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Gov. Whitmer names law professor to MSU Board of Trustees

michigan state university sign in front of a blue sky

A University of Houston Law Center professor who spent more than ten years at Michigan State University has been appointed to the MSU Board of Trustees.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer has named Renee Knake to fill a vacancy created by the resignation of Nancy Schlichting. After less than a year on the board, Schlichting stepped down in October because the board had failed to okay an independent investigation in the Larry Nassarscandal.

The governor’s office says Knake has been an advocate for preventing sexual assault and harassment in the legal community. Prior to her work at the University of Houston, she was a tenured professor at the MSU College of Law.

Knake cited that experience in her statement: "I’m honored to have the opportunity to serve the students, staff, and alumni at MSU and am eager to work with my partners on the Board of Trustees to ensure the safety and security of everyone on campus. I’ve dedicated my career to ensuring diversity in institutions like Michigan State, and I’m prepared to continue that work as a trustee. I know that as an MSU grad, this is an issue the governor cares deeply about, and I’m committed to ensuring that she and everyone else who graduates from Michigan state is proud to be a Spartan for life."

In a statement, Whitmer said, "I’m confident that Renee’s professional background and unique skillset is what Michigan State University needs right now.”

Chairperson Dianne Byrum issued a statement welcoming Knake to the board and thanking Whitmer for acting quickly to fill the vacancy.

The appointment does not require state Senate confirmation. The next meeting of the board is December 13.

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