June 16, 2011

McKechnie of Arcadia & Emert of Independence Assume Leadership Roles

(TOPEKA) – Today the Kansas Board of Regents elected a new Chair and Vice Chair for 2011 to 2012. The nine-member board elected Ed McKechnie of Arcadia as the new Chair and Tim Emert of Independence as the new Vice Chair.

“Higher education is such a vital element in the future success of our state’s economy and our citizens, and I’m humbled to have been selected to lead the Board in the coming year,” said McKechnie. “The work of my fellow Regents and our institutions in the coming year must focus on the vital issues of funding, access, and quality if the system is to meet the demands of the local, regional, and global market, and the overall needs of Kansans. The opportunities that are before us are greater than the challenges we face. Our colleges and universities are a key asset in our Kansas economic development team, and our graduates make an immediate and positive impact on the Kansas economy. I look forward to working with my colleagues on the Board and with our college and university CEOs for a successful year.”

McKechnie was appointed to the Board by former Governor Mark Parkinson in 2010. He served as the Board’s Vice Chair from 2010 to 2011, and he currently serves as a member of the Board’s Academic Affairs Committee. McKechnie is the Executive Vice President for Strategic Development and the Chief Commercial Officer for Watco Companies, Inc. in Pittsburg. He is a member of the American Shortline and Regional Railroad Association, and served as a Chair of the Legislative Policy Committee and as a member of the Executive Committee. McKechnie is a former Kansas State Representative, serving from 1991 to 2001. 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’s an honor to be elected to this leadership position,” said Emert. “The impact of higher education cannot be overlooked, in terms of the positive contributions to our economy and the lifelong contributions of our citizens. Although our challenges are numerous, so are our opportunities for success. I look forward to helping make our state’s higher education system the best it can be.”

Emert was appointed to the Board by former Governor Mark Parkinson in 2010. He currently serves as a member of the Board’s Fiscal Affairs and Audit Committee, as the Board’s representative to the Midwest Higher Education Compact, and on the Kansas State University Research Foundation Board. Emert is a partner in the Scoval, Emert, Heasty, Chubb and Gettler law firm in Independence. He earned an Associate Degree from Independence Community College and went on to earn a B.S. in Journalism and a Juris Doctor from the University of Kansas. Emert and his wife, Barbara, have three adult daughters and one grandchild.


About the Kansas Board of Regents:
The nine-member Kansas Board of Regents, founded in 1925 and established in the Kansas Constitution, is the governing board of the six state universities and the statewide coordinating board for the state’s 32 public higher education institutions (six state universities, one municipal university, 19 community colleges, and six technical colleges). In addition, the Board administers the state’s student financial aid, adult education, GED, career and technical education programs, and the state university retirement plans. The Board also approves 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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