NU Board of Trustees revokes Bill Cosby’s honorary degree


David Swanson/Philadelphia Inquirer/TNS

Bill Cosby walks out of the Montgomery County Courthouse on Thursday, April 26, 2018 in Norristown, Pa. after learning a jury found him guilty of sexual assault. The Northwestern Board of Trustees revoked Cosby’s honorary degree Monday.

Ally Mauch, Summer Managing Editor

The Northwestern Board of Trustees revoked Bill Cosby’s honorary degree Monday, according to a news release.

The actor and comedian, who received the NU Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree in 1997, was convicted of three counts of aggravated indecent assault in April. He has been accused of sexual assault and misconduct by more than 50 women.

Cosby’s first trial ended in a hung jury, but the recent retrial — occurring in the wake of the #MeToo movement — found him guilty of all charges.

While the Board previously discussed revoking Cosby’s degree, they “decided to wait until the accusations were resolved in a criminal trial,” according to the release. This is the first time NU has removed an honorary degree, according to the release.

After dozens of women came forward to accuse Cosby of assault in 2015, a group of universities, such as Brown University, revoked Cosby’s honorary degrees. Several other schools, including Boston College and Yale University, rescinded Cosby’s degrees in late April and May, following his conviction. Temple University, Cosby’s alma mater, also rescinded his degree in May.

“Northwestern University is committed to fostering an environment in which all members of its community are safe, secure, and free from sexual misconduct,” the release said.

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Twitter: @allymauch