Watch CBS News

Johns Hopkins Under Pressure To Rescind Cosby's Honorary Degree

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- Johns Hopkins University is under growing pressure to take back the honorary degree it awarded Bill Cosby. The comedian is accused of sexually assaulting dozens of women, though he's never been charged.

But one accuser with ties to Hopkins says the school should cut ties.

Meghan McCorkell with the call for action.

The university has never rescinded an honorary degree, but with Cosby, the calls are growing louder.

In May of 2004, Johns Hopkins University awarded Billy Cosby an honorary degree.

"Your education here, I assume, is fantastic," Cosby said.

Now Hopkins faces pressure to do something its never done--take that honor back.

"I don't think he should be associated with this university," said one student.

Cosby's degree is under review, with schools officials saying:

"Johns Hopkins University is deeply troubled by the reports and allegations regarding Bill Cosby. As a university, Johns Hopkins has a set of values we seek to uphold and we are actively reviewing this matter. We exercise great care and deliberation in awarding an honorary degree and would do so in the event of revoking one. We always welcome and take into account input from members of our community on important issues such as this one."

More than 50 women have accused the comedian of sexually assaulting them--allegations Cosby adamantly denies.

Leading the charge at Hopkins--actress Lili Bernard--who guest starred on The Cosby Show and has a child attending the university. She claims Cosby attacked her.

"It took me 23 years to shed the fear that resulted from Bill Cosby drugging me, raping me and threatening me," she said.

Along with Hopkins, more than 60 schools have awarded Cosby honorary degrees, including University of Maryland and University of Baltimore.

Weeks ago, Goucher College repealed Cosby's honorary degree.

Hopkins students WJZ spoke with have mixed reaction.

"I guess so. What he did wasn't right. So if it's within the university's power, then I guess they have the power to do that," said one student.

"To be honest, I don't really have a strong opinion in the matter," another student said.

The university is now asking for input on what action they should take.

At least ten other schools have already rescinded Cosby's honorary degrees.

A student group at Hopkins is also reaching out to other colleges, asking them to repeal their honorary degrees.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.