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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 Leaders (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 April 28, 2022.

Nominations for administrative executives must be submitted to Nathan Strong (strongn@mailbox.sc.edu) in the Organizational and Professional Development Office by May 16, 2022.

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 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 (ELP) 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).

Leadership is encouraged to use their succession plans to help determine which top candidates they want to endorse to apply for ELP. 

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 6 months.

This year 24 ELP participants will be selected through a competitive application and selection process.

Application Deadline: Applications must be submitted by Monday, June 27, 2022 at midnight.

Complete this form in its entirety to register to apply for ELP.

Once you register to apply for ELP in step 1 above, email the following items to kpruitt2@mailbox.sc.edu:

Your letter of interest containing the following key points:

  • Describe how the responsibilities of your current role qualify you to participate in ELP.
  • Describe the areas in which you have demonstrated your readiness to lead or make contributions to change at the university.
  • Provide a written statement indicating your personal objectives in participating in ELP.  Please reflect on how you expect to incorporate expertise and experiences gained from ELP to improve your performance and behavioral outcomes in your current role.

Pro tip: The letter of interest should be no more than 1 page, single-spaced, Times New Roman, 12-font, 1-inch margins. Letters that are merely a list of separate answers to these questions will not be competitive.

A letter of recommendation/endorsement from your leadership sponsor. 

  • Recommendation letters should indicate why they are endorsing you for the program and their commitment to support you throughout ELP, as well as pay for the cost of the program.  

Note: Applications missing a registration form, letter of intent or letter of recommendation will be considered incomplete and discarded.

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.

Applicants are notified of their application status by late July/early August. The program starts on August 30, 2022.

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 to register for ELP and submit your letter of interest and recommendation/endorsement letter to kpruitt2@mailbox.sc.edu.

Mid-May 2022 to Monday, June 27 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 2022.


Attendance Requirement: 85% session attendance is required for successful ELP completion. Please apply another year if you cannot commit to the dates below.

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 

Tuesday, August 30, 2022

1:00 pm - 4:00 pm 

Session 2 

Wednesday, August 31

9:00 am - 4:00 pm

Session 3 

Tuesday, September 27

9:00 am - 1:00 pm 

Session 4 

Wednesday, October 19

9:00 am - 4:00 pm 

Session 5 

Wednesday, November 16

9:00 am - 1:00 pm

Session 6 

Tuesday, December 6

9:00 am - 4:00 pm 

Session 7 

Thursday, January 26, 2023

9:00 am - 1:00 pm 

Session 8 

Friday, January 27

9:00 am - 4:00 pm 

Session 9 

Wednesday, February 22 

9:00 am - 4:00 pm 

Session 10 

Thursday, March 23

1:00 pm - 4:00 pm 

Session 11 

Wednesday, April 12

9:00 am - 4:00 pm 

Weather Makeup Day

Tuesday, April 18

9:00 am - 4:00 pm

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. 

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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