Daily Pennsylvanian: Revoke Bill Cosby’s Honorary Degree

An editorial in the student newspaper takes a hard line.


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:

When the University honors a man who has been accused of sexual assault by nearly 60 people, victims might question whether they can trust Penn to take their experiences seriously.

If Penn wants to be serious about sexual assault — and, more generally, good citizenship — it cannot continue to implicitly laud Cosby.

The editorial board notes that the university has a right to condemn Cosby’s character as “a man of dubious morality” by revoking the degree and that doing so does not imply it’s making a judgment about his legal responsibility.

Read the entire piece here.

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Previously: Should Temple Have Investigated Bill Cosby in 2005?