Kansas Board of Regents

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Kansas Board of Regents
Kansas Board of Regents Logo.png
Abbreviation KBOR
Motto Leading Higher Education
Formation July 1, 1925
Purpose educational oversight
Headquarters 1000 SW Jackson Street
Suite 520
Topeka, Kansas, U.S.
32 public institutions
President & CEO
Blake Flanders
Zoe Newton
Website www.kansasregents.org

The Kansas Board of Regents is a body consisting of nine members that governs six state universities in the U.S. state of Kansas. In addition to these six universities, it also supervises and coordinates nineteen community colleges, five technical colleges, six technical schools and a municipal university. Refer to the list of colleges and universities for details on the individual schools.

Kansas Board of Regents is located in Kansas
Emporia St.
Emporia St.
Fort Hays St.
Fort Hays St.
Kansas St.
Kansas St.
Pittsburg St.
Pittsburg St.
Univ. of Kansas
Univ. of Kansas
Wichita St.
Wichita St.
Member universities of the Kansas Board of Regents


The 1854 Kansas-Nebraska Act established the U.S. territory of Kansas, opening the territory for settlement. Shortly thereafter in 1859, the Kansas Constitution was adopted, which stated: "Provisions shall be made by law for the establishment, at some eligible and central point, of a State University, for the promotion of literature and the arts and sciences, including a normal and agricultural department." Kansas was admitted as the 34th state to the United States on January 29, 1861, under the terms of this constitution.[1]

By 1863, the Legislature had established Kansas State Agricultural College (the state's land-grant college) in Manhattan; the University of Kansas in Lawrence; and the Kansas State Normal School (later Emporia State University) in Emporia. A 1900 Congressional Act provided abandoned military reservation land at Fort Hays near Hays to the State for the western branch of the Emporia Teachers College, known as the Western Branch State Normal School (later Fort Hays State University), and in 1903, the Legislature established the Normal Training Auxiliary of the Emporia Normal School in Pittsburg (later Pittsburg State University). With five state institutions of higher education, Governor Walter Stubbs appointed a three-member committee in 1911 to study the state schools, colleges and universities, each of which was governed by its own separate board, and to make a recommendation regarding the creation of a single controlling board for all five.[1]

In 1913, after much discussion and debate, the Legislature and the Governor settled on the creation of a centralized three-member Board of Administration to govern the five state schools of higher education. The members of this Board of Administration were appointed by the Governor and confirmed in Executive Session by the Senate. All could be from the same political party and all could be from the same geographic location. They were each paid the sum of $3,500 per year for their service and had expenses covered. They were charged with overseeing business operations at the universities, providing a biennial report to the Legislature, and hiring the chief executives of the institutions.[1]

By 1917, a new Board of Administration was created, composed of the Governor and three members appointed by the Governor. This new Board of Administration took control of seven educational institutions (the five state schools as well as the School for the Deaf and the School for the Blind) as well as the penal, correctional, and charitable institutions of the State. Board members continued to receive a salary of $3,500 per year and were given the authority to hire one paid secretary. New provisions for the Board also set forth methods for contracting with vendors, drafting policy, setting guidelines for chief executives and business officers of the institutions, and providing purpose and direction for the Board.[1]

Following an episode of unprecedented political meddling in higher education by the Governor and Board of Administration, in 1925 the Legislature again separated control of the state higher education system from the other state institutions and created the first entity equivalent to the modern-day Board of Regents. This was a body of nine citizen members, appointed by the Governor, who served without pay, met on a statutory schedule, and governed the five state institutions of higher education. This act dissolved the Board of Administration.[1]

Just eight years later, responding to sentiment that the Board was not aggressive enough in support of the schools, the 1933 Legislature adopted a resolution directing the Board of Regents to make a “thorough survey” of the five state institutions of higher education. The purpose of this study was to help develop a plan for coordination and unification. The survey covered topics from state funding ($2.80 per capita in 1932) to the history and purposes of the institutions themselves. The results of this survey helped to spur the 1939 changes to the Board.[1]

In 1939, the Legislature recreated the nine-member Board of Regents as a bi-partisan board, each member of which would serve a staggered four-year term. Also at this time, the Legislature added to the Board’s jurisdiction the State School for the Deaf and the State School for the Blind, as well as Western University and Kansas Vocational School, two Black schools. The Governor was to appoint members to the Board and the Senate would confirm them. Five of the members were appointed from the same party as that receiving the highest votes for Secretary of State, while the remaining four were from the party receiving the second highest votes. This legislation also gave the Board the power to appoint and remove executive heads, deans, professors, teachers, or other employees at the institutions it governed.[1]

The Educational Building Fund, which receives receipts from a 1.0 statewide mill levy on property, was authorized by a constitutional amendment in 1918, but the first levy was not made until 1942. The Educational Building Fund levy has been at least 1.0 mill since 1955.[1]

In 1964, Wichita State University was brought under the Board of Regents, bringing the number of state universities governed by the Board to six.[1]

Kansas voters approved a Constitutional amendment in 1966 to provide for a nine-member Board of Regents and its supervision and control of public institutions of higher education. The Kansas Constitution now requires that members of the Board be appointed by the Governor, confirmed by the Senate, serve four-year, staggered terms of office, and be representative of each congressional district.[1]

The 1974 Session of the Legislature made provision for a payment of $35 per meeting day stipend for the members of all state boards, including the Board of Regents.[1]

One year later, in 1975, the responsibility for administering student assistance and federal programs was transferred from the State Education Commission to the Board of Regents. Additionally, the Legislature enacted a statute calling for the creation of the Students’ Advisory Committee, consisting of the president of each state university’s student senate. This committee was established to provide student representation at Board meetings and for consultation with the Regents on policies and issues relating to students.[1]

During 1976, oversight of the Kansas Technical Institute at Salina was transferred from the State Board of Education to the Board of Regents and in 1988 the name of the Technical Institute was changed to the Kansas College of Technology. By 1991, the Kansas College of Technology had merged with Kansas State University and renamed the Kansas State University-Salina, College of Technology.[1]

In 1996, the Legislature introduced the concept of Qualified Admissions, requiring that students seeking admission to the six state universities meet one of three requirements or be admitted as an exception to these requirements.[1]

The next notable change to the Board of Regents occurred in 1999 with the passage of Senate Bill No. 345. This bill recreated the Board of Regents into what it is today, a body that governs the state universities, supervises the community colleges, technical colleges, and Washburn University, and coordinates all postsecondary education in Kansas. Senate Bill 345 also transferred responsibility for adult basic education, GED testing and regulation of private and out-of-state higher education institutions from the Department of Education to the Board of Regents.[1]

The KAN-ED Act, the purpose of which is to provide for a broadband technology-based network to which schools, libraries and hospitals may connect for broadband internet access and intranet access for distance learning, was enacted in 2001, charging the Board with creation of such a network.[1]

By 2008, plans were finalized for the last of the area vocational and area vocational-technical schools to either merge or affiliate with existing public institutions of higher education or seek individual accreditation as a technical college. The resulting Board of Regents system included six state universities, nineteen community colleges, six technical colleges and one municipal university.[1]

In 2009, House Bill 2197 transferred the authority to set Qualified Admissions requirements for the six state universities from the Legislature to the Board of Regents.[1]

In December 2012, the Kansas Board of Regents — responding to a controversial tweet by University of Kansas Professor David Guth — adopted a social media policy that the Lawrence Journal-World called "broad, vague, and chilling" and that the Kansas City Star said set up a "chilling environment that runs contrary to the ideal of academic freedom.”[1]

Member selection[edit]

The Kansas Board of Regents has nine members, each of whom is appointed by the Governor of Kansas. Current Board members are listed below. Each Board Member also serves on various committees that address higher education issues. Their terms of office are indicated in parenthesis following their names.[2]

Current members[edit]

The current members and their terms:[2]

  • Zoe Newton, Chair (June 2018)
  • Joe Bain (June 2018)
  • Shane Bangerter, (June 2017)
  • Ann Brandau-Murguia (June 2017)
  • Bill Feuerborn (June 2018)
  • Dave Murfin, Vice-Chair (June 2019)
  • Dennis A. Mullin (June 2019)
  • Daniel J. Thomas (June 2019)
  • Helen Van Etten (June 2017)
  • Blake Flanders, President/CEO

Schools governed by the Board of Regents[edit]

The Kansas Board of Regents oversees 33 institutions, one of which is an independent municipal university.[3]

Public universities[edit]

Institution Location (Main) Founded Joined KBOR Enrollment (Fall 2016) President/Chancellor
Emporia State University Emporia 1863 1925 5,887 Allison Garrett
Fort Hays State University Hays 1902 14,658 Andy Tompkins (interim)
Kansas State University Manhattan 1863 23,779 Richard Myers
Pittsburg State University Pittsburg 1903 7,102 Steven A. Scott
University of Kansas Lawrence 1865 28,401 Bernadette Gray-Little
Wichita State University Wichita 1895 1964 14,474 John Bardo
Total Enrollment (2016–17) 94,301

Public community and technical colleges[edit]

Institution Location Founded Joined KBOR Enrollment (Fall 2016) President
Allen Community College Iola 1923 1999 2,344 John Masterson
Barton Community College Great Bend 1965 5,884 Carl Heilman
Butler Community College El Dorado 1927 9,375 Kimberly Krull
Cloud County Community College Concordia 1965 2,036 Danette Toone
Coffeyville Community College Coffeyville 1923 1,707 Linda Moley
Colby Community College Colby 1964 1,255 Stephen Vacik
Cowley County Community College Arkansas City 1922 2,866 Dennis C. Rittle
Dodge City Community College Dodge City 1935 1,804 Don Woodman
Flint Hills Technical College Emporia 1963 1,006 Dean Hollenbeck
Fort Scott Community College Fort Scott 1919 1,862 Clayton Tatro
Garden City Community College Garden City 1919 2,013 Herbert Swender
Highland Community College Highland 1858 2,917 David Reist
Hutchinson Community College Hutchinson 1928 5,880 Edward Berger
Independence Community College Independence 1925 1,077 Daniel Barwick
Johnson County Community College Overland Park 1969 19,174 Joseph Sopcich
Kansas City Kansas Community College Kansas City 1923 5,731 Doris Pichon Givens
Labette Community College Parsons 1923 1,587 George Knox
Manhattan Area Technical College Manhattan 1965 825 Rob Edleston
Neosho County Community College Chanute 1936 2,084 Brian Inbody
North Central Kansas Technical College Beloit 1996 909 Eric Burks
Northwest Kansas Technical College Goodland 1964 812 Ed Mills
Pratt Community College Pratt 1935 1,191 Mike Calvert
Salina Area Technical College Salina 1965 580 Greg Goode
Seward County Community College Liberal 1967 1,927 Duane Dunn
Wichita Area Technical College Wichita 1965 3,592 Anthony Kinkel
Total Enrollment (2016–17) 80,418

Municipal universities[edit]

Institution Location Founded Joined KBOR Enrollment (Fall 2016) President
Washburn University1 Topeka 1865 1999 6,636 Jerry Farley

Clark Coco (Dean)2

Washburn Institute of Technology Topeka 1964 1,335
Total Enrollment (2016–17) 7,971
  1. Washburn University is on the independent board, of which the Kansas Board of Regents holds one seat.
  2. Washburn Institute of Technology is operated by Washburn University.

See also[edit]


Scott Rothschild & Ben Unglesbee, “New social media policy is broad, vague, and ‘chilling’” Lawrence Journal-World, 19 Dec. 2013.

“Kansas Board of Regents social media rules imperil free speech,” Kansas City Star, 20 Dec. 2013.

External links[edit]