Dr. Andrew Agwunobi, UConn, vaccine, staff
Interim UConn President Dr. Andrew Agwunobi at a press conference in July. Credit: Hugh McQuaid / CTNewsJunkie

Dr. Andrew Agwunobi, the University of Connecticut’s interim president, will resign the post next month to take a private sector job at the Kentucky-based health insurance company, Humana, the university announced Friday.

Agwunobi, who since 2014 has been CEO of UConn Health, became UConn’s temporary president last July after the sudden resignation of the university’s last president, Thomas Katsouleas. As he departs to become president of the Humana’s Home Solutions business, Agwunobi leaves his positions at both UConn and UConn Health on Feb. 20. 

“While I am excited about this new opportunity, the decision to leave UConn and UConn Health was extremely difficult,” Agwunobi wrote in a letter to the UConn community. “This is an amazing university and special place. It has truly been an honor to serve as a leader here and to work with all of you.”

Gov. Ned Lamont, in a statement Friday morning, praised Agwunobi’s “thoughtful outlook and positive demeanor.”

“Dr. Agwunobi has helped to steer UConn and UConn Health through unprecedented times, all while overseeing significant growth in research and enrollment,” Lamont said. 

In a Humana press release, Agwunobi said he was excited to explore ways to transform the home health industry.

“As the ongoing COVID pandemic has accelerated interest in and shifts to in-home care and home health models, I’m highly confident that we will be able to help the people we serve achieve better health outcomes,” Agwunobi said. “My experience to date has prepared me well for this new opportunity with Humana.”

The departure leaves UConn appointing a second interim president since July. In an email, Stephani Reitz, a spokesperson for the university, said UConn’s Board of Trustees would meet on Jan. 26 and expected to name Vice President for Research, Innovation and Entrepreneurship Radenka Maric as interim president. Meanwhile, UConn School of Medicine Dean Dr. Bruce Liang would take over as interim head of UConn Health. 

In a letter to the community, Daniel Toscano, chair of the Board of Trustees, said the board would name an advisory committee in the next few weeks to aid in the search for a new president and a steering committee which would include faculty, staff, alumni and current students. 

“This continues to be a period of transition for UConn, as we knew it would be,” Toscano wrote,  “and we look ahead to a successful search process at this critical time in UConn’s and Connecticut’s history.”