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MSU names two new faculty athletic representatives

April 19, 2018
<p>School Of Hospitality Business professor Bonnie Knutson poses at the Kellogg on Monday March 2, 2009. Photo courtesy of MSU's Communications and Brand Strategy</p>

School Of Hospitality Business professor Bonnie Knutson poses at the Kellogg on Monday March 2, 2009. Photo courtesy of MSU's Communications and Brand Strategy

MSU announced Thursday morning its hired two new faculty athletic representatives, School of Hospitality Business professor Bonnie Knutson and Michael Kaplowitz, a professor of environmental policy and international development in the community sustainability department at the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

The two faculty members will serve as senior advisers to MSU Interim President John Engler and his successor, along with the Interim Athletic Director Bill Beekman, according to a press release. They'll advise them and their successors on intercollegiate athletics, sports programming, student-athlete academic progress, student-athlete welfare and athletic compliance issues.

“It is my honor to appoint Bonnie and Michael to help lead MSU forward on matters related to our student athletes,” Engler said in a press release. “To help our athletes succeed both academically and athletically, we look to the faculty representatives to help guide the discussions and policies. Their expertise related to university governance, their rapport with students and in Michael’s case, a former athlete himself, will serve the council well.”

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Athletic faculty representatives represent the university and its faculty in the university’s relationships with the NCAA and the Big Ten. They also chair the MSU Athletic Council, which is the faculty voice on issues of academic policy related to student-athletes.

The position was left vacant on Jan. 24 after former representative and current journalism professor Sue Carter resigned. Carter is currently under investigation by the Office of Institutional Equity, or OIE, for an alleged inappropriate sexual relationship.

“I no longer have the desire or the heart to administration going forward,” Carter said in her resignation letter on Jan. 24. “As both professor and priest, I am profoundly saddened by Michigan State University’s public posture and seemingly callous regard for these girls and women.”

In the past, MSU has only had one representative while other Big Ten schools have had two. However, according to the press release, MSU hired a second representative because of an "increased demand related to concerns and policies surrounding student-athletes."

Knutson used to be the president of the advisory council for the Wharton Center for the Performing Arts and the MSU Alumni Association National Board. She also served twice as the interim director of the School of Hospitality Business. She earned both her bachelors and doctorate degrees at MSU and became a faculty member in 1986.

Kaplowitz served as the CSUS department chair from 2011-16 and is a College of Law adjunct professor. He was also elected in 2011 as one of the five faculty representatives on MSU's steering committee. He played Division III soccer at Union College before earning his doctorate from MSU in 1997 and joined the faculty that same year.

They will also retain their regular faculty jobs while serving as the athletic faculty representatives.

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