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  #51  
Old 05-26-2020, 02:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Ynnad View Post
Calling someone "Dr." because they have a J.D. degree is technically correct but no one ever does this in the United States. I often append "esq." to the names of other lawyers in written professional correspondence but I would never append it to my own name. To do so would be pretentious and rude.
Oddly enough, black men that are not lawyers, but know that I'm a lawyer,often refer to me as Doctor for reasons I've never understood. Might be peculiar to the rural South. I've never encountered it elsewhere.
  #52  
Old 05-26-2020, 03:20 PM
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Since when is "Dr." a certificate that denotes anything other than a level of education achieved?
It denotes something in the minds of people who hear it. Which is exactly why the bar association has instructed that lawyers should not use it in a misleading manner.

Dr. Phil gives advice. And by calling himself “Dr. Phil,” he implies that this advice is grounded in a level of expertise and authority. That implication exists because of beliefs about the significance of “Doctor” in the minds of the general public. He is capitalizing on that very misperception. That intentional act of deception isn’t excused just because he happens to hold a doctoral degree of some kind.
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  #53  
Old 05-26-2020, 03:35 PM
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It denotes something in the minds of people who hear it. Which is exactly why the bar association has instructed that lawyers should not use it in a misleading manner.

Dr. Phil gives advice. And by calling himself “Dr. Phil,” he implies that this advice is grounded in a level of expertise and authority. That implication exists because of beliefs about the significance of “Doctor” in the minds of the general public. He is capitalizing on that very misperception. That intentional act of deception isn’t excused just because he happens to hold a doctoral degree of some kind.
Are you arguing how things are or how you would like them to be?
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  #54  
Old 05-26-2020, 03:47 PM
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Are you arguing how things are or how you would like them to be?
You don’t think that people have beliefs about titles like “Doctor” that other people take advantage of?
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  #55  
Old 05-26-2020, 03:56 PM
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You don’t think that people have beliefs about titles like “Doctor” that other people take advantage of?
Sure they do.

But we are discussing whether you can put "Dr." before a name.

Do you think that is up to people's feelings?
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  #56  
Old 05-26-2020, 04:33 PM
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Since when is "Dr." a certificate that denotes anything other than a level of education achieved?
Perhaps not in the USA, but in Germany it is also a Reifezeugnis (literally a certificate of maturity), which means it can be revoqued or withdrawn if you are deemed (by an academic comission from the University that granted the title) immature. Your immaturity may show, for instance, by behaving against the law or the reigning morals. It does not happen often, but it does.
From Wikipedia:
Eine Aberkennung kann erfolgen, wenn sich der Bewerber im Prüfungsverfahren zur Erlangung des akademischen Grades einer Täuschung schuldig gemacht hat, etwa eines Plagiats, aber auch, wenn sich eine Person durch späteres wissenschaftliches Fehlverhalten als unwürdig für die Führung des Doktorgrades erweist oder eine bestimmte vorsätzliche Straftat begeht.
Lazy translation using Deepl:
Withdrawal may take place if the applicant is guilty of deception during the examination procedure for the award of the academic degree, such as plagiarism, but also if a person proves to be unworthy to hold the doctoral degree through subsequent scientific misconduct or commits a certain deliberate offence.
This withdrawal of a title happens more frequently with Abitur, equivalent to "A levels, the Matura or the International Baccalaureate Diploma, which are all ranked as level 4 in the European Qualifications Framework." (quoted from the Wikipedia article)
ETA: I believe that both Dr. [sic!] Phil and Dr. [sic!] Oz could be stripped of their titles according to German custom and law.
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  #57  
Old 05-26-2020, 04:48 PM
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Perhaps not in the USA, but in Germany it is also a Reifezeugnis (literally a certificate of maturity), which means it can be revoqued or withdrawn if you are deemed (by an academic comission from the University that granted the title) immature. Your immaturity may show, for instance, by behaving against the law or the reigning morals. It does not happen often, but it does.
US schools can also revoke degrees. Likewise it is rare and I do not think there is any formal entity that determines this. Each school does as they see fit.

I wish they were more aggressive about this but I can see why they'd view that as bad business for them and they'd be very reluctant to go there.

In the US you'd really need an independent commission to investgatigate and recommend revocation of a degree but I seriously doubt any US university is eager to get such a thing started.
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  #58  
Old 05-26-2020, 05:04 PM
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[...]
In the US you'd really need an independent commission to investgatigate and recommend revocation of a degree but I seriously doubt any US university is eager to get such a thing started.
(Bolding mine)
That is a significant difference between German and US Universities. By custom and tradition German Universities feel they have a reputation to defend and a societal role to fulfill and have reached the conclusion that the best way to do so is by rotting out the bad apples. US Universities, I believe, are more economically oriented and would be more reluctant to do so. US Universities also depend more than German ones on the fees pupils pay, German Universities have a higher level of state funding, that may grant them more leeway in such matters.
Yes, I like the German system, that is where I studied. I only know about the US system from hearsay and reading, among other places in this forum; I may appreciate it falsely.
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  #59  
Old 05-26-2020, 05:13 PM
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Sure they do.

But we are discussing whether you can put "Dr." before a name.

Do you think that is up to people's feelings?
All false advertising and unfair commercial practices and unfair competition and fraud laws take into account the beliefs and understanding of the people who are hearing your message (what you seem to be calling "feelings").

As I said, the legal profession has explicitly acknowledged this by directing that lawyers may call themselves "doctor," but only if they aren't doing it in a misleading manner. That requires the lawyer to consider what people will believe and understand ("feel," if you will) when they hear that word.

So, yes, it matters. If you are calling yourself "doctor" and it's clear that your customers are thus being misled about what that means about you, and you are taking advantage of that misconception, then it doesn't matter that you have a degree certificate that says "doctor" on it.
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  #60  
Old 05-26-2020, 05:22 PM
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Are you arguing how things are or how you would like them to be?
In McGraw's case, the two are the same. His show is taped in Los Angeles. California law requires you to have a license to practice psychology professionally; it's a felony. McGraw does not have a license.

This is not just a hypothetical matter. McGraw was investigated in 2008. He was not charged but he's made it a point since then to say he's giving advice not practicing psychology.
  #61  
Old 05-26-2020, 07:59 PM
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The law degrees in the U.S are J.D. (LL.B.), LL.M., and S.J.D. (LL.D.).

The American Bar Association has ruled that lawyers who hold a J.D. may use “Doctor” as a term of address so long as they are not trying to mislead anyone regarding their qualifications, such as by implying medical expertise (like Doctor Phil does).

“Esq.” is not regulated by the legal profession. Anyone and everyone may use it. The justice system may intervene if you are using it to imply that you are a licensed lawyer when you are not.
Do you happen to remember when or where the ABA said that a J.D. can use "doctor"? I find that surprising since, as you note, the doctorate in law is the LL.D. or S.J.D.

However, while the J.D. (or, in the past, its equivalent, the LL.B.) is not a true doctorate, it does require three years of intensive postgraduate study, so is more than a master's degree.
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Old 05-26-2020, 08:27 PM
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Do you happen to remember when or where the ABA said that a J.D. can use "doctor"? I find that surprising since, as you note, the doctorate in law is the LL.D. or S.J.D.

However, while the J.D. (or, in the past, its equivalent, the LL.B.) is not a true doctorate, it does require three years of intensive postgraduate study, so is more than a master's degree.
I don't have the source at hand, but it was in an ethics committee ruling or something like that. I don't think they distinguished between a true Scotsman doctor and ... not one. "Juris Doctor" means "doctor of law," so that was good enough, especially with analogy to "Medicinae Doctor."
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  #63  
Old 05-26-2020, 08:45 PM
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However, while the J.D. (or, in the past, its equivalent, the LL.B.) is not a true doctorate, it does require three years of intensive postgraduate study, so is more than a master's degree.
How do you define a "true doctorate"?
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Old 05-26-2020, 11:27 PM
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How do you define a "true doctorate"?
I understand a doctorate to be the most advanced degree in a field, typically following a master’s degree and requiring significant research, often embodied in a thesis or dissertation. That describes the LL.D./S.J.D., but not the J.D.
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Old 05-27-2020, 03:13 AM
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I understand a doctorate to be the most advanced degree in a field, typically following a master’s degree and requiring significant research, often embodied in a thesis or dissertation. That describes the LL.D./S.J.D., but not the J.D.
so what about MD?
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Old 05-27-2020, 05:14 AM
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so what about MD?
Qualified surgeons (say in the UK) revert-- are allowed to revert-- from "Doctor" to "Mister/Mistress", right? But there are historical reasons for this, just as for the habit of addressing physicians as "Doctor", so I wouldn't read too much into it.

Last edited by DPRK; 05-27-2020 at 05:17 AM.
  #67  
Old 05-27-2020, 07:14 AM
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I understand a doctorate to be the most advanced degree in a field, typically following a master’s degree and requiring significant research, often embodied in a thesis or dissertation. That describes the LL.D./S.J.D., but not the J.D.
This distinction doesn’t really matter for the purposes of legal ethics. Logically, a person with a degree that says “Doctor” is a Doctor. The question isn’t whether the degree itself is a “true doctorate” but rather whether its use is misleading in a material way.
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Old 05-27-2020, 07:40 AM
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so what about MD?
The M.D. is not a research doctorate, so it does not require a thesis/dissertation, but it is the most advanced degree in its field.
  #69  
Old 05-27-2020, 08:09 AM
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Not at all. Someone with an MD can go on to get a PhD in medicine, for a research career in medicine.
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Old 05-27-2020, 11:37 AM
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A few states including CA allow you to read the law which means you work with a lawyer to learn and then you take the bar exam. No law school needed . As strange as it sounds Kim Kardashian says she is doing that route to become a lawyer.

Surgeon who took out my gall bladder also had a PhD

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  #71  
Old 05-27-2020, 01:30 PM
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Originally Posted by W.Va. Code §61-10-21. Unlawful use of prefix “Doctor” or “Dr.” penalty.
It shall be unlawful for any person to use the prefix “Doctor” or “Dr.” in connection with his name in any letter, business card, advertisement, sign or public display of any nature whatsoever, without affixing thereto suitable words or letters designating the degree which he holds. Any person who shall violate the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof shall be fined for each such offense not less than $10 nor more than $500, or imprisoned in the county jail not more than twelve months, or both fined and imprisoned, in the discretion of the court.
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Old 05-27-2020, 02:03 PM
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So Dr. Dre can never set foot in WV ??
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Old 05-27-2020, 02:24 PM
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So Dr. Dre can never set foot in WV ??
On the few times there is any discussion about the law, yeah, it seems as if Dr. Dre or Dr. J would run afoul of the law if they came to WV and advertised an appearance.
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Old 05-27-2020, 02:48 PM
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On the few times there is any discussion about the law, yeah, it seems as if Dr. Dre or Dr. J would run afoul of the law if they came to WV and advertised an appearance.
Dr. J has an honorary doctorate from UMass as well as an honorary doctorate (in dance) from Temple.
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Old 05-27-2020, 04:30 PM
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West Virginia was forced to enact this law after all those times when Doctor Doom attacked Huntington and the Fantastic Four couldn't be bothered to fight any crime outside of Manhattan.
  #76  
Old 05-27-2020, 04:37 PM
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Almost every school that gave Bill Cosby an honorary doctorate revoked the degree. He had around 40.

Catholic church has Doctors of the Church but they are all long dead.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doctor_of_the_Church
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Old 05-27-2020, 05:30 PM
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Almost every school that gave Bill Cosby an honorary doctorate revoked the degree. He had around 40.

Catholic church has Doctors of the Church but they are all long dead.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doctor_of_the_Church
But Cosby also has a doctorate in education from the University of Massachusetts, which as far as I know has not been revoked.
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Old 05-27-2020, 05:38 PM
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But Cosby also has a doctorate in education from the University of Massachusetts, which as far as I know has not been revoked.
Could they even do that? I mean, he went to class, passed the tests, and earned the degree. Just because he did a real bad thing later in life doesn't change the fact that he passed the prescribed course of study. Can they take away his high school diploma or his victory in the Third Grade Spelling Bee?
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Old 05-27-2020, 07:19 PM
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I wouldn’t have thought so. Sounds like a unilateral contract to me: “You pay us find o’money, take classes as we prescribe, pass exams and do all the assignments, and if you meet our grading requirements, we give you a degree.”

Unless there’s a moral turpitude clause in there (and I’ve never seen one in a university sign-up), don’t see how they could revoke because you do bad things later in life.
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Old 05-28-2020, 02:39 AM
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Could they even do that? I mean, he went to class, passed the tests, and earned the degree. Just because he did a real bad thing later in life doesn't change the fact that he passed the prescribed course of study. Can they take away his high school diploma or his victory in the Third Grade Spelling Bee?
Based on some online research, a college can revoke your degree. But only based on the belated discovery of things you did in college. So Cosby's earned doctorate could not be revoked based on his conviction for rapes he committed years later. But if he was convicted of an old rape case that dated back to when he was a student, they could retroactively declare that he had violated the school's rules, even though they were unaware of it at the time, and therefore should not have been awarded his doctorate and take it back. This also applies for the discovery of non-criminal academic violations like cheating, plagiarism, or faking your research results.

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  #81  
Old 05-28-2020, 08:09 AM
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[...]
Unless there’s a moral turpitude clause in there (and I’ve never seen one in a university sign-up), don’t see how they could revoke because you do bad things later in life.
There is in some places (see posts #46, #56 and #57, for instance), even in the USA. US-Universities seem to choose not to apply it, they fear losing money more than they fear losing reputation.
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Old 05-28-2020, 08:24 AM
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Interestingly most of the schools that did not revoke Cosby's honorary doctorates are historically black schools.

Obama said there is no legal to way to revoke Cosby's medal of freedom. I assume congress could change that if they wanted to pass a new law.

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Old 05-28-2020, 09:28 AM
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Obama said there is no legal to way to revoke Cosby's medal of freedom. I assume congress could change that if they wanted to pass a new law.
Does the proscription against ex post facto laws only apply to criminal law or any law?
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Old 05-28-2020, 09:39 AM
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Interestingly most of the schools that did not revoke Cosby's honorary doctorates are historically black schools.

Obama said there is no legal to way to revoke Cosby's medal of freedom. I assume congress could change that if they wanted to pass a new law.
As I understand it, the medal of freedom is entirely an executive creation. There is no "old" law to change and I wonder whether Congress could really purport to regulate such a thing. Watching the video at the Wikipedia page on the medal, Obama says that there's no "precedent" and no "mechanism," but not that it would be unlawful. He's just politely dodging the question.

There was a bill introduced in Congress in 2018 urging the president to revoke the medal and making it a crime to display a revoked medal. This seems consistent with my thought that it is up to the president to do it. I assume, with respect to mechanism, that the president can simply declare a medal "revoked" much in the same way he simply conjures up its award in the first place.
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Old 05-28-2020, 08:45 PM
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Does the proscription against ex post facto laws only apply to criminal law or any law?
Only to criminal law.
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Old 05-28-2020, 09:57 PM
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Only to criminal law.
I 100% believe you.

But why does it not include civil law?
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Old 05-29-2020, 03:54 PM
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Because the concern about retroactive criminal law is that historically, it has been used to put people in jail or even execute them. Changing the law of contracts or torte retroactively won’t put anyone’s life or liberty at risk b
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  #88  
Old 05-29-2020, 04:20 PM
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But why does it not include civil law?
Because of democracy.

In an absolute democracy, the people would have the power to do anything as long as the majority approved of it. If a majority wanted to execute all of the people with red hair, then they would have the right to do it.

We do not agree to this principle of absolute democracy. We believe that there are things that are wrong and should not be allowed even if a majority of people want them to happen. So we place certain rights beyond the ability to be overriden by a democratic vote; things like freedom of religion and speech and not enslaving people.

But fundamentally we believe in democracy and want to keep the exceptions as narrow as possible. Most decisions of what's right and wrong we leave to the democratic process.

In this particular case, we drew the line between charging a person with a crime based on a law that was applied retroactively and making a civil judgment against a person based on a law that was applied retroactively. We decided the first was so wrong it should be prohibited entirely and the second was something we should leave subject to the will of the majority.
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Old 05-29-2020, 05:13 PM
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There's a unpleasant piece of history that the AMA doesn't like to talk about. Back in the thirties and forties they led a big push to set standards for what credentials were necessary for a person to be able to call themselves a physician and be legally able to practice medicine.

Doesn't sound like a bad thing, right? But the movement wasn't intended to raise the standards for American doctors. It was designed to create barriers to keep foreign doctors, many of who were fleeing Europe at this time, from being able to practice medicine in the United States and compete with American doctors.
There's a similar history for lawyers. Before, you became a lawyer by basically interning with lawyers for a while while you learned the trade. That slowly changed to introduce standardized education & credentials.
Yay, higher standards. But it made it so that in order to become a lawyer you needed to spend 7 years of your prime working life spending money in order to go through college and law school to get the appropriate an education (and not earning money). That's a luxury that some people (read "immigrants" and "black people") were very much less likely to have (assuming they could even find a school that would admit them) and effectively denied access to the profession to the "wrong kind of people."

I remember on graduation day, people called each other "Doctor" as a silly joke. Never since. (Also, I think I can wear a purple doctoral hood should the opportunity ever arise again.)
  #90  
Old 05-29-2020, 05:16 PM
jbaker is offline
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I don't think I get the full doctoral hood. That's probably a practice that varies by school.
  #91  
Old 05-29-2020, 10:27 PM
Elendil's Heir is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbaker View Post
But Cosby also has a doctorate in education from the University of Massachusetts, which as far as I know has not been revoked.
I think that's right, but he earned that. He has had a bunch o' honorary degrees rescinded, though, including by my alma mater Oberlin College: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o..._to_Bill_Cosby
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