George Washington University says it will rescind the honorary degree it gave Bill Cosby nearly 10 years ago in response to the torrent of allegations of sexual assault facing the comedian.
Steven Knapp, the university's president, made the announcement in a letter to students published Monday.
The university's administrators initially said they would not take back the honorary doctoral degree awarded to Cosby in 1997, but Knapp said he decided to reverse the decision after speaking with students and colleagues about the issue.
"Whatever may ultimately be determined about the guilt or innocence of Mr. Cosby in a court of law, the controversy itself has become a cause of renewed distress for our students and alumni who are survivors of sexual assault," Knapp said.
Several schools around the country have revoked honorary degrees awarded to Cosby, including Tufts University in Massachusetts, Lehigh University in Pennsylvania, Fordham University in New York and Marquette University in Wisconsin.