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Jenkins rescinds Bill Cosby’s honorary degree from Notre Dame

| Friday, April 27, 2018

University President Fr. John Jenkins released a statement Thursday announcing the revocation of Bill Cosby’s honorary degree from Notre Dame following his conviction of three counts of sexual assault.

“As a result of his conviction today on three felony charges in a sexual assault, the University of Notre Dame has rescinded the honorary degree awarded to Bill Cosby in 1990,” Jenkins said in the statement. “While certainly troubled by serious, public accusations made by multiple women against him, the University elected to wait until due process had been afforded the accused, and a verdict delivered, before rescinding the honor.”

Cosby has been accused of sexual assault by more than 50 women. He was found guilty Thursday of penetration with lack of consent, penetration while unconscious and penetration after administering an intoxicant in a case brought forward by former Temple University employee Andrea Constand. Constand — in a story similar to those of many of Cosby’s other accusers — said Cosby drugged her in order to sexually assault her in 2004.

Jenkins’s decision to rescind Cosby’s honorary degree comes just over two years after the student senate passed a resolution calling on the University administration to do so. The resolution, passed in March 2016, cited Cosby’s admission “under oath to using illegal sedatives to coerce women into sexual intercourse.”

“Mr. Cosby’s association with these behaviors is in direct conflict with the University’s stance, as stated in du Lac, that ‘sexual assault is inconsistent with the University’s values and incompatible with the safe, healthy environment that the Notre Dame community expects,’” the resolution stated.

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