TOPEKA, Kan. — The Kansas Board of Regents voted to accept staff recommendations that members excuse or monitor themselves when engaging in potential conflicts of interest.

Four board members on Thursday acknowledged their significant financial ties to higher education institutions, necessitating recusals to avoid a conflict of interest, the Topeka Capital-Journal reported.

People with conflicts of interest will abstain from voting and from participating in discussion regarding particular areas where they have conflict, said Julene Miller, part of the board’s general counsel. She said the exception would be if the board determines the member with a conflict could provide information unobtainable from other sources.

“I feel very comfortable with our board policy,” said Shane Bangerter, a board member who owns a law firm providing legal services to Dodge City Community College. “It appears to be a very thorough process, a very fair process.”

In addition to Bangerter, other members of the board with financial conflicts included Joe Bain, Ann Brandau-Murguia and Board Chairman Dave Murfin. Bain has a 40 percent share and serves as vice president of Cure & Bain, a law firm. Brandau-Murguia is the executive director of the Argentine Neighborhood Development Association that routinely partners with the University of Kansas Medical Center.

Murfin’s several conflicts involve being a key donor to Kansas political organizations and candidates. He also has an interest in three companies with working relationships at Kansas State University, the University of Kansas and Wichita State University.

Information from: The Topeka (Kan.) Capital-Journal,

Author photo
The AP is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, as a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members, it can maintain its single-minded focus on newsgathering and its commitment to the highest standards of objective, accurate journalism.