The University of South Carolina has revoked an honorary doctorate given to comedian Bill Cosby 32 years ago.
The school’s board of trustees took the action at its meeting on Friday, roughly two months after a jury convicted Cosby on three counts of sexual assault.
“This is not an action we take lightly, nor one this Board has taken in the past,” board chairman John van Lehe said in a prepared statement. “We did not react hastily to the charges against Mr. Cosby, choosing instead to allow due process to work in the courts. Thoughtful deliberation was our path. However, the criminal process has ended, Mr. Cosby has been found guilty and this Board feels action on our part is necessary.”
Cosby was awarded the degree during the school’s 1986 commencement. The comedian also made a large donation towards USC’s education college at the time.
It is believed to be the first time the school has formally revoked one of its honorary doctorates.
Von Lehe also asked trustees to review USC’s honorary degree policies and eventually recommend a new formal criteria and process.
The Medical University of South Carolina revoked its own honorary degree for Cosby shortly after the comedian’s conviction in April.