Snyder turns down Harvard fellowship, citing ‘lack of civility’

    Gov. Rick Snyder at his year-end press conference, Dec. 11, 2018 | Ken Coleman
    Updated 2:24 p.m.

    Michigan former Gov. Rick Snyder announced Wednesday that he’ll decline a prestigious fellowship position with Harvard University, following significant backlash from progressives still upset with his administration’s role in the Flint water crisis.

    In a tweet Wednesday afternoon, Snyder said he would turn down the position of senior research fellow with the Taubman Center for State and Local Government at Harvard University’s Kennedy School. 

    He blamed the “current political environment and its lack of civility,” which he said made accepting the position “too disruptive.”

     

    As the Advance previously reported, progressives upset by Snyder’s selection for the fellowship started an email campaign opposing it within days of its announcement. They cited his administration’s handling of the Flint water crisis, which prosecutors continue to investigate.

    Lonnie Scott, executive director of the progressive nonprofit Progress Michigan, said in a statement Wednesday, “The backlash Snyder and Harvard faced over the fellowship wasn’t a ‘lack of civility’ — it was people speaking truth to power and holding Snyder accountable for the myriad of problems he and his corporate donors created for Michigan and communities across this state.”*

    A spokesperson for Harvard’s Kennedy School did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Wednesday afternoon.

    This story was updated with comment from Progress Michigan’s Lonnie Scott.

    Nick Manes
    Nick Manes covers West Michigan, business and labor, health care and the safety net. He previously spent six years as a reporter at MiBiz covering commercial real estate, economic development and all manner of public policy at the local and state levels. His byline also has appeared in Route Fifty and The Daily Beast. When not reporting around the state or furiously tweeting, he enjoys spending time with his girlfriend, Krista, biking around his hometown of Grand Rapids and torturing himself rooting for the Detroit Lions.

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