UC Revokes Bill Cosby's Honorary Degree

May 8, 2018

The University of Cincinnati's board of trustees voted Tuesday morning to rescind an honorary doctorate awarded to comedian Bill Cosby in 2001.

In so doing, the board said it "abhors sexual violence and gender-based violence. We are committed to providing a safe environment for all."

University President Neville Pinto applauded the move, saying in a statement, "We stand firm in condemning sexual assault and gender-based violence. I also want to take this opportunity to express my support for survivors and my appreciation to those who stand with them."

As WVXU reported Monday:

UC is the latest in a string of some 20 universities including Yale and Johns Hopkins to take back honorariums. Ohio State pulled its honorary degree in early April before Cosby's sexual assault retrial.

The comedian and actor was convicted April 26 on three counts of aggravated indecent assault. He could face up to 30 years in prison. You can read about Cosby's trial in this NPR report.

Last week, the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences issued a statement expelling Cosby from the organization. The Academy also threw out director Roman Polanski. As NPR reports:

Polanski, the director of well-regarded films including Chinatown and Rosemary's Baby, admitted to and was convicted of raping a 13-year-old girl in 1977, and there's been a warrant for his arrest for more than 40 years. He's been nominated for three Academy Awards since his rape confession, and won an Oscar in 2003 for directing The Pianist. He avoids visiting the U.S. and any countries that would extradite him.