Syracuse University is preparing to revoke Rudy Giuliani's honorary law degree

Rudy Giuliani
Rudy Giuliani receives an honorary degree of doctor of public administration during the graduation ceremony at The Citadel military college May 5, 2007 in Charleston, South Carolina.Stephen Morton/Getty Images
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  • Syracuse University is preparing to implement a process for revoking honorary degrees.

  • In 1989, Syracuse awarded former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani an honorary law degree.

  • Giuliani, who served as Donald Trump's personal lawyer, is the subject of multiple investigations and inquiries.

Syracuse University could be well on its way to rescinding the honorary law degree it awarded now-embattled Rudy Giuliani in 1989.

Syracuse University Student Association President David Bruen told Insider that said the university's Board of Directors this summer asked Chancellor Kent Syverud to recommend a standard procedure for revoking honorary degrees.

Such a process doesn't exist in the University Senate's current bylaws, and revoking an honorary degree is also something the university has never done before.

"Since there was no process or standard to revoke, they've dedicated months to establishing that," Bruen told Insider. "Now that we're moving to implement, we have to wait to formally introduce it through committees and the University Senate."

According to The Daily Orange, the independent student newspaper at Syracuse, the University Senate in April passed a resolution calling for the Board of Trustees to rescind Giuliani's degree, with 76% voting in favor, 11% opposing and 13% abstaining.

The university's Student Association collected comments from undergraduate students, the University Senate and the Graduate Student Organization Senate on Chancellor Kent Syverud's proposed honorary degree revocation process, according to The Daily Orange's reporting. These recommendations were submitted to Syverud and the University Senate, and were combined into a report presented to the Board.

"Feedback was collected and submitted to be reviewed for a final decision by the Board," Bruen told Insider. "However, [revoking] Giuliani's degree may still take until the spring."

Sarah Scalese, senior associate vice president for communications at Syracuse University, had previously told Insider via email: "In accordance with University's bylaws and shared governance structure, honorary degree nominees are recommended by the University Senate. The University is reviewing the resolution recently passed by the University Senate to rescind Rudy Giuliani's honorary degree."

Following publication of this article, Syracuse University spokesperson Sarah Scalese confirmed that the school's Board of Trustees in November "approved a standard and process for the revocation of honorary degrees."

Scalese added: "Now that the Board has approved this standard and process, the University Senate is responsible for implementation. Any request to revoke an honorary degree would start with the Senate Committee on Honorary Degrees.

Said Bruen: "All I know is the report has been circulated, has received widespread approval and support. Hopefully we can move to fully revoke it in the spring. The university is going very slow with the process."

Insider reported in June that while several colleges had taken back honorary degrees they bestowed upon Giuliani during less contentious times, five colleges, including Syracuse University, have not to date rescinded honorary degrees awarded to Giuliani.

Apart from Syracuse University — President Joe Biden is a graduate of the Syracuse University College of Law, incidentally — the hold-outs include St. John Fisher University in New York, Loyola University Maryland, The Citadel in South Carolina, and Georgetown University in Washington, DC.

The officials at the four other schools did not respond this week to Insider's multiple requests for comment.

At least three schools have previously revoked Giuliani's honorary degrees: Middlebury College in Vermont, Drexel University in Pennsylvania, and the University of Rhode Island.

Ted Goodman, communications and political advisor to Giuliani, told Insider in a statement that the call to remove Giuliani's honorary degree from Syracuse was "unfortunate."

"Mayor Giuliani was honored for his successful legal career fighting corruption and taking down the Mafia," Goodman said. "He locked up corrupt members of Congress, charged three borough presidents, and prosecuted some of the largest Wall Street insider trading cases all before he was Mayor of New York, where he cleaned up the city and comforted the nation following 9/11."

"It's unfortunate this student is spending his time attacking a genuine American hero and I hope Syracuse University makes it clear that no action will be taken to revoke Mayor Giuliani's honorary degree," Goodman added.

Giuliani, who served as former President Donald Trump's personal attorney, was a target of the criminal probe in Fulton County, Georgia, regarding his interference in the 2020 presidential election. In August, he testified before a special grand jury in Atlanta.

More recently, Giuliani repeatedly lost his temper during an attorney-misconduct proceeding, accusing the disciplinary counsel of asking unfair questions, and ranting about the 2020 election.

This story has been updated to include a statement from a Syracuse University spokesperson and a spokesperson for Rudy Giuliani.

Read the original article on Business Insider