LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — The board of trustees of the California State University voted Wednesday to revoke the honorary Doctor of Letters degree awarded to actor Bill Cosby in 1992.
Cal Poly Pomona was the latest in a series of colleges and universities to rescind an honorary doctorate bestowed upon the comedian.
Cosby, 78, has been accused of sexual assault, misconduct or rape by more than 50 woman over four decades.
The comedian has not been charged in any of the alleged crimes — the vast majority of them occurring before a statute of limitations ran out. However, in a 2005 deposition related to one of the accusations, he testified under oath that he did give women drugs for the purpose of sex.
In revoking the Cal Poly honor, the CSU trustees released a statement saying, “Cosby’s conduct is contrary to the values of the CSU and inconsistent with the criteria and high standards that honorary degree recipients are expected to exemplify. The CSU has been awarding honorary doctorate degrees since 1963, and this is the first time in 52 years that the board of trustees has voted to rescind a degree.”
The statement went on to say: “The honorees include individuals whose lives, conduct and significant achievements serve as examples of the CSU’s aspirations for its diverse student population. Because Cosby’s conduct is contrary to the criteria and standards under which he was honored by the CSU, the board took action to revoke the previously awarded honorary degree in order to maintain the prestige, reputation and credibility of the CSU, Cal Poly Pomona and other honorary doctorate degree recipients.”
The university President Soraya M. Coley added: “Based on Bill Cosby’s admitted conduct and mounting evidence of his reprehensible behavior, I believed Bill Cosby’s actions were so egregious that his honorary doctorate awarded by [the] CSU in 1992 should be revoked.”
KCAL9’s Jennifer Kastner spoke to Cal Poly students Friday evening, and many were in favor of the honor being removed.
“I definitely think that every public thing we can do to shame him and make him feel bad and tarnish his name in the public light is a good thing to do,” said student Michael Raucci.
“I think that if the school is looked down upon because they gave him the degree then I think it’s a good thing [to revoke it],” said student Candace Griffiths.
Doctorates bestowed to Cosby have previously been revoked from Fordham, Goucher, Franklin & Marshall, Brown, Tufts, Baylor, the University of San Francisco, Springfield and Marquette.
In December, Cosby stepped down as a board trustee at Temple University.
The U.S. Navy also recently revoked Cosby’s title of honorary chief petty officer.
Reruns of the mega-popular “The Cosby Show” (NBC 1984-92) have been pulled from TV Land , Bounce, Centric and BET.