Tip of the editorial cap today to Dennis Mullin, the Manhattan businessman who is ending his term on the state Board of Regents.

Mr. Mullin served for four years on the board, the past year as chairman. He and two other members are being replaced in a normal rotation by appointments from Gov. Laura Kelly.

Manhattan, as everyone knows, is a college town. Fewer people know about the Board of Regents, which meets in Topeka and is made up of people appointed by the governor and approved by the state Senate. But that board is very important here, since it governs higher education across the state.

Mr. Mullin served with distinction on that board, advocating for the interests of higher education generally. As a Manhattan resident, he also helped represent our town and K-State when it came to the decisions that affect us. Manhattan hasn’t had many regents over the years, but they’ve been very strong ones: Aside from Mr. Mullin, Robba Moran and Charlie Hostetler come to mind.

We should say here that the Regents have always maintained a healthy balance of interests — say, K-State alums, KU alums, western Kansans, urban residents, and in particular both Republicans and Democrats. It has also steered clear of direct involvement in things like athletics and day-to-day management of universities, which is wise. We’re confident that the new members will continue to uphold those standards.

Mr. Mullin’s term fit into that legacy quite well. His particular role will be remembered probably for hiring Richard Myers as the president at K-State. That was an excellent choice, and one Mr. Mullin was directly involved in, chairing the search committee that found him.

Of course, we would expect nothing less. Mr. Mullin, the chairman of Steel and Pipe Supply Co., has long been a leader in this community. He has served in a variety of volunteer roles in charities and at the Chamber of Commerce, always with foresight and class. That’s how he conducted himself on the Regents, and we salute him for that.

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