Comedian and actor Bill Cosby will be stripped of his honorary degrees from three Maryland schools, the University System of Maryland announced Friday in a statement.
The USM Board of Regents said it received requests to rescind the entertainer’s degrees from the University of Baltimore, the University of Maryland, College Park and the University of Maryland Eastern Shore after he was convicted on three counts of sexual assault in April.
“As Maryland’s public university system, we are collectively and individually committed to reducing the incidence of sexual misconduct and to responding when it occurs,” said system Chancellor Robert Caret. “The universities’ requests, and the board’s decision, to rescind honorary degrees awarded to an individual later convicted of sexual assault reaffirms our values and sends a signal to all students, faculty, and staff across our institutions and to the people of Maryland. Sexual misconduct will not be tolerated, much less honored.”
The Cosbys’ names have graced the community center run by St. Frances Academy in East Baltimore since 2012. But after the guilty verdict Thursday, St. Frances principal Curtis Turner said “we removed the name from the building immediately.”
Officials with the University of Maryland, College Park recommended the institution revoke the disgraced comedian’s honorary degree in April, The Baltimore Sun previously reported. Cosby received his degree from the university in 1992.
An East Baltimore community center run by St. Frances Academy followed in April when it removed the names of Cosby and his wife, Camille, from its building. The couple donated $2 million to the center in 2012.
The University System of Maryland joins other higher education institutions in revoking Cosby’s honorary degrees. The University of South Carolina’s trustees also voted Friday to rescind the degree it awarded Cosby in 1986, The Post and Courier reported.