School’s out for Bill Cosby. At least at Fordham University.
Fordham has revoked the honorary doctorate that it gave to Cosby in 2001, amid the sexual-assault scandal surrounding the besieged comedian.
The decision was made on Thursday by unanimous vote during a Board of Trustees meeting, after Fordham president Joseph McShane introduced a motion to cut the doctorate.
“The University has taken this extraordinary step in light of Mr. Cosby’s now-public court depositions that confirm many of the allegations made against him,” Fordham said in a statement.
That would be the deposition from the lawsuit filed by Cosby accuser Andrea Constand. In the deposition, which was provided to the media earlier this year, Cosby admitting to obtaining Quaaludes to give to women he hoped to have sex with.
This is the first time that Fordham has rescinded an honorary degree, the school added.
“Fordham has never before rescinded an honorary degree. A recipient’s actions would have to be both unambiguously dishonorable and have a deep impact,” Fordham’s statement noted. “By his own admission, Mr. Cosby’s sexual exploitation of women was premeditated and ongoing. Equally appalling is his longtime strategy of denigrating the reputations of women who accused him of such actions.
“That Mr. Cosby was willing to drug and rape women for his sexual gratification, and further damage those same women’s reputations and careers to obscure his guilt, hurt not only his victims, but all women, and is beyond the pale,” the statement continued.
On Thursday, Cosby was also stripped of the honorary degree that was given to him by Marquette University, which he received in 2013.
“By his own admission, Mr. Cosby engaged in behaviors that go entirely against our university’s mission and the Guiding Values we have worked so hard to instill on our campus,” Marquette president Michael R. Lovell and provost Daniel J. Myers said in a statement Thursday.
The decision came after several weeks of “extensive conversations” about the matter, Lovell and Myers said.
Cosby has been accused of rape or sexual assault by dozens of women, many of whom have said that the comedian drugged them beforehand.
The former “The Cosby Show” star faces multiple lawsuits due to the accusations. However, his attorney has denied the allegations, and he has not been charged.