dr. Deborah Hazzard, Darla Moore School of Business
Associate Dean and Faculty 

Dr. Karen Kassebaum, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Director of Diversity Education and Inclusive Excellence

Ms. Kim Pruitt, Division of Human Resources 
Assistant Director for Organizational Development

Ms. La Trice Ratcliff-Small, Office of Institutional Research Assessment, and Analytics
Manager of Institutional Effectiveness 

Dr. Sandra Jordan, Chancellor Emeritus, Special Advisor to the Committee


 


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