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Syracuse chancellor considers revoking Giuliani’s honorary degree

Announced the decision at a recent student government meeting

The process for taking back an honorary degree given to Rudy Giuliani by Syracuse University continues to move forward, after the chancellor asked the board of trustees for help on how to revoke it.

Chancellor Kent Syverud updated the Student Association at its August 29 meeting on the ongoing controversy. The student government passed a resolution during the spring semester that demanded revocation of Giuliani’s degree because as an attorney and private citizen he challenged some of the results of the 2020 presidential election.

Syverud told the student government that the board “required the chancellor to research how peer institutions revoke honorary degrees over the summer and recommend a standard procedure,” according to The Daily Orange, Syracuse’s campus newspaper.

The university’s law school awarded Giuilani an honorary doctorate in 1989 for his work as a federal prosecutor to bring down crime in New York City, which included prosecutions against the “five families” that comprised the Mafia.

Syverud wants to see a vote by this November from the board of trustees on taking back Giulani’s degree.

The College Fix emailed Chancellor Syverud’s office but did not receive a response to an inquiry sent in the past week that asked if there were any updates regarding Giuliani’s honorary degree.

One student at the university criticized the move to revoke the honorary degree.

“The push to rescind Giuliani’s degree is just more naked partisanship,” Augustus LeRoux told The Fix via email. He is also the chair of the New York Federation of College Republicans.

MORE: Check out the Campus Cancel Culture Database

“At Syracuse, we suspend professors who criticize the CCP, and elevate those that champion Al-Qaeda,” he said.

“The board of trustees choosing to rescind the degree would be disappointing, but par for the course,” he wrote. “The left’s only modes of protest are to erase, tear down, and destroy– and SU has historically been just fine with that.”

LeRoux shared an opinion piece he wrote in April that contained more of his criticism of the potential degree revocation.

“The reality is that rescinding Giuliani’s degree has nothing to do with accountability,” he wrote. “Liberal activists have graduated from simple mockery of their opponents to holding hostage the legacy of anyone on the other side of an issue.”

“The country has a social credit system that is entirely indifferent to genuine public service. We are the country that discredits men like Giuliani: the attorney who took on the Five Families and won, who also stepped up to be an American leader at a time when his country needed one,” he wrote. “Giuliani, the man who many SU students don’t think is worthy of an honorary degree from the College of Law.”

He said it would be a “dangerous precedent” to punish Giuliani and argued that Drexel University and Middlebury College have not “improved the reputation of their law schools,” by taking away the honorary degrees they gave the former New York City mayor.

MORE: URI revokes honorary degrees given to Michael Flynn, Rudy Giuliani

IMAGE: Medija Centar Beograd/WikiMedia Commons

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About the Author
Ryan Lindner -- Texas A&M University