June 29, 2010

Sherrer of Overland Park and McKechnie of Arcadia Assume Leadership Roles for 2010-2011

(TOPEKA) –On Thursday, June 24, the Kansas Board of Regents elected a new Chair and Vice Chair. The nine-member Board elected Gary Sherrer of Overland Park as the new Chair and Ed McKechnie of Arcadia as the new Vice Chair.

Gary Sherrer of Overland Park was appointed to the Kansas Board of Regents by former Governor Kathleen Sebelius in 2007. Sherrer previously served as Kansas’ 45th Lieutenant Governor. He was appointed Lieutenant Governor in 1996, the first individual in the state’s history to be appointed to the position, was subsequently elected in 1998, and served until 2003. Sherrer is the longest-serving Lieutenant Governor in Kansas history.

Sherrer began his professional career as a public school teacher, specializing in speech and debate, and then spent the majority of his career in banking. He served as the Secretary of the Kansas Department of Commerce from 1995-2002, is a past Chairman of the National Lieutenant Governors Association, and received the Carl Perkins Humanitarian Award in 2000 for his contributions to the advancement of career and technical education. His civic involvement includes serving as a Johnson County Community College Foundation Board Member. Sherrer has been involved in leadership training and development for more than 25 years and was a founder of the Leadership Kansas program.

Sherrer earned a bachelor’s degree from Emporia State University (ESU) and has received ESU’s Award of Excellence and Distinguished Alumni Award. He has two grown children and one grandchild.

“The future success of Kansas is tied to our state’s commitment to providing high quality and affordable access to higher education,” said Sherrer. “I look forward to working with my fellow Regents, institutional leaders, and Kansans to ensure that our higher education system emerges from the current economic challenge stronger and better positioned to meet the demands of the 21st century.”

Ed McKechnie of Arcadia was appointed by Governor Mark Parkinson in February 2010. He currently serves as a member of the Board Audit and Finance Committee. McKechnie is the Executive Vice President for Strategic Development and the Chief Commercial Officer for Watco Companies, Inc. in Pittsburg.

McKechnie is a member of the American Shortline and Regional Railroad Association and has served as a Chair of the Legislative Policy Committee and as a member of the Executive Committee. His is a former Kansas State Representative, serving from 1991-2001. As a State Representative, he served on various committees including the Appropriations, Transportation, Energy and Natural Resources, and State Building Committees. He also served as a member of the Joint Committee on Legislative Post Audit.

McKechnie earned his bachelor’s degree in Communications from Pittsburg State University in 1986. He and his wife, Kristine, have two sons and live on an American Quarter Horse Ranch near Arcadia.

“It is an honor to be elected to a leadership position on the Board,” said McKechnie. “The opportunities and challenges for our state’s higher education system over the coming year are numerous. We have a lot of work to do to make the improvements that the people of this state expect. I look forward to doing my part to make our universities the best they can be.”


About the Kansas Board of Regents:
The nine-member Kansas Board of Regents is the governing board of the state’s six universities and the statewide coordinating board for the state’s 32 public higher education institutions (seven public universities, nineteen community colleges, and six technical colleges). In addition, the Board administers the state’s student financial aid, adult education, GED, and career and technical education programs. The Board also authorizes private proprietary schools and out-of-state institutions to operate in Kansas, and administers the Kan-ed network, a statewide network that provides broadband Internet access and distance learning capabilities for schools, hospitals, and libraries.

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