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University of Rhode Island revokes honorary degrees given to Flynn, Giuliani

Michael Flynn, Rudy Giuliani
Posted at 6:11 PM, Jan 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-21 18:11:49-05

The University of Rhode Island (URI) revoked honorary degrees given to retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

The decision followed recommendations from the URI Faculty Senate Executive Committee and the URI Honorary Degree Committee.

“After reviewing the recommendation from the President, who endorsed the committee’s recommendation, the Board voted to approve the revocation of these honorary degrees,” said Chair of the Board of Trustees Margo Cook.

Giuliani and Flynn, allies of former President Donald Trump, peddled lies and misinformation after the 2020 presidential election, which was won by Joe Biden.

As part of the committee's finding, the school noted that Flynn also had pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI and called for the establishment of "one religion" in the U.S.

The committee also took issue with Giuliani participating in a January 6, 2021 rally ahead of the attacks on the U.S. Capitol.

“As a civic institution, URI has the privilege and responsibility to sustain and preserve American democracy by inspiring and modeling good citizenship,” said URI President Marc Parlange. “Revoking these honorary degrees reinforces our values and allows us to lead with truth and integrity.”

The school says Giuliani was awarded the Doctor of Laws Honoris Causa in 2003 for his leadership in the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks.

Flynn, who graduated from the university in 1981, was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters in 2014.