Yale University claimed it would not rescind Bill Cosby's honorary degree from the university, refusing to follow the lead of the large handful of universities that have chosen to rescind their honorary degrees of Cosby.
At the beginning of this month, Penn announced it would revoke the honorary degrees granted to Steve Wynn and Cosby, who has been accused by over 50 women of sexual misconduct. This is a departure from the position taken on by the University two years ago, when these allegations first emerged.
Cosby had acquired at least 60 honorary degrees, an award typically given by universities to celebrities involved in commencement addresses.
His reputation began to decline in 2014 when people began to step forward to publicize sexual assault allegations against him. Since then, more than 60 women have come out with stories of the actor's sexual misconduct.
Yale has never rescinded an honorary degree and has no plans of doing so, according to Fox News. Despite Yale students’ repeated requests for Cosby’s honor to be rescinded, the university has not budged on the matter.
“Any change to this long standing practice would have to be taken up by the Board of Trustees (which is the body that confers degrees) and it is not under active discussion,” Yale spokesman Karent Part told Fox News.
According to an email written by University President Amy Gutmann and Board of Trustees Chair David Cohen, Penn hasn't rescinded an honorary degree in more than a century.
"We view these as extraordinary and essentially unique circumstances that call for an immediate, decisive, and clearly ethical response," Gutmann and Cohen wrote.
"As a University, we have always been, and will always continue to be, looked to by our alumni and neighbors, our faculty, and most of all by our students, for moral leadership. We must not – we cannot – fail to provide it."
In November 2015, Drexel University announced its decision to revoke the former “Cosby Show” star’s honorary degree joining several other schools such as Brown University, Tufts University, and Amherst College.
"While the allegations against Mr. Cosby are deeply troubling, it is not our practice to rescind honorary degrees,” Vice President for University Communications Steve MacCarthy said in a statement to the Daily Pennsylvanian after Drexel's decision was announced.
Cosby’s sexual assault case ended in a mistrial in June 2017. His retrial will take place in April.
All comments eligible for publication in Daily Pennsylvanian, Inc. publications.