Fordham University Rescinds Bill Cosby's Honorary Degree
"By his own admission, Mr. Cosby’s sexual exploitation of women was premeditated and ongoing."
Fordham University on Thursday rescinded the honorary doctorate it awarded Bill Cosby — a first in the institution's 174-year existence.
The board of trustees for the New York university unanimously voted to rescind the actor's honorary doctor of fine arts, Robert Howe, a spokesman for the university confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter.
The degree was given to Cosby for the "significant role he played in breaking the color barrier in American television and popular culture," according to a statement from Fordham.
Cosby was bestowed the degree in 2001, said Howe.
"At the time, there was no public awareness of the allegations of rape against him," according to the university's statement.
Fordham President Joseph McShane put the motion before the board to rescind the degree, said Howe.
"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," the statement reads. "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, is beyond the pale."
In July, Spelman College also cut ties with Cosby over the allegations and related statements made by the actor in an unsealed 2005 deposition.