Whitmer appoints new Board of Trustees member



Governor Gretchen Whitmer appointed Renee Knake to the Michigan State University Board of Trustees today.

“As a proud Spartan, I understand how important it is to have someone on the board who will do right by students, staff, and alumni,” Whitmer said. “I’m confident that Renee’s professional background and unique skillset is what Michigan State University needs right now.”  

Knake is taking the place of former Board of Trustees member Nancy Schlichting who resigned in October, citing the university’s handling of sexual assault allegations and campus climate.

Knake is currently a law professor at the University of Houston Law Center. She is the Joanne and Larry Doherty Chair in legal ethics.

In addition to her teaching role, she is the director of Outcomes and Assessments and a member of the Diversity, Inclusion and Equality Committee. Prior to joining the University of Houston in 2016, Knake spent more than 10 years at Michigan State University, receiving tenure at the College of Law and also teaching at the Eli Broad College of Business and the Honors College. While at MSU, she was the director of the 21st Century Law Practice Summer Program in London and co-founder of the ReInvent Law Laboratory for Law, Technology, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship. She also is an elected member of the American Law Institute.  

Ms. Knake’s work and advocacy has helped prevent sexual harassment and assault in the legal community. In October of 2018, Ms. Knake spoke to the Federal Judiciary Ethics Committee about the need to ensure that no individual experiences sexual harassment as a rite of passage within the legal profession.    

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