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.”
I have informed the HKennedy Sch that I am turning down its offer as Snr Res Fellow. It would have been exciting to share my experiences, both positive and negative; our current political environment and its lack of civility makes this too disruptive. I wish them the best.
— Rick Snyder (@onetoughnerd) July 3, 2019
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.