Press Release Board of Trustees

Trustees Revoke Honorary Doctorate Awarded to Actor Bill Cosby




(November 20, 2015) – The Board of Trustees of the California State University (CSU) voted on November 18 to revoke the honorary Doctor of Letters degree awarded to actor Bill Cosby in 1992 on behalf of California Polytechnic University, Pomona. Cosby’s conduct is contrary to the values of the CSU and inconsistent with the criteria and high standards that honorary degree recipients are expected to exemplify. The CSU has been awarding honorary doctorate degrees since 1963, and this is the first time in 52 years that the Board of Trustees has voted to rescind a degree.

The purpose of the honorary doctorate degree is to recognize inspirational individuals who serve as role models and have made outstanding contributions to the CSU, individual campuses, the State of California or humanity at large. The honorees include individuals whose lives, conduct and significant achievements serve as examples of the CSU’s aspirations for its diverse student population. Because Cosby’s conduct is contrary to the criteria and standards under which he was honored by the CSU, the Board took action to revoke the previously awarded honorary degree in order to maintain the prestige, reputation and credibility of the CSU, Cal Poly Pomona and other honorary doctorate degree recipients.


About the California State University
The California State University is the largest system of senior higher education in the country, with 23 campuses, 47,000 faculty and staff and more than 460,000 students. Half of the CSU’s students transfer from California Community Colleges. Created in 1960, the mission of the CSU is to provide high-quality, affordable education to meet the ever changing needs of California. With its commitment to quality, opportunity, and student success, the CSU is renowned for superb teaching, innovative research and for producing job-ready graduates. Each year, the CSU awards more than 100,000 degrees. One in every 20 Americans holding a college degree is a graduate of the CSU and our alumni are 3 million strong. Connect with and learn more about the CSU at CSU Social Media.