Allen Schmidt, a former State Senator from Hays, was tapped to serve a four-year term on the Kansas Board of Regents.
If confirmed by the Senate, Schmidt would join the Board of Regents as one of two western Kansans on that board. Joseph Bain, an attorney in Goodland, is leaving the board. The other member on the nine-member board from the western region is Daniel Shane Bangerter, a Dodge City attorney.
In addition to Schmidt, Gov. Jeff Colyer on Thursday also announced his appointment of another former state legislator, Mark Hutton, R-Wichita, to the Regents’ board and reappointed yet a third former legislator, William Feuerborn, D-Garnett, to another term. Attorney Zoe Newton, Sedan, also is leaving theRegents’ board.
Schmidt earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Kansas and a master’s degree in school psychology from Fort Hays State University. He spent 32 years in the military, in active duty and in the Reserves, and has a master’s degree from the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. He has agricultural experience and currently works part-time for Developmental Services of Northwest Kansas. Among the Schmidt children are one attending Fort Hays State University and one attending Kansas State University.
Although Schmidt and Colyer graduated from the same Catholic high school in Hays, they weren’t in high school at the same time, and Schmidt said he knows Colyer more from Topeka. Colyer left the State Senate and became lieutenant governor shortly before Schmidt entered the Legislature. Redistricting for the 2012 election cycle slid Democratic Sen. Schmidt into a Republican State Senator’s district. Schmidt lost.
Schmidt currently serves on the Governor’s KanCare Advisory Council and on the Kansas Civil Service Board. For the time being, he said, he will stay on both boards.
Schmidt won’t become a voting member of the Board of Regents until Senate confirmation, but he said he’ll approach it as he did when he was selected to fill a vacancy in the Senate. “The day I knew I was going in, I was on the study,” he said.
The people that the Board of Regents serves are the students and the providers — such as faculty and administration — and the taxpayers of Kansas, he said. “We have to be accountable for the resources that are put into education,” he said. “You look at all of those constituencies — that’s a complicated picture,” he said.
Hutton is a construction company executive who ran for the Republican gubernatorial nomination this year but withdrew from the race in spring 2018 saying he didn’t want to hurt Colyer’s chances to beat Secretary of State Kris Kobach. Hutton wasn’t on the ballot but Kobach won narrowly over Colyer in the crowded field.
Hutton has a degree from Kansas State University. Feuerborn began serving on the Board of Regents in 2014 and has experience in small business development and ranching. He is a graduate of Pittsburg State University.