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Board of Visitors rescinds Bill Cosby's honorary doctoral degree

Friday, Dec. 7, 2018

During our meeting today, the Virginia Commonwealth University Board of Visitors voted to rescind the honorary doctoral degree awarded to Bill Cosby in 2008. 

This action—historic in precedent at VCU—reaffirms our university’s staunch commitments to treating all people with decency and respect and to the complete elimination of sexual misconduct. The appalling and despicable actions for which Mr. Cosby was convicted in court are antithetical to the standards of conduct we expect of every member of the VCU community, including those with whom our name is associated.

We award honorary degrees judiciously and with the expectation that those who receive them will advance VCU’s mission and personify our commitment to serving the public good. University leaders were unaware of any wrongdoing on Mr. Cosby’s part at the time we chose to honor him. Given his time in court, it is clear that Mr. Cosby does not reflect our values and should no longer be affiliated with our university.

We will continue to ensure that VCU welcomes and supports everyone and wholly commits to the highest ethical standards, including our stated core values of accountability and integrity.

Virginia Commonwealth University Board of Visitors

Phoebe P. Hall, Rector