UB moves to rescind Weinstein's honorary degree

BUFFALO, NY--- Harvey Weinstein's honorary degree from the University at Buffalo is in jeopardy after the school Wednesday asked state university officials to rescind the honor.

Weinstein, the disgraced film mogul, received an honorary doctorate in 2000 from the western New York school he attended in the 1970s, when he got his start in the entertainment industry by promoting rock concerts.

Now, a UB spokesman said the university will ask the State University of New York system's leaders to revoke the honor.

"The university is well aware of the allegations involving Mr. Weinstein," John DellaContrada, the spokesman, said in a statement. "The university has initiated the process, pursuant to the SUNY Board of Trustees policy, for the revocation of a SUNY honorary degree."

Weinstein was the subject of exposes in recent days by The New York Times and the New Yorker, which reported on decades of sexual harassment and assault allegations against the film-company executive who once led Miramax before founding The Weinstein Company, which fired him Sunday.

Honorary degrees from state schools in New York can only be rescinded by the SUNY Board of Trustees, an 18-member board led by former state Comptroller H. Carl McCall.

An honorary degree can be stripped if the recipient has done something that is inconsistent with SUNY's mission, "undermines the accomplishment that were cited as the basis" for the honor or damages SUNY's reputation, according to the university system's policy.

Any decision to strip a degree must be supported by SUNY Chancellor Kristina Johnson, who could not immediately be reached for comment Wednesday morning.

Weinstein, a Queens native, attended UB from 1969 through 1973.

He delivered a speech and screened a film at UB when he received the honorary degree in 2000.
At the time, then-UB President William Greiner praised Weinstein for his "extraordinary boldness, drive and instinctive eye for cutting-edge creative excellence."

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