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Bill Cosby's honorary degree from UNC revoked

Entertainer William Henry Cosby, Jr. leaves the field after delivering the commencement address at UNC's 2003 Commencement exercises in 2003.
Entertainer William Henry Cosby, Jr. leaves the field after delivering the commencement address at UNC's 2003 Commencement exercises in 2003.

UNC-Chapel Hill's Board of Trustees has voted to revoke an honorary degree awarded in 2003 to comedian Bill Cosby, who was convicted recently in a sexual assault case.

Board members voted unanimously by mail ballot to revoke the degree. The student body president did not cast a vote because the balloting happened before the new student representative was sworn in, according to a spokeswoman.

The mail ballot was approved without discussion as a part of the board's consent agenda.

Chancellor Carol Folt had recommended the revocation, saying, "This is the first known time that the University has taken steps to rescind an honorary degree, and we do not take this action lightly. In this case, Cosby's acts were so counter to our campus values that this prestigious honor is no longer appropriate."

Cosby was convicted in April in a retrial of a case in which an employee of Temple University said she was drugged and assaulted by himin 2004. Dozens of women have accused him of sexual misconduct or assault.

Bill Cosby was convicted Thursday of drugging and molesting Temple University employee Andrea Constand at his suburban Philadelphia home in 2004.

The conviction prompted several universities to revoke degrees given to Cosby, including Temple, Carnegie Mellon, Johns Hopkins, Notre Dame and Boston College.

N.C. A&T State University's board acted quickly to revoke a degree awarded to the comedian in 2008.

Andrea Constand is the only woman among more than 50 accusers whose complaint against Mr. Cosby has resulted in a conviction. A jury found him guilty of three counts of aggravated indecent assault.

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