Bill Cosby doesn't deserve honorary degree from CMU
Carnegie Mellon awarded an honorary degree in 2007 to America's former favorite sitcom dad, Bill Cosby. Cosby gave Carnegie Mellon its unofficial mascot on campus, the scotty dog, a legacy that lives on.
In 2014, comedian Hannibal Burress called Bill Cosby a rapist in a stand-up routine that soon went viral. Hannibal wasn't the first to accuse Cosby of sex crimes — women have been accusing him for decades — but he was the first accuser people took seriously. Soon after, scores of women came forward to publicly accuse Cosby of sexual assault going back to the eighties. Currently more than 50 women have accused Cosby of date rape and other forms of sexual assault and harassment, and he is engaged in five related lawsuits.
Before his crimes were made public, Cosby had received over 20 honorary degrees from schools including Boston University, Yale University, the University of Pennsylvania, and Fordham University. Although Cosby has not been convicted of a crime yet, several of these schools have rescinded his honorary degree. Last week alone, Tufts University and Baltimore's Goucher College rescinded Cosby's degrees.
Carnegie Mellon, however, has let Cosby's degree stand. The allegations against Cosby are serious and undeniable, and seven colleges of the 26 that have given Cosby honorary degrees have already rescinded them. Carnegie Mellon should join their ranks, and rescind Cosby's honorary doctorate of Humane Letters.
Despite the lack of a formal conviction against Cosby, it's unacceptable for the university to continue to tacitly endorse a public figure who has fallen so far from his pedestal. The university should retract the degree of a man who's not fit to be a peer to Carnegie Mellon's other honorary degree recipients.