Timeline for new university president selection remains uncertain


The University of Connecticut and UConn Board of Trustees have not begun the process of searching for a new permanent university president and have no timeline of when they may begin.

Last May, former President Thomas Katsouleas suddenly announced his resignation from the presidency reportedly due to differences he had with the University Board of Trustees. The Board of Trustees quickly filled Katsouleas’ vacancy with UConn Health CEO Dr. Andrew Agwunobi, who became interim university president. Since then, the University of Connecticut Board of Trustees has given no further update to the selection of a new permanent president.

The last time the Board of Trustees had to select a new president was when Susan Herbst announced in May of 2018 that she would be stepping down from the role after the following  academic year. That next February of 2019, the Board of Trustees announced that they had voted unanimously to appoint Thomas Kasouleas to be president of the university.  

When asked about when the Board of Trustees may begin its search for a new president, Stephanie Reitz, UConn spokesperson, said the Board of Trustees does not plan to begin the search process in the near term and thus far has not started the process. 

“At the time that Dr. Agwunobi was appointed interim president this past summer, the Board of Trustees indicated that it does not plan to begin a search process in the near term and has not made any decisions regarding its potential timing,” Reitz said. 

Reitz also emphasized that UConn and the Board of Trustees has confidence in Dr. Agwunobi and his ability to lead UConn during this difficult period.  

“The board feels strongly that Dr. Agwunobi is well known and trusted for his knowledge and judgment, and is ideally suited to lead UConn during this period. The board and the administration are focused on maintaining and advancing UConn’s forward momentum while minimizing any disruption due to this summer’s leadership change. The continued success of our students, faculty, and staff is our highest priority, along with high-quality patient care at UConn Health and active engagement with our many alumni,” Reitz said. 

When asked whether Dr. Agwunobi would be included in the search for a new president, Reitz stated he would contribute if the Board of Trustees asked him to contribute.  

“While the search process has not yet begun, as always, he would contribute to any effort the board asked him to contribute to,” Reitz stated.  

Finally, when asked about whether or not the sudden leadership change caused by Former President Katsouleas’ resignation as well as the controversy surrounding the Board of Trustees handling of the matter would affect the board’s selection process in any way, Reitz said it would not. 

Reitz also reiterated that the university will provide students with updates on the selection process of a new president as soon as they become available.  

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