Read the full article by Paul Egan (Detroit Free Press)
“LANSING — News that Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government has named former Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder a senior research fellow has sparked a social media backlash.
Many have expressed outrage at the appointment, citing Snyder’s role in the Flint drinking water crisis, and have launched an email campaign aimed at Jeffrey Liebman, director of the school’s Taubman Center for State and Local Government.
Among those speaking out against the appointment are Piper Kerman, author of ‘Orange is the New Black,’ Flint activist Mari Copeny, known as ‘Little Miss Flint,’ and the magazine ‘Current Affairs.’ Most of the opposition relates to Snyder’s role in the Flint drinking water crisis.
Snyder did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment Monday. In the past, he has apologized for the Flint crisis, which he blamed in part on state bureaucrats, and emphasized his efforts to remediate the situation
Much of the weekend opposition was voiced on Twitter, using the hashtag #NoSnyderFellowship.
Snyder, a former businessman and computer company executive who was Michigan governor from 2011 through 2018, ‘brings his significant expertise in management, public policy, and promoting civility to Harvard Kennedy School,’ Liebman said in announcing the appointment.
But Kerman, author of a bestselling book about life in a women’s prison, which was adapted into a popular TV series on Netflix, said on Twitter the appointment is ‘an affront.’
Copeny, the Flint 11-year-old who became a champion for her home town in the wake of the lead contamination of the city’s drinking water supply while Flint was under the control of a Snyder-appointed emergency manager, said on Twitter that Snyder should be in jail, not at Harvard.
The progressive magazine Current Affairs also took up the issue, tweeting from its official account: ‘Does Harvard know it does not have to pick up a Gov. Snyder for every Kyle Kashuv it drops?’
That was a reference to another recent controversy involving Harvard. The school in June rescinded the admission it offered Kashuv, a pro-gun survivor of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., after texts sent by Kashuv emerged, with racist and anti-Semitic messages.
According to the release from the Harvard Kennedy School, the Taubman Center welcomes several research fellows annually. The research fellows are usually academics and practitioners who take a sabbatical to study, teach, and write on a variety of subjects related to state and local government. During their time at the school, they engage with students, faculty and others, the release said…”