Bill Cosby has resigned from the board of trustees at Temple University, the university confirmed Monday.
The resignation comes after two weeks in which a number of women have come forward with allegations of sexual assault against the comedian. An online petition demanding that Temple end its relationship with Cosby had more than a thousand signatures.
In a statement, Cosby said he had “always been proud” of his association with Temple. “I have always wanted to do what would be in the best interests of the university and its students,” the statement continued. “As a result, I have tendered my resignation from the Temple University board of trustees.”
The statement confirmed that the board had accepted his resignation, and thanked him for his service.
Andrea Constand – who reported Cosby to police for abuse in 2005 and sued him in civil court after the district attorney decided there was not enough evidence to prosecute – was an employee of Temple University as coach of the women’s basketball team.
Patrick O’Connor, the current chair of the university’s board of trustees, was one of Cosby’s attorneys in the Constand suit.
The case settled out of court, but a number of the anonymous “Jane Doe” witnesses who were slated to testify in that suit have come forward to the media in the past two weeks.
Temple had previously signalled it was sticking by Cosby, while other universities, including the Berklee College of Music, Boston, and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, all cut ties with the comedian.
Cosby attended Temple on an athletic scholarship in the early 1960s, before leaving and starting his career as a stand-up comic. He has been a trustee of the university since 1982, and has given the university’s commencement address several times. He was officially lauded as recently as late August, when the university unveiling a plaque in his honor.
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