Spelman College Suspends Cosby Endowed Professorship Indefinitely

Spelman becomes the latest institution to end their relationship with Bill Cosby

bill cosby smiling

Image: File

After a long history with the Cosby family, Spelman College is the latest institution to distance themselves from the actor and comedian amid allegations of sexual assault.

Home to the Cosby Chair for the Humanities, which is a prestigious endowed professorship at the all-girls HBCU that was partly funded by a $20 million donation from Bill and Camille Cosby, college officials announced late Sunday that they were indefinitely suspending the program due to the recent news surrounding the 77-year-old.

Spelman’s latest decision follows Cosby’s resignation from his 32-year post as a member of Temple University’s board of trustees and his resignation as an honorary co-chair of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst’s capital campaign.

“The William and Camille Olivia Hanks Cosby Endowed Professorship was established to bring positive attention and accomplished visiting scholars to Spelman College in order to enhance our intellectual, cultural and creative life,” a school’s spokesperson told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “The current context prevents us from continuing to meet these objectives fully. Consequently, we will suspend the program until such time that the original goals can be met again.”

The Cosby’s donation to Spelman, which is the same institution their daughters attended, is noted as the single largest donation ever awarded to a historically black college. Not only did the donation help fund the professorship program, but it also helped pay for the construction of the Camille Olivia Hanks Cosby, Ed.D. Academic Center, which houses the Spelman College Museum of Fine Art, the college archives and offices.

SOURCE: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

  • ImJustSaying

    And here is a link to another article that
    notes Cosby’s fake university degrees.
    Plus — here is a link to a copy
    of the (lol) “dissertation thesis”
    (that he had a, then, low-level
    staff person write-up for him
    and) — which was essentially a
    just commendatory-review of the
    children’s cartoon-show he hosted.
    The academic-achievement of
    “the good doctor” (lol) about as
    ‘real’ as the ‘flavoring’ in Jell-Oâ„¢.
    “” The Massachusetts Attorney
    General Martha Coakley has
    sent a letter to the university
    urging it to cut ties with Bill Cosby…
    In May of 1977, comedian Bill Cosby
    basically ‘engineered’ his acceptance of
    a Doctor of Education degree from the
    University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
    He was also the star of the
    commencement ceremony.
    Like any academic business reliant
    on donations, the University of
    Massachusetts had learned that …
    celebrities brought very major funding.
    The day Cosby was ‘given’ his PhD, there
    were plenty of media photographers there to
    photograph him wearing his academic robes
    then again smoking his congratulatory cigar.
    The diploma was ‘given’ to him by
    the chancellor of the university.
    The document is titled “An Integration of
    the Visual Media via Fat Albert and the
    Cosby Kids into the Elementary School
    Curriculum as a Teaching Aid and
    Vehicle to Achieve Increased Learning.”
    It’s 142 pages long, with another 100
    pages of bibliography and appendices
    (and even blank pages are numbered
    which makes the document
    appear longer than it actually is).
    Bill Cosby’s PhD is truly a creative work of
    art and huge embarrassment to the school.
    When given an opportunity to defend the
    document – representatives of the University
    of Massachusetts have
    always declined.
    One former professor at the university had
    long called for a second ceremony to have
    Cosby give the degree back to the school.
    That professor, was on Cosby’s
    thesis committee so he spoke
    with authority on the subject.
    Reginald G. Damerell, now 94 was
    a member of the committee and
    for years wanted the public to know
    that Cosby’s ‘degree’ was bogus.
    And … he had been saying
    that Cosby’s work for which
    the school gave him a PhD was
    academically inferior and lacked
    value … FOR DECADES.
    In his own book,
    Education’s Smoking Gun
    (Freundlich Books, $17.95),
    Damerell, claimed that Cosby’s Ed.D.
    —like many advanced education
    doctorates out of ‘that program’ —
    were absolute shams and ridiculous.”
    Damerell reported that Cosby,
    who had repeated the 10th grade
    three times, dropped out of High
    School, got his GED in the service,
    then dropped out of Temple University’s
    Physical Education program as well,
    was recruited personally by an assistant
    dean of the U. Mass. education school.
    Cosby took advantage of the
    program he was invited to join.
    It had been designed to award advanced
    education degrees to “mature students,”
    some of whom had never even attended or
    completed college if they’d enrolled at all.
    According to Damerell, Cosby
    did not even take one (1) full
    semester-length course – ever.
    Instead, Cosby attended “one” (1)
    weekend-long seminar and for that,
    was given fake credits for having appeared
    in his own TV shows and his appearances on
    ‘Sesame Street’ and ‘The Electric Company.’
    There is no doubt, once you read this PhD,
    that it is an absolute embarrassment to the
    University of Massachusetts at Amherst
    and why the school has never wanted
    to defend it or even talk about it.
    School staff identify the document as one
    might identify a distant relative in a morgue.
    As a member of Cosby’s doctoral committee
    for five months, Damerell claimed that in that
    entire five months, the only actual board
    meeting on Cosby’s dissertation
    wherein all three members were present,
    took place in an unorthodox
    and unacceptable location.
    Cosby took the reigns of ‘his’ own committee
    by moving the only actual meeting that
    had been scheduled to discuss
    Cosby’s presentation – completely out
    the hands of the Department of Education.
    He literally moved the meeting
    off the school grounds
    insisting that the meeting be held
    in his own private home in Massachusetts.

    Taking the meeting out of the hands
    of the Department of Education
    was already inappropriate but in doing so and
    intimidating his committee into doing what he
    wanted and basically taking charge of events,
    Cosby likely violated the standard protocol
    and expectation for a PhD candidate
    when meeting with his or her committee.
    The move off the grounds
    in itself was not illegal but was
    highly inappropriate, since Cosby
    not only took over the meeting’s leadership
    but moved the meeting to his private home
    where and not the committee was in charge.
    University committees set the standard for
    where and how committee meetings are
    held, who attends them and their location.
    A PhD candidate presenting work is not
    supposed to use his or her celebrity
    to lead the committee.
    The PhD candidate must
    submit to the committee,
    be counseled by same,
    and that student must
    submit to its findings –
    not the other way around.
    Cosby was clearly
    controlling his committee
    and considering that he
    signed very large checks,
    it is likely that everyone
    just ‘went along’ to ‘get along.’
    Consider this occurred during the seventies,
    and you had three academics dealing with
    an extremely well known international TV
    star and comedian with a very large wallet.
    Which of the three committee members
    could possibly take him on?
    None of them.
    They were just educators
    worshiping the possibility of tenure
    and not legally or financially prepared
    to take on a celebrity icon who by then
    was suing people left and right whenever
    they dared defy anything he said or did.
    By then, Cosby was already
    a movie star and
    a force to contend with.
    He was not about to let a bunch of
    ‘fuddy duddy’ professors manage
    what he has always referred to
    (even back then), as “my committee”.
    As is his habit, instead of submitting to the
    committee, the academic body reviewing his
    work, he boldly took ‘possession’ of them.
    Instead of a proper academic discussion
    and review of Cosby’s document,
    Damerell reported,
    Bill Cosby’s committee meeting
    became a ‘home tour’ of his 16-room,
    135-year-old at the restored farmhouse,
    including an admiring visit to a closet filled
    with fur coats belonging to his wife, Camille,
    followed by a privileged look at drawer
    after drawer of Cosby’s shirts.
    “It was a scene right out of The Great Gatsby.
    At no time did we talk about education.
    The dinner was brought in by
    the very best local provider and had
    no other purpose than to ensure that
    those present, would go along with the farce.”
    Damerell declared.
    But of all the things in Bill Cosby’s
    duplicitous life, that lack integrity,
    this ridiculous excuse for a PhD has got to
    be the falsehood that haunts him the most …
    … CNN led with a story about Cosby
    headlined; “Media goes to Crucify Cosby”
    as though Cosby were Jesus Christ.
    Cosby is just a severely flawed hypocrite
    with enough money to pay to protect
    his charmed life and use extremely
    well paid legal mercenaries that
    helped him keep his fraud protected
    and alive and well for decades.
    Cosby has lived the cultured, rehearsed
    life of an extremely wealthy entertainer
    whose farce has finally fallen apart.
    Unfortunately, he doesn’t have the good
    sense to simply apologize and start over.
    He’s forgotten that the American public
    has a short memory and is very forgiving.
    This doctorate he claims he put together,
    is also an absolute fraud.
    His pile of cartoons and lists would
    not be accepted as homework
    if turned in by a High Schooler.
    We should not say ‘shame on Bill Cosby’
    because he is just a comedian
    that has always lacked integrity …
    We should question
    how much money the
    University of Massachusetts at Amherst
    has accepted through the years for
    the purpose of not reviewing and
    dissolving Bill Cosby’s bogus PhD.
    A document they are ashamed of,
    have never defended and
    will not defend today,
    but whose associated checks
    they have always cashed.