Calling Bill Cosby’s behavior “contrary to the values” of the California State University, trustees of the 23-campus public university system announced on Friday they had taken the unprecedented step of rescinding the the disgraced actor’s honorary degree.
Cosby earned an honorary Doctor of Letters degree from California Polytechnic University, Pomona in 1992. But his reputation has since been tarnished by allegations of repeated sexual abuse that a statement from the CSU Chancellor’s Office called “inconsistent with the criteria and high standards that honorary degree recipients are expected to exemplify.”
“The Board took action to revoke the previously awarded honorary degree in order to maintain the prestige, reputation and credibility of the CSU, Cal Poly Pomona and other honorary doctorate degree recipients,” the statement said.
The 25-member Board of Trustees voted on Wednesday to revoke Cosby’s degree, which the chancellor’s office said was the first time in 52 years the board has moved to rescind an honorary degree.
Numerous other institutions of higher learning had already taken the same step. The list of colleges to revoke honorary degrees they had bestowed upon Cosby includes Brown, Marquette, Fordham, Bryant and Drexel universities.
An attorney to Cosby did not immediately respond to a request for comment.