Cocoa University has repealed the privileged degree it conceded Bill Cosby, turning into the third college to make such move in under a week.
Paxson says the university’s board Friday revoked the doctorate of humane letters it granted Cosby in 1985.
As Doug Criss of CNN reports, earlier this week, Fordham University in New York and Marquette University in Wisconsin rescinded honorary degrees each had previously bestowed upon Cosby.
When he received the degree, Cosby was honored for “his ability to integrate [his] personal character into fictional personae that simulate real life while embracing such cherished American values as honesty, fair play, love of family, and respect for humanity”, Christina Paxson, president of Brown University, said in a letter on Monday.
Cosby has acknowledged having extramarital relationships with several women, including some who have accused him of sexual assault. Some have accused him of sexual assault, though he has never been charged. This degree was awarded to Cosby in 2001.
“By his own admission, Mr. Cosby’s sexual exploitation of women was premeditated and ongoing”. Cosby’s case is being represented by John P. Schmitt of Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler who wrote to the Rev. Joseph McShane, president of Fordham. The Board of Fellows, of which I am a member, felt strongly that this was an appropriate action to take in these specific circumstances, and that doing so was in the best interest of the University, its values and mission. Most of the women say Cosby drugged them before raping them.
“The statement issued by the university was so irresponsible as to shock the conscience”.
This is the first time Fordham has rescinded an honorary degree. “As you know, Mr. Cosby has been convicted of no crime and has steadfastly maintained his innocence”.
Fordham is not alone in its response to allegations made against Cosby.
Other universities severing ties with the entertainer include Spelman College, which ended a Cosby professorship in July, despite Bill Cosby and his wife Camille’s history of donating $20 million to the school.