Temple University has confirmed that Bill Cosby has resigned from his position on the board of trustees at the university.
Cosby resigned two weeks after a number of women came forward accusing the comedian of sexual assault. An online petition on change.org, which demanded that Cosby no longer work with the university, had over one thousand signatures. The petition was created just last week by 2005 Temple graduate Kerry Potter McCormick.
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 board has accepted his resignation and thanked Cosby for his time serving the board for academics for the past 32 years.
Cosby was reported to the police in 2005 for abuse by Andrea Constand, an employee of Temple University and coach of the women’s basketball team. Constand went on to sue Cosby in civil court after the district attorney made the decision that there was not enough evidence to prosecute him.
While the case settled out of court, a number of anonymous witnesses that had been ready to testify have spoken to the media in the past two weeks.
At least 17 women have come forward so far to accuse Cosby of sexual misconduct. Several of the women claim that the comedian drugged them before raping them. Many of the alleged attacks took place decades ago.
To date, Cosby has not faced any criminal charges and continues to deny the allegations. His attorney, Martin D. Singer, said in a statement to CNN that it made no sense that “so many people would have said nothing, done nothing, and made no reports to law enforcement or asserted civil claims if they thought they had been assaulted over a span of so many years.”
Prior to his resignation, Temple had stated that it was sticking by Cosby. Other universities, such as the Berklee College of Music in Boston and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst had cut ties with the comedian.
Cosby attended Temple University in the early 1960s and returned to serve on the board of trustees in 1982. He has served on the board since that time, and has given the commencement address for the university numerous times. The university had officially applauded Cosby this past August, unveiling a plaque in his honor.
“A lot of people look up to him. He does have a great impact on the students,” Student Jalen Fields said.