In the Interim: UConn, NVU, RISD, NMEF Name Transitional Presidents

By John O. Harney

Comings and Goings …

Dr. Andrew Agwunobi

The University of Connecticut Board of Trustees appointed UConn Health CEO Dr. Andrew Agwunobi as interim president, the first person of color to hold the position in the history of the university. Agwunobi’s appointment follows the resignation of current University of Connecticut President Thomas C. Katsouleas, who will step down June 30 but plans to stay on as a professor at the university

The Northern Vermont University (NVU) Board of Trustees appointed John Mills, former president of Paul Smith’s College in New York and Mount Aloysius College in Pennsylvania, to serve as interim president, while a search is conducted for the president of a new combined entity of NVU, Vermont Technical College and Castleton University. NVU President Elaine Collins told the board in mid-May that she would be stepping down in August.

Rhode Island School of Design’s Board of Trustees appointed Dave Proulx as its interim president, while it searches for a replacement for President Rosanne Somerson, who is leaving at the end of June. Proulx formerly served as vice president of finance and administration, treasurer and special advisor to the president for revenue at Franklin & Marshall College, and before that, as associate vice president for finance at the University of New Hampshire.

The Nellie Mae Education Foundation elevated its vice president for strategy and programs, Gislaine N. Ngounou, to serve as interim president and CEO, effective June 1. The foundation expects Ngounou to remain in the interim role for six to 12 months as it pauses an external search and takes time to determine next steps around decisions of the future permanent leadership of the organization. She succeeds Nicholas C. Donohue who announced he’d step down as the organization’s president and CEO at the end of 2021 after 14 years in charge. He focused the foundation on student-centered approaches to learning and re-emphasized its grantmaking strategy to advance racial equity. In addition to supporting various NEBHE initiatives, the foundation funded a strategic communications partnership with NEJHE.

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