Published: April 19, 2018

MSU appoints two new faculty athletic representatives

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Long-time Michigan State University faculty members Bonnie Knutson and Michael Kaplowitz have been named MSU's new faculty athletic representatives.

They will serve as senior advisers to the MSU president and director of intercollegiate athletics on matters related to intercollegiate athletics, sports programming, student-athlete academic progress, student-athlete welfare and athletic compliance issues.

While MSU has had only one representative in the past, other schools in the Big Ten have two representatives. Due to increased demand related to concerns and policies surrounding student-athletes, MSU decided to add a second position.

Faculty athletic representatives are tenured faculty members who represent the university and its faculty in the university's relationships with the NCAA and the Big Ten. In addition, they chair the MSU Athletic Council, which functions as the faculty voice in intercollegiate athletics on issues of academic policy related to student-athletes. During their appointment, they also retain their regular faculty jobs.

"It is my honor to appoint Bonnie and Michael to help lead MSU forward on matters related to our student athletes," said MSU Interim President John Engler. "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."

Knutson is a University Distinguished Professor in the School of Hospitality Business and is a frequent speaker at seminars and industry meetings related to hospitality, finance, retail and health care. She was honored with an MSU Distinguished Alumni Award and Hospitality Business Alumni Association Lifetime Academic Achievement Award.

Knutson is a past-president of the advisory council for the Wharton Center for Performing Arts and the MSU Alumni Association National Board. She's also twice served as interim director of the School of Hospitality Business. She received her undergraduate degree and doctorate from Michigan State and joined the faculty in 1986.

Kaplowitz is a professor of environmental policy and international development in the community sustainability department. He served as CSUS department chair from 2011-2016 and also is an adjunct professor at the MSU College of Law. He was elected in 2011 to serve as one of five faculty representatives on the university's steering committee.

As an undergraduate student at Union College in New York, Kaplowitz played intercollegiate soccer before going on to receive his J.D. from the Duke University School of Law. He earned his doctorate from MSU in 1997 and joined MSU's faculty the same year.

Knutson and Kaplowitz succeed Sue Carter, a professor in the School of Journalism, who served as faculty representative since 2014.