Paging Dr. Cosby: Your Yale honorary doctorate is DOA.
For the first time in the Ivy League school’s 317-year history, Yale has revoked an honorory degree — the one it bestowed on Bill Cosby in 2003. Its board of trustees made the call less than a week after the once-revered comedian was convicted of felony sexual assault in his retrial near Philadelphia.
“Today the Yale University board of trustees voted to rescind the honorary degree awarded to William H. Cosby Jr. in 2003,” the university said in a statement Tuesday. “The decision is based on a court record providing clear and convincing evidence of conduct that violates fundamental standards of decency shared by all members of the Yale community, conduct that was unknown to the board at the time the degree was awarded. The board took this decision following Mr. Cosby’s criminal conviction after he was afforded due process. Yale is committed to both the elimination of sexual misconduct and the adherence to due process. We reaffirm that commitment with our action today.”
Yale’s Doctor of Humane Letters degree was awarded to Cosby at its commencement ceremony on May 26, 2003, in New Haven, CT.
The university, which was founded in 1701, is the latest to rescind an honorary degree granted to Cosby. Among the latest are Ohio State, which pulled its honor from the him last month, just ahead of his retrial, and Cosby’s alma mater Temple University, which followed suit over the weekend. That school in Cosby’s hometown of Philadelphia is where Andrea Constand used to work; she’s the woman Cosby was convicted of drugging and sexually assaulting in 2004.