Drexel University announced today it was revoking Bill Cosby‘s honorary degree, given to him by the university in 1992.
“The misconduct by Bill Cosby that came to light through his sworn deposition testimony stands in clear opposition to Drexel’s values,” Drexel president John A. Frywrote to the Drexel community Thursday. “Universities are critical arenas in the movement to recognize and address sexual violence and misconduct as a societal problem. Drexel takes that responsibility very seriously, and the decision to revoke Mr. Cosby’s honorary degree flows from that responsibility.”
Fry said that he made the decision after consulting with the Executive Committee of Drexel’s Board of Trustees.
Cosby got the degree when he was Drexel’s convocation speaker in 1992. Cosby spoke of “counselors who don’t know how to counsel” and “parents who don’t know how to parent” at the convocation.
Deeply troubling, indeed. Although the numbers weren’t unique to Penn — results were “deeply troubling” across the board — that didn’t make them any easier to take in.
A staggering 27 percent of undergraduate women who responded to the survey reported that they had been sexually assaulted at Penn. A full two-thirds reported that they were subject to sexual harassment. Less than half said they thought it was “very or extremely likely” that Penn would take a report of sexual assault seriously, and only about a third were confident that the university would conduct a fair investigation.
To summarize: Women at Penn are being sexually assaulted in alarming numbers, and they don’t trust Penn to do anything about it.
Is now a good time to mention that Bill Cosby still holds an honorary degree from the University of Pennsylvania? Because he does. Although a number of institutions have revoked Cosby’s honors after more than 50 women have accused him of sexual assault, Penn declined to do so on Friday. Read more »
Kristina Ruehli in her 1967 wedding photo (left); Bill Cosby in an uncredited 1969 publicity photo | Wikipedia Commons (middle); Kristina Ruehli today (right)
More than 50 women have come forward with sexual assault allegations against Bill Cosby, and the woman whose accusations go back the furthest — she says Cosby attacked her in 1965 — is now suing the comedian in federal court. Read more »
The image the DP used for its editorial. Note the Temple sweatshirt.
While other universities across the country have revoked Bill Cosby’s honorary degrees in the wake of the accusations against him, the University of Pennsylvania, which gave him a degree in 1990, remains mum. Now the Daily Pennsylvanian has put out a clear call for the university to act, arguing that though Cosby denies the allegations and has not been convicted of a crime, “he is no longer deserving of the honor.” Further, the editorial notes, “The University is not a court. It does not require legal precedence or jurisdiction in order to take a stand against someone or something that does not uphold its core values.”
The editorial connects the university’s non-action on Cosby to the larger problem of sexual assault on college campuses, and the message it sends to student victims: Read more »
Barrett told reporters Cosby grabbed her from behind. “He had his arm on my waist and forcefully pulled me on to his private area saying, ‘Hey, back that thing up here girl, back it on up,’” she told reporters. “I cried out and tried to pull away from his vice-like grip on my waist.” Barrett said she “felt his private parts” against her backside. Read more »
Cosby accuser Andrea Constand (via Twitter) / Bruce Castor (via campaign website)
Andrea Constand was the first woman to publicly accuse Bill Cosby of sexual assault, claiming in a 2005 civil lawsuit that he drugged and attacked her at his home in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania in 2004. And now, more than a decade and dozens more Cosby accusers later, Constand has filed a civil lawsuit against former Montgomery County District Attorney Bruce Castor, who declined to file criminal charges against Cosby after Constand went to police in 2005. Read more »
A decision Bruce Castor made almost 10 years ago is the subject of a new attack ad. That decision: Not to prosecute Bill Cosby.
Andrea Constand, who worked at Temple at the time, told prosecutors in 2005 that Cosby drugged and sexually assaulted her at his Cheltenham home. Castor did not file charges. Constand later sued Cosby and reached a settlement in 2006.
Castor, a Republican and Montgomery County commissioner, was the county district attorney from 2000 to 2008. He’s running again for the seat this year. His opponent, Montco first assistant DA Kevin Steele, this week released an advertisement that attacks Castor for his decision on Cosby. (Cosby, it should be noted, has never been criminally charged nor convicted in any jurisdiction, and has denied the the accusations against him. He faces civil lawsuits from several women across the country, however.)
The ad highlights a quote Castor gave before deciding whether to charge Cosby. “In Pennsylvania, we charge people for criminal conduct,” he said at the time. “We don’t charge people for making a mistake or doing something foolish.”
The ad concludes: “Bruce Castor is not looking out for the victims.” Castor told NBC 10 the attack ad was “predictable craziness from a desperate candidate.” Read more »
Last week, Lehigh University rescinded an honorary degree it had given to Bill Cosby in 1987. It decided to nix the honor because of the overwhelming number of women who have accused Cosby of sexual assault. (Cosby has never been criminally charged — though he currently faces several civil lawsuits —and has denied the accusations.)
“Pursuant to a resolution of the Board of Trustees, Lehigh University has rescinded the honorary degree bestowed upon William H. Cosby, Jr. by the University in 1987,” the University said in a statement. “In sworn deposition testimony, Mr. Cosby admitted under oath to behavior that is antithetical to the values of Lehigh University and inconsistent with the character and high standards that honorary degree recipients are expected to exemplify.”
Lehigh is not the only local university to have awarded Cosby an honorary degree. Seven other schools in the Philadelphia area — Delaware State, Drexel, Haverford, Swarthmore, Temple, Penn and West Chester — have awarded Cosby honorary diplomas. Philadelphia magazine reached out to all seven schools to ask if they were considering stripping him of his honorary diplomas. Here’s what we found out. Read more »
New York Mets shortstop Ruben Tejada (right) collides with Los Angeles Dodgers second baseman Chase Utley (left) at second base during the seventh inning in game two of the NLDS at Dodger Stadium. | Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Good morning, Philadelphia. Here’s what you need to know today:
The Dodgers’ Chase Utley has been suspended two games for a controversial slide that broke the leg of Mets’ shortstop Ruben Tejada.
Major League Baseball disagrees, announcing that Utley will be suspended Games 3 and 4 of the National League Divisional Series. He’ll appeal, AP reports. “A two-game suspension for a legal baseball play is outrageous and completely unacceptable. Chase did what all players are taught to do in this situation — break up the double play,” his agent said. Read more »