Boston College Still Won’t Rescind Bill Cosby’s Honorary Degree, Despite Charges

It's a 'matter of policy.'

Photo via AP

Photo via AP

Boston College won’t rescind the honorary degree it awarded alleged serial rapist Bill Cosby in 1996, even as sexual assault charges were brought against the disgraced sitcom dad in Pennsylvania last week.

BC told Vulture back in October that wasn’t touching Cosby’s Doctor of Humane Letters—the same degree the Jesuit school awarded journalist Tom Brokaw, Celtics legend Bob Cousy, and Roxbury civil rights activist Melnea Cass—because, well, that’s just not how things are usually done in the Heights.

“Bill Cosby was awarded an honorary degree from Boston College in 1996 in recognition of his role as an actor and humorist and his work on behalf of education,” BC said at the time. “While the recent allegations against him are reprehensible, as a matter of policy Boston College does not rescind honorary degrees.”

When asked by Boston magazine Monday if the school would change its position in light of the charges, BC spokesperson Jack Dunn said via email: “As a matter of policy, Boston College does not rescind honorary degrees.”

That’s disappointing, as Fordham University and Marquette University—both Jesuit schools like BC—as well as Brown University all made exceptions to their rules regarding honorary degrees, collectively turning their backs on 559 years of precedent to revoke Cosby’s degree. Locally, Tufts University revoked Cosby’s degree in October, while Boston University at last followed suit last month. Berklee College of Music removed Cosby’s name from an online scholarship, but has yet to address the degree it awarded Cosby in 2004.

The Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office brought three felony charges of aggravated indecent assault against Cosby last week, in relation to a 2004 incident. The judge set the comedian’s bail at $1 million and ordered that he surrender his passport.