Marist College Revokes Bill O'Reilly's Honorary Degree

Bill O'Reilly -  Photo courtesy of NBC News

Bill O'Reilly - Photo courtesy of NBC News

Developing Story

By Editorial Board

The Marist College Board of Trustees has revoked Bill O’Reilly’s honorary degree, President David Yellen announced in a memorandum Sunday morning.

“Bill O’Reilly has been accused of engaging in multiple acts of sexual misconduct and sexual harassment of women in the workplace,” Yellen wrote. “To many, his reported payments of tens of millions of dollars and dismissal by Fox News lend credibility to the allegations against him.”

“Any form of sexual harassment or abuse is deeply contrary to the values of Marist College.”

oreilly memo.jpg

The decision was finalized by Marist’s Board of Trustees following the creation of a faculty petition which gained 120 signatures.

O’Reilly paid a $32 million harassment settlement in October to former network analyst Lis Wiehl for “allegations of repeated harassment, a nonconsensual sexual relationship and the sending of gay pornography and other sexually explicit material,” according to a New York Times report.

The October settlement was at least the sixth agreement made by either O’Reilly or 21st Century Fox to settle harassment allegations against him.

In 2015, O’Reilly donated $1 million to the Peter P. O’Keefe, PhD. Endowed Scholarship, providing full financial support to one student annually, beginning with an incoming member of the class of 2020. There is currently no indication that this donation will be revoked.

O’Reilly graduated from Marist in 1971 and was awarded an honorary degree at the 2001 Commencement ceremony.