Bill Cosby

SUNY TAKES A STAND: The State University of New York said Thursday it has rescinded the honorary degrees awarded to Bill Cosby and James Levine.

Cosby had been awarded an honorary degree by the Fashion Institute of Technology in 2000.

Levine, music director emeritus and artistic director of the Metropolitan Opera, had been awarded honorary degrees jointly in 1996 from the SUNY Colleges of Optometry and SUNY Potsdam.

“Today we continue to take a stand against sexual misconduct,” said SUNY Chancellor Kristina Johnson. “The actions that led to the recent conviction of Bill Cosby and the compelling evidence against James Levine are inexcusable and oppose the values and mission of our system. It is for this reason that SUNY revokes their honorary degrees.”

Cosby was convicted last week on three counts of aggravated indecent assault in a sexual assault case brought against him.

As reported on Monday, after consulting with a representative committee of its community, FIT recommended to SUNY, of which it is a part, that Cosby’s degree be rescinded. This is the first time that FIT has recommended that an honorary degree be revoked.

SUNY joins other universities that have recently revoked Cosby’s honorary degrees including Johns Hopkins University, Yale University, Notre Dame, Carnegie Mellon University, Boston College and Cosby’s alma mater, Temple University. More than a dozen schools, including Ohio State, Fordham, University of Pennsylvania, Oberlin, Swarthmore College and Marquette University had already revoked Cosby’s honorary degree before the start of the trial.

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