Carnegie Mellon Revokes Bill Cosby’s Honorary Degree Following Guilty Verdict in Sex Assault Trial

Carnegie Mellon University on Thursday revoked an honorary degree awarded to Bill Cosby, hours after the TV icon was found guilty of drugging and sexually assaulting a woman 14 years ago.

“Carnegie Mellon University has long had a clear and unwavering commitment: The university will not tolerate sexual violence, intimate partner violence, stalking or sexual harassment. These acts are against the law and violate our core values,” the university posted on its website Thursday. “In order to fulfill that commitment and in light of Bill Cosby’s criminal conviction for aggravated indecent assault, Carnegie Mellon University has decided to revoke an honorary degree it awarded to Mr. Cosby in 2007.”

Cosby, 80, was convicted Thursday of drugging and molesting Temple University employee Andrea Constand at his suburban Philadelphia home in 2004. The verdict came after a two-week retrial in which prosecutors put five other women on the stand who testified that Cosby, married for 54 years, drugged and violated them, too.

The University of Pittsburgh rescinded the 2002 degree it awarded to Cosby in November 2015, following accusations from dozens of women who said the comedian drugged and sexually assaulted them.

“The committee found that certain actions on Mr. Cosby’s part — unknown to the public at the time and subsequently admitted by him — were in conflict with the stated basis for awarding the degree and inconsistent with the core values and principles of the university,” university spokesman Ken Service told the Tribune-Review in 2015.

CMU spokeswoman Abby Simmons told the Tribune-Review at the time the university had not taken action to rescind their honorary degree and that it was having internal discussions about it.

Other universities that have revoked Cosby’s honorariums include:

*The University of Missouri: In June 2017, the Board of Curators at the university unanimously voted to revoke the honorary degree they bestowed upon Cosby in 1999 — a doctorate in humane letters. The university said at the time at least 25 other colleges and universities across the country had withdrawn honorary degrees and honors from Cosby since the sexual assault accusations became public.

*Ohio State University: At the beginning of the month, the university revoked the honorary degree it awarded to Cosby when he spoke at commencement in 2001. A university spokesman said Cosby violated the university’s principles and values.

SOURCE: Associated Press; TribLIVE – Madasyn Czebiniak