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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 two leadership development programs — Pipeline for Academy Leadership (PAL) and Emerging Leaders Program (ELP). 

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 ( in the Provost Office by Monday, April 15, 2019.

Nominations for administrative executives must be submitted to Nathan Strong ( in the Organizational and Professional Development Office by Wednesday, May 1, 2019.

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 2019-2020:

Thursday, August 15, 2019 from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Friday, August 16 from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Tuesday, September 17 from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Wednesday, October 9 from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Monday, November 11 from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Tuesday, December 10 from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Thursday, January 9, 2020 from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Friday, January 10 from 9:00 a.m.– 4:00 p.m.
Wednesday, February 12 from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Monday, March 16 from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Tuesday, April 28 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

The Emerging Leaders Program is for administrative professionals who are in a supervisory or management position and have the potential to hold a higher-level administrative leadership position at UofSC in the near future.

Participants must be working in a full-time staff position at the university. Supervisory experience and/or completion of the LEAD supervisory training program is strongly recommended.

Twenty-four (24) ELP participants are selected each academic year through a competitive application process. The applications and leadership endorsements must be submitted together, by Friday, May 24, 2019 at 5:00 pm EST

  • Application: Formal application [pdf] must be completed in its entirety. Incomplete applications may be rejected, without notification. 
  • Leadership Endorsement: Each applicant must be sponsored by a university leader. Leaders guarantee endorsement of the participant by (1) signing the bottom of the application and (2) providing a recommendation letter that indicates the leader:
    • will cover the cost of the program;
    • commits to support and guide their employee throughout this program giving due consideration to time requirements, office coverage, 360 assessment survey, and the provision of ongoing feedback;
    • identifies why they recommend this applicant at this time, over others, and what they hope the participant will gain from this program.

Endorsements must come from a department head, department chair, dean, provost, vice provost, associate vice president or vice president.

  • Submission: Submit application and endorsement to or Organizational and Professional Development Office, 1600 Hampton Street, Suite 101, Columbia. S.C. 29208. A review committee appointed by the Vice President of Human Resources reviews all applications to create a 24-member cohort, representing diverse work settings and roles across the university.

Program participants must attend at least 85% of the leadership sessions that run from August to April to receive a certificate of completion. Participants must participate in peer group coaching sessions and a project that may involve additional meeting time outside of the scheduled leadership sessions. Participants will participate in a 360° feedback process that includes an individual coaching session to create a personal SWOT analysis and an Individual Development Plan [pdf].

A non-refundable fee of $850 is charged to the sponsoring department. This fee is used solely to cover Emerging Leaders Program expenses including speaker fees, training materials, assessments and other costs.

Activity Completed No Later Than
HR emails “Call for Nomination” memorandum to vice presidents, provost, etc. Monday, April 8, 2019
Submission deadline for applications and nominations Friday, May 24, 2019
HR notifies applicants of their admission status Friday, June 28, 2019
Participants verify their commitment to the year‐long program  Friday, July 12, 2019
HR announces the participants to UofSC community  Thursday, August 1, 2019
Emerging Leaders Program begins  Thursday, September 5, 2019
Emerging Leaders Program concludes Friday, April 17, 2020

Reminder: 85% program attendance required for successful ELP completion.

Session Date Time
Session 1  Thursday, September 5, 2019 1:00 pm - 4:30 pm 
Session 2  Friday, September 6, 2019 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Session 3  Monday, September 30, 2019 9:00 am - 1:00 pm 
Session 4  Tuesday, October 15, 2019 9:00 am - 4:00 pm 
Session 5  Thursday, November 7, 2019 9:00 am - 1:00 pm
Session 6  Monday, December 9, 2019 9:00 am - 4:00 pm 
Session 7  Wednesday, January 22, 2020 9:00 am - 1:00 pm 
Session 8  Thursday, January 23, 2020 9:00 am - 4:00 pm 
Session 9  Thursday, February 20, 2020 9:00 am - 4:00 pm 
Session 10  Wednesday, March 18, 2020 1:00 pm - 4:30 pm 
Session 11  Friday, April 17, 2020 9:00 am - 4:00 pm 

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

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.

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.