Boston University: ‘Nothing New to Report’ on Bill Cosby
Exactly 500 days have passed since Boston University bestowed upon Bill Cosby a Doctor of Humane Letters at its 2014 commencement, where President Robert Brown called the man—already publicly accused by four women at the time—”an educator, by word and example.”
In those ensuing 500 days, the number of women accusing the honorary Terrier of drugging and sexually assaulting them has exceeded 50. Unsealed federal court documents from a 2005 civil suit reveal Cosby admitted under questioning that he had given quaaludes to young women in order to have sex with them. New York magazine published a chilling cover story giving voice to 35 of Cosby’s alleged victims. Over the last week, Fordham University, Marquette University, and Brown University rescinded the honorary degrees they awarded the disgraced TV dad in 2001, 2013, and 1985, respectively. In all three cases, an honorary degree had never been revoked in school history.
So when BU spokesperson Colin Riley tells the Boston Herald that the university is still “monitoring developments,” one would hope it has a sliver of its $1.5 billion endowment budgeted for a new monitor.
“There’s nothing new to report,” Riley said. What?
One “monitors the developments” of a small rash, or a traffic jam on Storrow Drive. What groundbreaking development is BU waiting for? Do administrators think Cosby’s more than 50 accusers will one day join hands and say, “Ha! Gotcha!” Or are Cosby’s donations to the university, whatever they may be, too good to pass up?
Boston University’s tacit endorsement of Bill Cosby is not only profoundly baffling, but remarkably tone-deaf. In a recent campus-wide survey, one in four female undergraduate students at BU reported they were survivors of sexual assault. In an email to students, President Brown called for “responsibility, mutual respect and trust.”
Can a school that refuses to cut ties with a man accused of drugging, assaulting, and dismissing literally dozens of women really be said to have respect for its female students, especially those with deeply traumatic experiences of their own? Can these women trust these administrators, who lack the courage of their peers at Fordham, Marquette, and Brown to take responsibility and admit its mistake?