URI weighs revoking honorary degree from ex-Trump adviser
South Kingstown, R.I. – The University of Rhode Island is weighing whether to revoke an honorary degree bestowed years ago to Michael Flynn, a university alumnus who briefly served as President Donald Trump’s national security adviser.
The Providence Journal reports the school’s honorary degree committee met on Jan. 29 and Feb. 5 at the request of URI President David Dooley. The panel sent its recommendation to Dooley on Feb. 12 but hasn’t made it public.
University spokesperson Linda Acciardo told the Journal on Tuesday that the outgoing president hasn’t made a decision on the degree, which was bestowed in 2014.
She added that Dooley’s recommendation would be sent to the school’s board of trustees, which would then hold a public hearing.
The university expressed disappointment in Flynn, a 1981 graduate, after he pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI in 2017.
At the time, URI said the Rhode Island native and a retired Army lieutenant general’s actions did not reflect the university’s values or its “expectations of people in public service” but that it wasn’t considering rescinding the degree.
Flynn was eventually pardoned by Trump last year. He served as Trump’s national security adviser in the early weeks of 2017 before resigning following reports he misled Trump officials about his contacts with Russia.
Flynn made headlines over the weekend after he seemed to suggest a military coup similar to the one in Myanmar “ should happen ” in the U.S. He’s since said he doesn’t support a coup in the U.S.