Gov. Laura Kelly picks retired BNSF CEO Carl Ice, two others, for Kansas Board of Regents

Andrew Bahl
Topeka Capital-Journal
Carl Ice, former CEO of BNSF Railway, was one of three individuals nominated by Gov. Laura Kelly on Wednesday to fill vacancies on the Kansas Board of Regents.

Retired BNSF Railway CEO Carl Ice headlines the list of three nominees announced by Gov. Laura Kelly to fill vacancies on the Kansas Board of Regents on Wednesday.

If all three members are confirmed, Kelly would have appointed a majority of members on the board, which oversees the states public universities, community colleges and technical colleges.

Ice is perhaps the most prominent of the three choices, retiring at the end of 2020 after 42 years with BNSF, seven of which he spent as CEO and president. He isn't a stranger to Kansas higher education, currently serving as a member of the Kansas State University Foundation Board of Directors.

The other selections include Wint Winter, an attorney at the Lawrence firm Stevens & Brand and former CEO of Peoples Bank. Winter was also a former Republican state senator.

Kelly's third pick was Cynthia Lane, a former superintendent of Kansas City, Kan., public schools and current CEO of Evolve Education Leadership.

"These individuals are highly qualified, forward-thinking, and committed to safeguarding our state’s world-class higher education system,” Kelly said in a statement. “I look forward to working with them and the entire Board of Regents to develop sustainable partnerships with education stakeholders, implement top tier workforce development programs, and leverage our colleges and universities as engines for economic growth.”

All three are subject to confirmation by the Kansas Senate. They are to replace three members appointed by Gov. Sam Brownback, whose tenures are set to run out at the end of June.

In 2019, Kelly nominated Shelly Kiblinger, Jon Rolph and Sheryl Harrison-Lee to the board.

Ice, Winter and Lane appear to have donated to Kelly during the 2018 election, with Winter making an additional $2,000 donation in January 2020. None of Kelly's 2019 appointees were former campaign donors.