Home » Campus » Board votes to revoke Cosby’s honorary degree, approves four other honorary degrees

Board votes to revoke Cosby’s honorary degree, approves four other honorary degrees

The Academic Affairs and Student Life Committee of the Board of Trustees meets Thursday afternoon in the Longaberger Alumni House. Credit: Matt Dorsey | Engagement Editor

Bill Cosby’s honorary doctoral degree was revoked Thursday by the Academic Affairs and Student Life Committee of the Board of Trustees, which also voted to approve four honorary doctorate degrees and to implement two new degree programs.

All actions must be approved by the full Board on Friday.

The revocation of Cosby’s honorary degree — a doctorate in education given to him by Ohio State in 2001 when he delivered the commencement address — follows in the footsteps of many other universities that have stripped him of similar honors following allegations of drugging and sexually assaulting multiple women.

The four honorary degrees approved Thursday will be given to Sue Desmond-Hellmann, the CEO of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation who will deliver this May’s Spring Commencement address; folk singer and musician Joan Baez; former Secretary of State Colin Powell; and Matthieu Ricard, a Buddhist monk and French translator for the Dalai Lama.

The committee approved the establishment of a new doctoral program in engineering education and a new Master’s program in applied neuroscience.

An update to Ohio State’s Patent and Copyright policy, the first such update since 1989, also  was approved.

The update will rename the policy as the Intellectual Property policy, and will “address the rights of software creators; update the process for the commercialization of inventions, discoveries and patents; address the rights of staff members with respect to their intellectual creation; adjust the royalties-sharing mechanism; establish a dispute resolution mechanism; align the policy with the university’s standard policy template,” according to documents provided to the Board.

Pending approval of the full Board Friday, the updated policy will take effect April 15.

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