TOPEKA -- This statement was given to 13 News from Board of Regents chair Gary Sherrer, who resigned from the post on Wednesday.
"For some time there have been serious philosophical differences between myself and some members of the Board of Regents. I believe Regents have a responsibility to aggressively seek and implement changes required to provide a competitive, high quality 21st Century system of higher education. Some Board members have opposed this philosophy and prefer a more laissez-faire approach to governance.
"Unfortunately, some Board members have made these issues personal and allowed personal feelings to influence them in important Board decisions. There now exists an atmosphere of mutual disrespect and distrust between many Board members and myself. This negative relationship is not in the best interests of Kansas higher education. Therefore, I am resigning as a member of the Kansas Board of Regents.
"I am proud of my service on the Board. Governor Sebelius asked me to “make a difference” and I believe I have. Some of the accomplishments include:
Initiating the questions and concerns that with the able leadership of Reggie Robinson and Andy Tompkins resulted in Foresight 2020, a strategic plan for all of higher education.
Chaired two task forces on admissions. One resulted in legislation giving the Board authority over admissions standards, and one that raised the standards.
Implementation of employee background checks at all state universities.
Enhanced CEO evaluations including “360” surveys and first semester visits by teams of Regents focused on CEO goals.
Regents for the first time conducted a visit to all community college and technical college campuses.
Economic impact study showing the value of the state’s investment in higher education at all levels.
Design of the Kansas Commitment, in advocacy for funding of higher education. Contained the basic elements of the recently-passed engineering initiative.
Appointment of an Articulation and Transfer Task Force that has as a focus enhancing the transfer of credits to universities from community colleges and technical colleges.
There are great things happening in Kansas higher education. I am grateful to those who lead it, I will miss working with them, and I wish them continued success.