Umass-Amherst Revokes Honorary Degree To Zimbabwe Leader

The University of Massachusetts Board of Trustees has revoked an honorary degree awarded two decades ago to Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe.

The trustees unanimously voted to pull the degree Thursday.

Mugabe was awarded the honorary doctor of laws degree at UMass-Amherst in 1986, when many saw him as a force for democracy and reform in Africa.

But university president Jack Wilson says Mugabe’s human rights violations have proven him the opposite. In recent years, he has been accused of holding onto power through elections marred by fraud, intimidation and rigging, and of overseeing his country’s economic collapse.

The university has never before rescinded an honorary degree.

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