Bill Cosby bows out as Temple University trustee

Mon Dec 1, 2014 10:23pm EST
 
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By Daniel Kelley

PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) - Comedian Bill Cosby has resigned from the board of trustees of Temple University, his alma mater said in a statement on Monday, after the entertainer was hit with a wave of sexual assault accusations.

More than a dozen women have come forward in the past few weeks with accusations that Cosby, 77, sexually assaulted them as far back as the 1960s.

Patrick O'Connor, chairman of the Philadelphia university's board of trustees, said Cosby called him on Monday to resign.

"He didn't want his personal issue to detract from his service to Temple," O'Connor said in a phone interview. "He was a great trustee. I thanked him for his service."

Cosby has never been charged, and his lawyers have said the assault claims were discredited and defamatory.

Cosby was proud of his education at Temple, where he discovered a gift for comedy that led to a successful career in stand-up and groundbreaking roles for an African-American actor in television series such as "I Spy" and "The Cosby Show."

Cosby, who might be best known for his role as wholesome father Dr. Cliff Huxtable, used his position as one of the biggest stars on television to encourage young people, particularly in underprivileged African-American communities, to get out of poverty by earning an education.

The decision to leave Temple's board comes after the University of Massachusetts Amherst and Berklee College of Music cut ties last week with the comedian, who had a reputation as a strong fundraiser. High Point University in North Carolina has also removed Cosby from its board of advisers.   Continued...

 
Actor Bill Cosby attends the American Comedy Awards in New York in this April 26, 2014, file photo. REUTERS/Eric Thayer/Files