University of Connecticut Interim President Andrew Agwunobi to Step Down

University of Connecticut Interim President and CEO of UConn Health Andrew Agwunobi is leaving the university for a job at Humana, a Kentucky-based health insurance company.  Agwunobi, who has been interim president of UConn since July of last year and CEO of UConn Health since 2014, will step down effective February 20.  “While I am excited about this new opportunity, the decision to leave UConn and UConn Health was extremely difficult. 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,” Agwunobi said

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UConn Agreement in Doubt as Officials Plan New Dorm and Dining Hall

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MANSFIELD — A loophole in a 40-page agreement may allow the University of Connecticut to demolish one of the last architectural links to the college’s beginnings as the first state-supported agricultural school in the United States. The agreement, which was signed in 2017 after a lengthy fight that drew support from preservationists across the state, committed the university to maintaining two of nine faculty houses dating to between 1912 and 1920 that were part of a campus plan by noted landscape architect Charles Lowrie.  “We came to the table and signed it in good faith that it was an agreement.

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Lyme-Old Lyme Board of Ed Reviews Options for $40+ Million Renovations

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LYME/OLD LYME — A project to  upgrade four Lyme-Old Lyme school buildings is projected to cost taxpayers between $40 and $45 million, according to estimates provided the architectural firm QA + M on Wednesday night.  Earlier in June, the district approved a contract with the Farmington-based firm for $45,850 to evaluate the need for improvements to Mile Creek, Lyme School, Center school, as well as the district middle school.  On Wednesday, Rusty Malik, a principal at QA +M, presented the Board of Education with several options projected to cost between $41.8 and $44.5 million.  The district will need to bond

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COVID Cases Spike at Conn College, But Without Hospitalizations

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NEW LONDON — Connecticut College reported that 169 of its students tested positive for COVID-19 last week, after several gatherings in crowded spaces that led to a “chain reaction” of viral spread, according to epidemiologists from the Department of Public Health.   The number represents the highest cases reported in a single week at Connecticut College since the college began regularly testing students for COVID-19 in August of 2020. The students are tested twice weekly.  Victor Arcelus, dean of students at the college, said in a message to the community on Saturday that the college was starting to show a downward

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Low Vaccination Rates, Easy Exemptions Raise Concerns at Connecticut Colleges

Less than half of the students enrolled at the Connecticut State Community Colleges and 40 percent of students enrolled at the Connecticut State Universities have provided information about their vaccination status for COVID-19, despite a mandate put in place by the Board of Regents in June. Leigh Appleby, director of communications for the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities, told CT Examiner that, as of August 19, just over 14,200 of the approximately 32,800 currently enrolled at the Community Colleges have “attested” to having at least one dose of the vaccine. As of August 9, Appleby said that  8,870 of the

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Facing Steep Enrollment Declines, Fiscal Cliff, Community Colleges Accelerate Advisor Hiring

Enrollment at Connecticut’s community colleges suffered a “dramatic drop off” during the pandemic, falling to 19,000 students this year from a peak of 35,000 over the last decade — posing a significant financial risk to the Connecticut State Colleges and University system unless the decline is reversed before federal aid runs out in 2025. In response, the Board of Regents has announced plans to accelerate the hiring of 174 academic advisors, part of a nationwide “Guided Pathways” program currently being piloted at 3 of the state’s colleges to help improve enrollment, retention and graduation rates. The accelerated program comes at

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Staff and Faculty Immunizations Unresolved as State Schools Finalize Student Mandate

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Students at the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities, by and large, will be required to be vaccinated this fall — but the requirements for unionized faculty and staff remain unresolved. The policy, which the Board of Regents adopted in a meeting on Thursday, requires all students on campus to be vaccinated when they return to campus for the fall of 2021. Students can apply for a medical or non-medical exemption. Those who are approved for an exemption may have to follow other protocols, including a modified quarantine, masking and periodic COVID testing.  “An unknown mixture of vaccinated and unvaccinated persons

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UConn to Require Vaccinations for Returning Students, Faculty and Staff an ‘Ongoing Discussion’

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Students at the University of Connecticut will be required to receive the COVID-19 vaccine before returning to study in the fall. The university Board of Trustees voted unanimously on Friday to adopt a policy that Dr. Andrew Agwunobi, the interim president of the University of Connecticut and CEO of UConn Health, presented during the meeting.  Agwunobi said that students should get vaccinated before coming back to campus. If they cannot get vaccinated prior to the return, he said, the university will make vaccines available for them when they arrive on campus. He explained that changes in weather, variants and the

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