ATLANTA (Reuters) - A women’s college in Atlanta has suspended a visiting professor program named for comedian Bill Cosby and his wife amid allegations from more than a dozen women that the entertainer drugged and sexually assaulted them.
Spelman College created the William and Camille Olivia Hanks Cosby Endowed Professorship in 1996 following a $20 million donation from the couple. An academic center named for Cosby's wife also opened that year.
Officials at the historically black school said in a statement on Sunday that the endowed professorship, created to attract positive attention and accomplished visiting scholars, was being put on hold.
"The current context prevents us from continuing to meet these objectives fully," the statement said. "Consequently, we will suspend the program until such time that the original goals can again be met."
A college spokeswoman declined further comment on Monday.
Cosby, 77, is best known for playing Dr. Cliff Huxtable on "The Cosby Show," which aired from 1984 to 1992. He has not been criminally charged, and through his lawyers, denies the allegations of incidents that go back decades.
In an interview with the New York Post published online on Saturday, Cosby criticized the media for its coverage of accusations that have strained his image as an admired father figure.
Earlier this month, Cosby resigned from the board of trustees of his alma mater, Temple University, in Philadelphia. The University of Massachusetts Amherst and Berklee College of Music in Boston also have cut ties with the him and High Point University in North Carolina removed Cosby from its board of advisers.
(Editing by Colleen Jenkins and Bill; Trott)