CAMBRIDGE -- The president of Lesley University announced she will step down after a 20-year tenure in which Lesley grew from a small college to the one of the largest graduate programs for teachers in the country.
Margaret McKenna said she will resign in June 2007.
''I just celebrated my 20th anniversary, so it just seemed like the right time," she said in an interview Thursday. McKenna, who began her career as a civil rights lawyer, served in the Carter administration as an undersecretary of education and deputy counsel to the president.
''I'm not retiring," said McKenna, 60. ''I'm just stepping down from this job."
Under McKenna's stewardship since 1985, Lesley has made the transition from a college to a university, seen its endowment balloon from less than $1 million to $77 million, and jumped in enrollment from 2,000 to 12,000.
''Margaret McKenna's tenure has been the most exciting period of Lesley's nearly 100-year history," Don Perrin, chairman of the university's board of trustees, said in a written statement.
A national search for a new president will be led by Deborah Schwartz Raizes, vice chairwoman of the board of trustees.
McKenna said she plans to stay in Boston and continue to work on civil rights issues and her other passions. She described Lesley as a place where people believe they have a responsibility to make the world a better place.
''That's like a gift, to be in a place like that," McKenna said.