A unique opportunity for aspiring woman and gender diverse leaders in higher education.

The University of Vermont is proud to be a supporter of the HERS Leadership Institute, an intensive professional development experience for women and people who are gender diverse. The HERS program is open to all faculty and staff regardless of gender identity.

HERS - A Leadership Development Program 

The HERS Leadership Institute is a transformational, leadership development program focused on women and people who are gender diverse in higher education, founded to fill leadership pipelines across the United States with dynamic leaders, each capable of ushering their respective institutions into a more inclusive and equitable future.

Participants are asked to share their vision of leadership and what they hope to contribute to their respective institutions, and are then challenged to develop the skills to actualize their professional vision. As a noncompetitive space, participants are also encouraged to champion the growth of other participants. Alumnae of the HERS Leadership Institute emerge better-skilled and more confident in leading with their unique voice, providing a much-needed infusion of bold, new leadership to their respective institutions.

Program Overview

About the HERS Leadership Institute

The HERS Leadership Institute is one of several programs offered by Higher Education Resource Services (HERS), an educational non-profit providing leadership and management development focused on women and people who are gender diverse in higher education administration. HERS has served the higher education community since 1972, preparing more than 4300 faculty and administrators for leadership roles.

HERS Leadership Institutes attendees include faculty, academic administrators, professional staff, and senior executives from all areas of the academy. The Institutes' faculty, instructors, and guest speakers include current and former women presidents, provosts, deans, and other top-level administrators and leaders in higher education.

Who Should Attend

The HERS Leadership Institute is an inclusive program, with a focus on women and people who are gender diverse. All HERS programs are open to all regardless of gender identity. It is designed for faculty and staff who generally hold mid-to-senior level positions in higher education and have a desire to emerge as more dynamic leaders for themselves and their institutions. This setting replicates what could happen on campus if faculty, staff, and admins were all working together, allowing everyone to gain insight into the unique perspectives of each role and learn from one another.

Participants will represent a range of racial and ethnic groups, nationalities, veteran and disability statuses, religious affiliations, ages, and years of experience in higher education, thereby broadening the range of perspectives and insights brought to each session.

Curricular & Subject-Matter Experts

One of the distinguishing features of the HERS Leadership Institute are the facilitators and panelists, practitioners and scholars each, who are hand-picked based on their breadth of experience and scholarly work. They are proven leaders, featuring both chief academic and chief executive officers, who can share research and scholarship on the topic, as well as bring in real-life situations or cases for the class to dissect and discuss. Areas of expertise include but are not limited to the following topics:

  • Innovation and Change
  • Inclusive Leadership
  • Communicating Change
  • Budget and Fiscal Principles
  • Navigating Legal Issues
  • Team (re)Building

Benefits of Program Attendance

  • Prepare for future higher education administrative roles
  • Gain perspective on key issues in higher education globally and nationally
  • Understand key institutional decision-making and change processes
  • Focus on individual skills and career development
  • Experience a supportive learning environment
  • Access a worldwide network of women academic and administrative leaders

Program Schedule - Required Sessions


The Weekend HERS Leadership Institute occurs over 4 staggered weekends during the academic year.  The 2023 – 2024 sessions are listed below. Please note, each session runs Thursday 8:00 am – Saturday 12:00 pm ET)

Dates for 2023-2024 are:

  • September 28-30, 2023
  • November 2-4, 2023
  • February 15-17, 2024
  • March 21-23, 2024

Location:  Warrenton, VA.

Program Cost

UVM Human Resources and the Division of Finance offer scholarships to fully fund the tuition and other expenses (hotel and mileage) for 2 faculty and/or staff to attend the HERS Leadership Institute from UVM.

The university will directly pay the tuition to HERS and will reimburse expenses for housing and transportation costs.

UVM Application & Selection Process

How to Apply

Applications for the 2024-2025 HERS Leadership institute are due March 15, 2024.

When submitting an application, please do not submit your application directly to HERS. To be considered for the HERS program through UVM, and receive the funding subsidy, you will need to submit all documents together as a single PDF in one email to wage@uvm.edu by the announced deadline for UVM applicants.  Applications for the 2024-2025 program will not be considered until March 2024.


  1. In 25 words or less, please share why you would like to attend the HERS Institute
  2. In 25 words or less, please share why now is the time for you to attend the HERS Institute


  • Your role, responsibilities, years of experience, department and who you report to


  • Institution attended, degree earned, and concentration of study


  • Upload your institution's organization chart along with a summary of your role, how you contribute to your organization's success as a leader, and where you see yourself in five years.


  1. List your core skills and professional interests
  2. Describe past, current, and/or future projects utilizing your leadership skills and abilities. In 1,000 characters or less.
  3. Describe your Major Career Accomplishments (fill in the blank)
  4. Provide a Short Bio summary in 3,000 characters or less. For guidelines on writing short bios that tells your story, please visit: https://bit.ly/2QeOsed

We encourage you to reach out to one of the following individuals at your institution to secure a recommendation:

  • President/Chancellor
  • Provost/Vice-President Academic Affairs
  • Chief Student Affairs Officer
  • Chief Financial/Budget Officer
  • Chief Diversity Officer
  • Chief Advancement/Development Officer
  • Chief Information Technology Officer
  • Chief Human Resources/Talent Management Officer
  • Chief Enrollment/Admissions Officer

This letter is a requirement because we want you to think across the institution and beyond your role. If you’ve never met these senior officers, this is a great opportunity to introduce yourself.

Tips for Successfully Submitting Your Recommendation:

  • The letter should address the applicant's potential for leadership, ability to complete a campus leadership project and some acknowledgement that the applicant's supervisor supports their attendance in the HERS Leadership Institute.

HERS alumnae are expected to share what they learn with the UVM community and assist in the selection of candidates for the next year.

Application Due Date

UVM applications are due by 12:00 PM EST on March 15th, 2024.

UVM applications received after the deadline will not be accepted.

Selection Process & Criteria

Each year, a Selection Committee comprised of past UVM HERS participants reviews all applications and put forth a recommendations to UVM senior leadership. 

Selection Criteria

Alumnae of the HERS program have developed a list of criteria to help ensure a good match between people and the program. The criteria include:
  • Length of employment and history of contributions to UVM
  • Potential for further contribution to UVM and/or higher education
  • Clarity of purpose
  • Demonstrated commitment to women's issues
  • Demonstrated commitment to diversity and inclusion
  • Ability to demonstrate how attendance at HERS will enhance your overall career plan

In addition, factors related to maintaining a good mix of faculty and staff representation will be considered.



2023-2024 HERS participants from UVM announced!

Congratulations to Payne Hiraldo, M.Ed., and Courtney Giles, Ph.D. for being selected to represent the University of Vermont during the 2023-2024 HERS Leadership Institute.


Contact Us

For more information about UVM's participation in the HERS Leadership Institute, contact the Center for Women and Gender Equity via email at wage@uvm.edu.


Learn More about HERS

Visit the HERS Women Leaders in Higher Education Network and the HERS Leadership Institute.

Note: UVM faculty and staff who are interested in UVM sponsorship should not apply through the HERS website. See application instructions.


Meet UVM HERS Alumnae

For nearly four decades--since 1984--UVM has sponsored HERS Leadership Institute attendance for over 60 women faculty and staff members: a fact we're very proud of. 

List of Past Participants

  • Elizabeth Adams
  • Patricia Ainsworth
  • Patricia Armstrong
  • Lisa Aultman-Hall
  • Elisabeth Baker
  • Kate Baldwin
  • DeMethra LaSha Bradley
  • Pam Brown
  • Melody Burkins
  • Diana Cain
  • Mary Canales
  • Susan Comerford
  • Dani Comey
  • Cynthia Cowie
  • Joanne Cummings
  • Wendy Davis
  • Isabelle Desjardins
  • Marguerite DeSpain
  • Stephanie Dion
  • Christina Fearon
  • Rose Feenan
  • Christie Fengler-Stephany
  • Lacretia Johnson Flash
  • Janet Franz
  • Pamela E. Gardner
  • Pamela K.Gardner
  • Shirley Gedeon
  • Ellen Hall
  • Jeralyn Haraldson
  • Sharon Henry
  • Shelby Hinkle Smith
  • Jill Hoppenjans
  • Kim Howard
  • Jinny Huh
  • Anne Huot
  • Kate Jerman
  • Jilliene  M  Johnson
  • Karol Josselyn
  • Stephanie Kaza
  • Jean Kiedaisch
  • Margaret King
  • Jane Kolodinsky
  • Leslye Kornegay
  • Mikyung Kwon
  • Emily Manetta
  • Kathleen Manning
  • Kim Martin
  • Ellen McShane
  • Josie Mercure
  • Edith Ann Miller
  • Patricia Nowlan
  • Nancy Oliker
  • Leslie Parr
  • Kathleen Payne
  • Mary Reilly
  • Cynthia Reyes
  • LuAnn Rolley
  • Mara Saule
  • Kay Francis Schepp
  • Lisa Schnell
  • Helga Schreckenberger
  • Lori Shatney-Leach
  • Judith S. Shaw
  • Susan Skalka
  • Sharon Snow
  • Veronica Sosa-Gonzalez
  • Erica Spiegel
  • Tiffanie Spencer
  • Emily J. Stebbins-Wheelock
  • Sonya Stern
  • Anne Sullivan
  • Beth Taylor-Nolan
  • Susan Vanecek
  • Christina Vega
  • Ruth Wallman
  • Robyn Warhol
  • Cynthia Wellinger
  • Lynn C. White Cloud
  • Harriet Williams
  • Debbie Worthley
  • Sheri Youngberg