Registration for Women’s Leadership Institute opens April 3

UofSC to host free daylong conference for women in higher education

At 8 a.m. today, online registration will open for one of the university’s most popular annual events. Based on recent years, it’s expected to fill up in 24 hours.

It’s the Women’s Leadership Institute, a free daylong conference of professional and personal development offerings for women in higher education that will take place April 26.

This year’s focus is embracing, navigating and leading change. The institute was launched in 2003 by the Provost Advisory Committee on Women’s Issues and has grown to become the largest annual women’s leadership event in higher education in South Carolina. 

There are 320 spots for this year’s institute, which will take place in the Russell House University Union and include a free light breakfast and lunch.

Registration is available online. This year’s event begins at 8:30 a.m. and will feature three keynote addresses with Provost Joan Gabel, Dennis Pruitt, vice president for student affairs and vice provost and dean of students, and Melanie Huggins, executive director of the Richland Library. Eighteen concurrent sessions will address topics ranging from inclusion and bias and leading with purpose to work-life balance and how to use social media to build research and leadership circles.

Resume review and mock interview sessions will run throughout the conference, which will conclude with networking and refreshments from 4–5:30 p.m.

Aisha Haynes, a program manager with the Center for Teaching Excellence, encourages faculty and staff to register.

“I love WLI! I’ve been attending the institute for about five years now and look forward to attending every year. What a remarkable event that brings fabulous women from SC together for outstanding networking opportunities and inspiring and motivational information sessions,” Haynes says.

Her sentiments were echoed by dozens of responses to last year’s post-institute survey.

“This conference is better and better each year,” one professor says. “It is a great opportunity to learn from other women. I appreciate the opportunity to take a day out of the office and focus on professional development.”

“This year’s WLI allowed me to capture my vision again and realize that it’s time to review my goals and add other short and long term goals,” a staff member says.

Another administrator says, “I enjoyed meeting women from various departments, offices, divisions and campuses to focus on common themes. It was nice to see women that I work with regularly and connect with them in a different way.”

Mary Alexander, assistant provost for academic administration, has lead the Women's Leadership Institute since 2011 and leads a 15-member committee. For more information about the 14th annual Women’s Leadership Conference, email Mary Alexander at

Share this Story! Let friends in your social network know what you are reading about