Ex-Michigan governor won't be Harvard fellow after backlash

Ex-Michigan governor won't be Harvard fellow after backlash
FILE - In this Jan. 23, 2018, file photo, former Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder delivers his State of the State address at the state Capitol in Lansing, Mich. Snyder says he has turned down a fellowship at Harvard University following social media backlash over his administration's role in the Flint water crisis. He tweeted Wednesday, July 3, 2019, that being a senior research fellow would have been too "disruptive" because of "our current political environment and its lack of civility. (AP Photo/Al Goldis, File)

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — 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.”