Three new regents confirmed by Senate committee


There are new faces on the governing body that oversees Kansas state universities.

Gov. Laura Kelly’s three nominees were approved to the Kansas Board of Regents. Cheryl Harrison-Lee of Gardner (Johnson County), Shellaine “Shelly” Kiblinger of Cherryvale (Montgomery County), and Jon Rolph of Wichita (Sedgwick County) were approved by the Kansas Senate Confirmation Oversight Committee last month.

They replace Dennis Mullin of Manhattan, David Murfin of Wichita, and Daniel Thomas of Mission Hills, whose terms ended at the end of last school year.

Rolph is the CEO and President of Sasnak Management/Thrive Restaurant Group, which owns and operate 41 Applebee’s, 18 Carlos O’Kelley’s Mexican restaurants, Homegrown, and The Good Egg.

His term ends in 2023.

Murfin, who Rolph will be replacing, is one of four prominent Wichita businessmen with 25% ownership of The Flats of Kansas, LLC, the development company Wichita State is leasing The Flats and The Suites from.

Wichita State called off plans for more university-owned on-campus housing the same day David Murfin was named a member of the Kansas Board of Regents. Two years later, when Murfin was chairman of the board, WSU decided to lease space at the mostly empty private apartment complex developed by Murfin’s company.

The Suites, priced similarly to Shocker Hall, open this fall on Innovation Campus.