Thursday, February 22 , 2018, 5:43 am | Fair 36º


Antioch President Dr. Nancy Leffert to Retire June 2016

Nancy Leffert, Ph.D.

Dr. Nancy Leffert, president of Antioch University Santa Barbara, announced to the AUSB board of trustees that she would retire as president June 30, 2016.

The seven years that Dr. Leffert has been at AUSB’s helm have been marked by notable accomplishments, most visibly the renovation and repurposing of the building at Anacapa and Cota Streets into a stunning modern facility that became AUSB’s new campus.

She also was responsible for the development of two important new programs, the MBA in social business and non-profit management, and the women and leadership certificate program.

Thanks to her stewardship, the university also will roll out its new MFA in writing and contemporary media next fall.

During Dr. Leffert’s tenure, AUSB was named a Hispanic Serving Institution and was awarded a federal Title III grant, $1.6 million to launch AUSB’s College-to-Career initiative, a program intended to increase Latino students’ access to higher education that focuses on undergraduate degree completion and career success.

“Nancy Leffert was the right person at the right time for AUSB,” said Board Chair Victoria Riskin. “She infused the institution with excitement, direction, purpose and academic integrity. She increased enrollment and the endowment, and raised significant scholarship funds.

"She made good on her promise to make higher education available for students who would otherwise miss out. Not only has Nancy been a highly effective president, she has been wonderful to work with. She will be sorely missed,” Riskin said.

Dr. Nancy Leffert has had a long and distinguished career in higher education and social service administration and as a scholar, author and speaker.


An internationally recognized expert in the field of child and adolescent psychology, she created the Developmental Assets Framework that reshaped the dialogue around the development of healthy children and youth that is in use in over 500 communities across the country.

After obtaining her bachelor's and baster’s degrees from San Diego State University, she was awarded a Ph.D. in child psychology from the renowned Institute of Child Development at the University of Minnesota.    

“My years at Antioch University Santa Barbara have been the most significant and fulfilling of my professional life,” Dr. Leffert said. “I am honored to have had the opportunity to lead the campus during a challenging period for all colleges and universities, and yet despite those challenges, AUSB has experienced enormous growth in enrollment.

"That growth means that our focus on increasing access to higher education has been successful, and the collaborations and partnerships we have developed has resulted in new programs that are both relevant and responsive to the needs of students in our community. There is more I want to accomplish in the next nine months, but I will leave knowing that AUSB is thriving,” she said.

— Brian Dearth represents Antioch University Santa Barbara. 

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