Students outraged FIT, NYU haven’t yanked Cosby’s honorary degrees
Two Manhattan colleges have yet to yank the honorary degrees they bestowed on now-convicted sex offender Bill Cosby — and students say the lack of action is a total fail.
Officials at Manhattan’s Fashion Institute of Technology, whose student body is 85 percent women, and New York University said Friday that the schools were still debating whether to revoke the disgraced funnyman’s honorary doctorates after his sexual-assault conviction a day earlier.
“[It] has been a subject under discussion at the college, and a decision will be rendered very soon,” was all an FIT spokeswoman would say — even as Cosby’s alma mater, Temple University, revoked his honorary doctorate of law.
In 2000, FIT gave Cosby an honorary doctorate of humane letters at a ceremony in Radio City City Music Hall. His now 51-year-old daughter Erinn attended the college.
NYU also was not in a rush to strip the 80-year-old Cosby of his honorary doctorate of fine arts, which it awarded him in May 1997.
“We expect the trustees to take up the matter of his honorary degree at their next meeting,” said John Beckman, a spokesman for the university.
Students were outraged by the delay.
“I think they should absolutely revoke his degree — especially with rape culture being such a big issue across college campuses,” said Mary Sherman, 18, who is studying textiles at FIT. If they don’t, “It sends a message that rape is OK.”
Former state Comptroller Carl McCall, who chairs SUNY’s Board of Trustees that oversees FIT — and whose wife, Joyce Brown, is FIT’s president — hinted that the FIT honor, at least, will eventually be stripped from Cosby.
“We’ve done it in other cases,’’ he said, citing the case of SUNY Oswego and Charlie Rose.
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