Last Friday, University of Connecticut Interim President and UConn Health CEO Dr. Andy Agwunobi wrote a letter to the UConn community announcing his decision to step down from both roles and assume a leadership position at Humana, a private sector healthcare company.
The Board of Trustees expects to name current Vice President for Research, Innovation and Entrepreneurship Radenka Maric as the interim president, effective Feb. 1, according to an announcement made Friday by Board of Trustees Chair Daniel Toscano.
This marks the second time in a year that UConn’s president is stepping down. Agwunobi took the position of interim president in May 2021 after former president Thomas Katsouleas stepped down.
The role of the president consists of various responsibilities, including the supervision of the university’s entire program of activities, according to University Spokesperson Stephanie Reitz. It is the president’s duty to ensure that the program of activities is consistent with those of comparable public colleges and universities.
As established by Connecticut state statute, the president serves as the chief executive administrative officer of the university, according to Reitz.
“The president leads a cabinet of vice presidents and others whose divisions, departments, and offices specialize in the various functions necessary to carry out UConn’s academic, research, economic development, and service missions,” Reitz said via email.
The president works under an employment contract and reports to the Board of Trustees. The terms and length of the contract are mutually agreed upon the president’s hire or renewal.
The president’s role involves “planning and management of the university’s financial resources; fundraising and development; promoting public, legislative and alumni relations; and attending various university-sponsored events,” Reitz said.
UConn’s president is also responsible for all educational and managerial affairs such as providing university leadership, implementing Board of Trustees policies and working in partnership with the Board and university community to advance its reputation, according to Reitz.
As UConn is an NCAA institution, the president must also work closely with the NCAA and the leadership of UConn Athletics to ensure compliance with NCAA policies and procedures.
As an ex officio member of all committees of the Board of Trustees, the president can participate in Board meeting discussions but cannot vote, according to UConn’s bylaws.
The specific duties of the president, as listed in UConn’s bylaws, are as follows:
1. To attend all meetings of the Board except when the Board requests otherwise.
2. To submit to the Board from time to time such recommendations and information concerning any phase of university policy or administration as may seem necessary to the best interests of the university.
3. To appoint, direct, and guide those members of the university staff who report to him/her.
4. To call and preside over meetings of the University Senate.
5. To oversee the development, implementation, and regular updating of the university’s Strategic Plan.
6. To appoint such committees as he/she deems necessary and define their duties.
7. To act as the official medium of communication between the Board of Trustees, university officers, and staff members.
8. To sign diplomas of students certified for graduation.
9. To summarize and coordinate the budget estimates submitted by schools, colleges, divisions, and departments, and in consultation with the Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and the Vice Presidents, prepare a budget adjusted to the income and the needs of the university.
10. To preserve at the university all papers and records ordered on file by the Board.
11. To present to the Board for prior approval the annual budget for each fiscal year.
12. To be the official representative of the Board of Trustees in all matters affecting the university which come before the General Assembly.
13. To be the official representative of the Board of Trustees in all matters affecting the university, which involve other departments of State Government or relations with the Federal Government.
14. To provide leadership in external relations, development, and fundraising.
15. To prepare such reports as are required by the Board, the state, and the federal government.
16. To make such organizational changes in university structure as does not affect degree programs or majors and report these matters to the Board at the next Board meeting. All actions involving the degree programs and the structure of schools and colleges will be brought to the Board for approval.