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Former Gov. Snyder Will Not Be Harvard Fellow After Backlash

Rick Snyder
Gov. Rick Snyder (R) Michigan

Former Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder says he won’t continue with a fellowship at Harvard University following backlash over his role in Flint’s water crisis.

He tweeted Wednesday that being a senior research fellow would have been too “disruptive” because of “our current political environment and its lack of civility.”


Harvard began his appointment this week. Last week’s announcement drew criticism from people citing his administration’s involvement in the lead contamination of Flint’s drinking water while the city was under state management.


Snyder, who’s credited with aiding Detroit’s turnaround, says it would have been exciting to share his experiences, “both positive and negative.”


Douglas Elmendorf, dean of Harvard’s Kennedy School, says students would have learned from questioning Snyder over Flint and other issues, but “we and he now believe that having him on campus would not enhance education here in the ways we intended.”

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987. His journalism background includes stints with UPI, The Elizabeth (NJ) Daily Journal, The (Pontiac, MI) Oakland Press, and WJR. He is also a lifelong public radio listener.
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