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Brown University: Bill Cosby's honorary degree revoked

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Brown University became the latest university to revoke Bill Cosby’s honorary degree in light of the numerous sexual assault accusations brought against the comedian. Cosby first received the honorary doctorate in 1985.

The news was delivered via a campus-wide email sent out on Monday by Brown President Christina Paxson. According to the message, Cosby no longer represents “honesty, fair play, love of family, and respect for humanity,” the “values that the Brown community holds dear.”

“It has become clear, by his own admission in legal depositions that became public this summer, that Mr. Cosby has engaged in conduct with women that is contrary to the values of Brown and the qualities for which he was honored by the University in 1985,” Paxson wrote.

The 2005 depositions that Paxson mentions were released earlier this year. In the documents, Cosby admitted to acquiring Quaaludes to give to women before sex. The 78-year-old has never been charged with a crime, and stated that any sex he had was consensual.

“The conduct that Mr. Cosby has acknowledged is wholly inconsistent with the behavior we expect of any individual associated with Brown,” Paxson continued. “It is particularly troubling as our university community continues to confront the very real challenges of sexual violence on our campus and in society at large, and had it been known to the Fellows in 1985, an honorary degree lauding the qualities quoted above would not have been conferred.”

Earlier this week, Fordham University and Marquette University retracted their honorary degrees to Cosby as well.

Neither Cosby’s attorney nor rep immediately responded to EW’s request for comment. 

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