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OSU considers pulling Bill Cosby’s honorary degree

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Comedian Bill Cosby speaks during the celebration of the 55th anniversary of a Washington institution Ben's Chili Bowl on August 22, 2013 in Washington, DC. Credit: Courtesy of TNS.

Credit: Courtesy of TNS.

Bill Cosby might lose his honorary degree from Ohio State, which he received after giving a spring commencement address to the graduating class of 2001.

Chris Davey, a university spokesman, said that OSU is not alone in assessing whether the comedian and “The Cosby Show” actor should have his honorary doctorate in education rescinded.

“Like many of our peer institutions, Ohio State is very concerned by the reports regarding Bill Cosby,” Davey said. “The honorary degree he received in 2001 is under review.” 

Cosby has been accused of sexually assaulting more than 50 women, which he has denied, yet the accusations have caused many organizations to cut ties with the comedian.

In Cosby’s 2001 commencement address to OSU students, he told the students to “fall in love with being honest.”

The comedian also encouraged students to keep integrity in their minds always.

“Integrity — keep that in the front. Every time you decide to do something, just say ‘integrity’ to yourself,” he told the students. “Just maintain a sense of integrity. Very, very important because later on, maybe 20, 30, 40 years in your life, it may be important for people to look back over what you did. It may be important. And so integrity will always shine.”

Davey said, at this time, it is unclear if OSU has ever rescinded an honorary degree.

Ricky Mulvey, a second-year in finance and the treasurer of the Buckeye Standup Comedy Club, believes that Cosby’s honorary degree should be taken away from him.

“I think it’s silly that there is even a review process for this decision,” Mulvey said. “This should have been taken care of in one phone call. The fact that this has taken more than 24 hours to do is absurd.”

Mulvey said he does not believe that this decision will be seen as controversial because he thinks it is the only logical result.

“How do you read the statement that over 50 women have accused him of rape and not take the award away from him?” Mulvey said.

Cosby’s honorary degrees have been rescinded by a growing list of universities, including Brown University, Baylor University and the University of San Francisco. Cosby’s alma mater, Temple University, is not currently reviewing a revocation. However, Cosby did resign last year from the his position on Temple’s board of trustees.


  1. The goose-stepping political correctness ideology demands that it be taken away! Why is there even any hesitation?!?! And please make sure that the honorary degrees of such people as Spiro Agnew and all the other perfect recipients remain untouched.

  2. How about we change the word ‘honorary’ to the proper word ‘imaginary’ and just stop handing out free degrees to non-students? Honorary degrees devalue those who actually worked for the degree and avoids the ‘you’re bad we’re taking back our stuff’ conversation we are having right now. Any ‘award’ you can rescind later is an object without value.

  3. He’s an unrepentant rapist, so it makes sense that people want to rescind any honor given to him. But what does an Honorary Doctorate really mean? We don’t rescind regular doctorates for crimes people commit.

  4. Capt. H. M. Snyder, USMC (Retired)

    As a citizen of our United States of America, Mr. Cosby has as much right to be presumed “innocent until proven guilty” as you or I also possess. Before you lynch him, let our judicial system convict him of what he’s been accused, then you may demand your pound of flesh. Those of us who have served this great nation, many of whom fought battles on foreign soil, fought for American, even Mr. Cosby. Sempre Fidelis.

  5. Bill Cosby raped and murdered me!

    See how easy that is? Anyone can make accusations but without a day in court they should not amount to justification for any sort of response. I agree that Bill Cosby is *probably* guilty, but without a trial it would be a mockery of our American values to destroy the mans life on the basis of accusations alone.

  6. I’m stiill having a hard time believing the way the police tore apart MJ none of these women thought to take hard evidence to the police in 30 years but then these women had skeletons as well didn’t they? I know I know victim shaming. Hollywood women aren’t required to have morals and character. I’m also having a hard time believing that such a serial rapist wouldn’t hit on one of the intelligent gorgeous women on The Cosby/Different World sets? My buckeye child constantly tells me how much fun “she” had meeting Cosby and Kevin Hart at OSU! Bottom line for me is get rid of all worthless honorary degrees and innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. Now the court of scum bags is Camille Cosby’s burden to bare…..

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