National News

North Carolina A&T rescinds Bill Cosby's honorary degree

Posted April 27, 2018 1:45 p.m. EDT
Updated April 27, 2018 5:15 p.m. EDT

— North Carolina A&T Board of Trustees voted Friday afternoon to revoke Bill Cosby's honorary degree awarded to him in 2008 following the actor's sexual assault conviction Thursday.

The move came just hours after Temple University Board of Trustees decided Friday to rescind the honorary degree it gave to Bill Cosby, one of its most famous alums and a former trustee.

In a three-sentence statement, the university said the decision was due to his conviction Thursday on three counts of aggravated indecent assault.

"In 1991, based on his career achievements, Temple awarded an honorary degree to William Cosby," the statement said. "Yesterday, Dr. Cosby was found guilty by a jury of the felony of aggravated sexual assault. Today the Temple University Board of Trustees has accepted the recommendation of the University to rescind the honorary degree."

Cosby graduated from Temple and had been on the Board of Trustees for 32 years until he resigned in 2014 amid accusations that he sexually assaulted dozens of women over decades.

"I have always been proud of my association with Temple University," Cosby said in a statement released by the university at the time. "I have always wanted to do what would be in the best interests of the university and its students. As a result, I have tendered my resignation from the Temple University Board of Trustees."

Through his powerful role at Temple, he met Andrea Constand, who worked for the university's women's basketball team. Cosby was found guilty of drugging and assaulting Constand at his home outside Philadelphia in January 2004.

Cosby also has received an honorary degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, which has not yet been revoked.

"The University has no tolerance for sexual assault," a university spokeswoman said in a statement Friday. "The University has never revoked an honorary degree, and at this time there is not an established process for doing so. Any action would need to be considered by our Governance structure."