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not alone in assessing whether the comedian and “The Cosby Show” actor should have his honorary doctorate in education rescinded.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Davey said, at this time, it is unclear if OSU has ever rescinded an honorary degree.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Cosby’s honorary degrees have been rescinded by a growing list of universities, including Brown University, Baylor University and the University of San Francisco.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.