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News

UConn president announces move to private sector

UCONN
Joe Amon
/
Connecticut Public
Andrew Agwunobi, physician and interim president of the University of Connecticut, arrives for a walk about the campus on move in day in Storrs, Connecticut August 27, 2021.

University of Connecticut’s interim president, Dr. Andrew Agwunobi is stepping down after roughly six months at the helm of the state’s premiere public research institution. The university announced today Agwunobi will take a job at health insurance company Humana.

Agwunobi has led UConn since July 2021. He took over for the previous president Thomas Katsouleas, who stepped down after just two years on the job, amid tensions with members of the board of trustees surrounding the rushed announcement of an underfunded scholarship program.

Agwunobi has also been serving as CEO of UConn Health since 2014, holding both positions in recent months.

"I had no plans to leave UConn, but a unique and unexpected opportunity in the private sector presented itself and while I am excited about this new chapter, the decision to leave UConn was a difficult one,” Agwunobi said in a statement. “I am immensely grateful for my time at UConn and UConn Health and I wish the Board of Trustees, the UConn Health Board of Directors, my colleagues, and our faculty, staff and students all the best.”

Radenka Maric, UConn Vice President for Research, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, is expected to take over as interim president at the start of next month. Maric has served as Vice president for research since 2017, according to a release from UConn. She oversees the university’s $375 million research enterprise at the main campus in Storrs, the UConn Health campus in Farmington, the School of Law in Hartford, and four regional campuses around the state.

A national search for president will begin immediately, with the goal of naming UConn’s next president by this fall, according to UConn Board Chair Daniel Toscano. He offered congratulations to Andrew Agwunobi in a statement.

“Dr. Andy is an executive of the highest caliber who has been both an outstanding leader and a great partner to the Board of Trustees and the UConn Health Board of Directors,” Toscano wrote. “While we are sad to see him go, Andy is pursuing a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to lead a ground-breaking effort to transform health care delivery as we know it.”

The dean of the UConn School of Medicine, Bruce Liang, is expected to be named interim CEO of UConn Health, also effective Feb. 1.