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Thursday, January 17 , 2019, 10:33 pm | Fog/Mist 56º


Nancy Leffert Named President of Antioch University Santa Barbara

She previously served as provost and chief executive officer of the university

Dr. Nancy Leffert has been selected as president of Antioch University Santa Barbara.

Leffert, who has a Ph.D. in child psychology from the University of Minnesota, Institute of Child Development, previously served as provost and chief executive officer of AUSB. As president, she will guide the growth of the Santa Barbara campus as it responds to the educational needs of Santa Barbara, the surrounding area students and the 21st century.

Dr. Nancy Leffert
Dr. Nancy Leffert

The Santa Barbara campus is one of five campuses in the distinguished Antioch University system.

“Dr. Leffert was unanimously selected by the Antioch University Santa Barbara Board of Trustees to become the new president,” said Victoria Riskin, chairwoman of the AUSB Board of Trustees, noting Leffert’s 35 years of experience in social service and higher education administration. “The trustees cited her impressive academic background, dynamic energy and passionate commitment to the growth of our campus in pledging their full and enthusiastic support.”

Antioch University Chancellor Dr. Tullisse Murdock added, “The university as a whole recognizes that over the past year, a strong foundation for the growth of the AUSB campus has taken place under the leadership of Dr. Leffert. AUSB is now poised to become a major leader in higher education in the Southern California region and beyond.”

AUSB’s mission and institutional goals include promoting innovative experiential learning and socially engaged citizenship, and ensuring students graduate with a renewed sense of their purpose as scholars and citizens.

“We are extremely fortunate to have as our new president such a warm and caring individual who brings to her new position outstanding academic credentials, polished administrative skills, and a strong commitment to our mission and institutional goals,” said Richard Whitney, AUSB’s executive dean of institutional research. “Our future looks bright!”

Most recently, before joining AUSB as its top administrator, Leffert was the associate dean for student services and program evaluation in the School of Psychology at Fielding Graduate University in Santa Barbara. She is a nationally-known scholar of adolescent development, known particularly for her work delineating factors that contribute to the positive development of young people. One aspect of this work was the creation of the Developmental Assets framework, which is used across the country in more than 500 communities as a tool to help mobilize around raising healthy children and adolescents.

In addition to her lengthy list of published books and scientific articles, Leffert has authored many reports and technical manuals, and has frequently been invited to give scholarly and community presentations.

“It is because of Dr. Nancy Leffert’s vision and leadership that I left my position of 20 years at UCSB to move to Antioch University,” said Dr. Britt Andreatta, chairwoman of the BA Program. “It is so inspiring to work with someone who puts quality teaching and student success above all else. She is a true educator and an excellent administrator. I am proud to be part of her team.”

Antioch University serves more than 4,000 adult students around the world and across the country, online and at its five campuses in four states.

— Jennifer Goddard is a publicist.


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