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What are some universities that have offered controversial honorary degrees?

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Some universities that have offered controversial honorary degrees include Brown University, Fordham University and Marquette University, all of which awarded now-defamed actor Bill Cosby an honorary degree. In addition, the University of St. Andrews conferred a controversial degree upon Michael Douglas for his outstanding contributions to film.

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The University of St. Andrews timed Michael Douglas' honorary degree to coincide with the launch of its Department of Film Studies. The timing prompted some to call Douglas's honorary degree a publicity stunt.

Boston University awarded Cosby an honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters degree in 2014. More than a dozen institutions awarded Cosby an honorary degree, though many rescinded their awards after allegations surfaced about Cosby's offensive and possibly illegal behavior.

Long Island University awarded a controversial honorary degree when it awarded Kermit the Frog a Doctor of Amphibious Letters. Kermit gave an acceptance speech that included encouraging students to take steps to conserve the environment.

Southampton Solent University awarded Dannii Minogue a controversial honorary Doctor of Media for contributions to the entertainment industry. The choice prompted a backlash from people who questioned the decision.

Roald Hoffmann received honorary degrees from the University of Arizona and the University of Central Florida. Hoffmann won a Nobel Prize in chemistry in 1981. Even Hoffmann stated that his honorary degrees are somewhat controversial because he believes that some universities convey honorary degrees as a publicity plea.

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