By: M.L. Stein CITING CONCERNS ABOUT a potential conflict of interest, Kelso Gillenwater, publisher of the Tacoma (Wash.) Morning News Tribune, accepted and then backed away from an official state appointment. Gov. Mike Lowry on Feb. 12 named Gillenwater chairman of the state's Higher Education Coordinating Board, which makes recommendations to the governor and the Legislature on tuition, enrollment and other policies for public colleges and universities. A Tribune story said Gillenwater informed Lowry by letter on Feb. 18 that he had decided not to accept the position, adding: "I apologize for that and regret that I didn't more fully anticipate the concerns that would surface after the announcement was made."