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December 16, 2014

Spelman College Suspends Cosby Chair Amid Assault Claims

Spelman College is indefinitely suspending a professorship endowed in part by a $20-million donation from Bill and Camille Cosby, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution writes. The all-women Atlanta college is the latest in a series of institutions of higher learning to distance themselves from Mr. Cosby amid allegations by more than two dozen women that he sexually assaulted them, which the actor and comedian has denied.

The couple's 1987 gift, the largest ever to a historically black college, helped fund Spelman's Cosby Chair for the Humanities as well as a campus academic center named for Ms. Cosby. Two of the Cosbys' daughters attended the 133-year-old school. Mr. Cosby stepped down earlier this month from the board of his alma matter, Temple University in Philadelphia.

A Spelman spokeswoman said the endowed position "was established to bring positive attention and accomplished visiting scholars to Spelman College in order to enhance our intellectual, cultural, and creative life. 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 again be met."