Spurred by allegations that Bill Cosby drugged and sexually assaulted more than 40 women, colleges around the US have been rescinding honorary degrees given the comedian, The New York Times reports.
However, some colleges — including Yale — are standing by their traditions of not revoking honorary degrees.
Yale told The Times that it had never taken away an honorary degree but did not explain the reasoning for this policy.
Cosby has been recognised by dozens of schools over the past 30 years. The Times article notes that Cosby’s publicist estimated 100 honorary degrees while they count about 60.
He has been beloved by the higher education community for his commitment to education, and his gregarious “dad-like” persona.
But accusations have swirled for decades that he has a history of drugging and sexually assaulting women.
More recently, the controversy reignited as New York magazine unveiled a chilling cover story of 35 of Cosby’s accusers’ accounts of their sexual assaults. Court documents were also unsealed that revealed that Cosby admitted to obtaining quaaludes to give to women he wanted to have sex with.
That has kicked off a wave of colleges revoking honorary degrees from the comedian.
Fordham, Marquette, Brown, and the University of San Francisco announced in the past two weeks that they were retracting degrees, according to The Times.
But Yale, has not made such a call, even though students are petitioning for the university to do so.
Elsewhere, judgment and derision have been swift from an array of sources. Hollywood screenwriter and director, Judd Apatow, discussed his revulsion with Cosby, Donald Trump struck out at the entertainer, professorships named for Cosby have been revoked, and a Massachusetts theatre called off
a Bill Cosby performance.
We reached out to Yale University and will update this post if we hear back.
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