The University Board of Trustees voted unanimously to revoke the award amid ongoing accusations that Cosby drugged and sexually abused numerous women over the course of his career.
"A recipient's actions would have to be both unambiguously dishonorable and have a deep impact," the university said in a statement announcing its decision. "By his own admission, Mr. Cosby's sexual exploitation of women was premeditated and ongoing. Equally appalling is his longtime strategy of denigrating the reputations of women who accused him of such actions."
The statement continued, "That Mr. Cosby was willing to drug and rape women for his sexual gratification, and further damage those same women's reputations and careers to obscure his guilt, hurt not only his victims, but all women, and is beyond the pale."
As a result, Fordham said it could no longer stand behind the degree it had given Cosby.
Cosby had received the honorary fine arts degree back in 2001 for what the university said was the significant role he played in breaking the color barrier in American television and popular culture, thereby becoming an inspiration for many African Americans.
The 78-year-old has not been charged with a crime and has denied the decades-old allegations of sexual assault and attempted sexual assaults. In its statement, Fordham was apparently referencing a deposition made public in which the former sitcom star admitted to obtaining drugs to give to women he planned to have sex with.