Boston University rescinds Bill Cosby’s honorary degree

Bill Cosby received an honorary degree during Boston University's 141st commencement ceremony in May 2014.
Bill Cosby received an honorary degree during Boston University's 141st commencement ceremony in May 2014. –Dina Rudick/Globe Staff.

Boston University has rescinded Bill Cosby’s honorary degree, which was awarded to him at the university’s commencement ceremony in May 2014, the university announced Monday.

The Board of Trustees voted on Thursday to revoke the degree, a decision that “…was based on a determination, supported by Mr. Cosby’s sworn deposition testimony, that his treatment of women has brought significant and lasting discredit upon himself and is inconsistent with the University’s mission and values,’’ according to a statement from the BU president Robert Brown.

Boston University is now one of more than 40 institutions to rescind an honorary degree from Cosby. The decision comes on the heels of the University of San Francisco, as well as Fordham, Marquette and Brown universities, which rescinded honorary degrees in October. At the time, BU spokesman Colin Riley said the school had “nothing new to report,’’ and that the school was still “monitoring legal developments.’’

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But, in a statement Monday, Brown said the Board of Trustees chose to rescind the degree “after careful consideration.’’

“Mr. Cosby’s admitted conduct, which the University learned about only after awarding him the degree, demonstrates that his character fails to reflect the integrity and virtues that the University values and esteems in members of its community, and in those persons the University holds up for this particular honor,’’ Brown said.

On Monday, Cosby filed counterclaims in federal court, alleging that seven women made false accusations of sexual misconduct for financial gain.

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