Boston University Finally Revokes Bill Cosby’s Honorary Degree
The board of trustees at Boston University voted last Thursday to revoke the honorary degree it awarded alleged serial rapist Bill Cosby in May 2014—224 days after Boston magazine first asked, “What’s taking so long?”
“The Board’s decision was based on a determination, supported by Mr. Cosby’s sworn deposition testimony, that his treatment of women has brought significant and lasting discredit upon himself and is inconsistent with the University’s mission and values,” the BU trustees said in a statement.
BU was the most recent school to award Cosby a degree, preceding a deluge of accusations from literally dozens of women who alleged the disgraced sitcom dad had sexually assaulted them. Since then, a number of schools have yanked the honorary degrees they awarded him over the years, including Tufts University in October.
The same month, Boston College told Vulture it would not revoke Cosby’s 1996 degree as a matter of policy. In the same piece, BU said it was “still monitoring” the situation. Berklee College of Music stripped Cosby’s name from an online scholarship in 2014, and said it was “actively engaged in internal discussion” over what to do about his 2004 degree.
President Robert Brown, who once called Cosby “an educator by word and example,” maintained in a statement to the BU community Monday that the university had not known about his alleged impropriety at the time, despite four women having already come forward, both on NBC’s TODAY and in the pages of People and Philadelphia magazines.
“Mr. Cosby’s admitted conduct, which the University learned about only after awarding him the degree, demonstrates that his character fails to reflect the integrity and virtues that the University values and esteems in members of its community, and in those persons the University holds up for this particular honor,” Brown said.
At any rate, good stuff, BU trustees—if a bit overdue.