University of Wyoming May Now Revoke Honorary Degrees
University of Wyoming trustees will now be able to revoke honorary degrees.
Reasons for revocation include conduct inconsistent with the university’s mission or values or that harms the university’s reputation.
Misrepresenting or undermining accomplishments cited as the basis for the honorary degree also may result in revocation.
Trustees voted for the change during their January meeting, according to the Laramie Boomerang.
Provost Kate Miller proposed the change after other universities recently revoked honorary degrees they’d given to disgraced public figures including comedian Bill Cosby.
Schools have revoked dozens of Cosby’s honorary degrees after numerous women accused him of sexual abuse. He was convicted in 2018.
University of Wyoming trustees meanwhile voted to award a handful of honorary degrees. Recipients will be publicly named only if they accept the honor, trustees said.
The vote occurred in executive session. Wyoming’s public meetings act lists specific justifications for meeting behind closed doors but the list doesn’t include discussion of honorary degrees.
Trustees could review “sociological data on individual persons” and other material confidential by law during such meetings, university General Counsel Tara Evans told the Boomerang.