PHOENIX — Arizona State University is rescinding an award given to broadcast journalist Charlie Rose in the wake of allegations that he sexually harassed several women.
Rose, a longtime co-host of CBS This Morning and PBS' the Charlie Rose show, received the Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism in 2015.
Taking away the award, which was created more than 30 years ago, is unprecedented.
Christopher Callahan, dean of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, announced the rescinding of the award in a statement Friday afternoon.
"We give the award each year based on the knowledge we have of a recipient at that time. When new information about a recipient surfaces, the question we ask is not whether the award would be given again with a new set of facts, but whether the transgressions are so egregious that they demand nothing less than a reversal of history," the statement said.
"I believe Mr. Rose’s actions of sexual misconduct reported by The Washington Post and other media outlets, which are largely unrefuted, rise to that level."
An award had not been revoked since the school began presenting the honor in 1984.
A Washington Post story published Nov. 20 reported that eight women told the paper that Rose, 75, made unwanted sexual advances toward them. The women alleged he made lewd phone calls, walked around nude, or groped their breasts, buttocks or genital areas.
The Post article said the alleged incidents reportedly occurred from the late 1990s to 2011 and involved women who were employees or sought to work for Rose. After the initial article, three CBS employees said Rose's unwanted sexual advances continued after 2011.
Rose issued a statement on Nov. 20 apologizing for what he called inappropriate behavior and saying he behaved insensitively at times. He also said he does not believe that all of the allegations are accurate.
Earlier this week, CBS News announced that it had fired Rose, and PBS said it halted distribution of his show.
Also Friday, the University of Kansas announced it was rescinding an award it gave to Rose. The William Allen White Foundation, which supports journalism education at the university, presented Rose an award last spring.
The university says Rose doesn’t exemplify the award’s ideals.
Rose was honored in October 2015 at the Cronkite Award Luncheon, the largest annual fundraiser for ASU's journalism program.
Recipients of past Cronkite awards include such well-known journalists as Watergate reporter Bob Woodward, CNN's Christiane Amanpour, humor columnist Dave Barry and ABC anchor Diane Sawyer.
"The damage caused by Mr. Rose’s actions extends far beyond the news organizations for which he worked. The actions victimized young women much like those who make up the overwhelming majority of Cronkite students — young women who deserve to enter workplaces that reward them for their hard work, intelligence and creativity and where they do not have to fear for their safety or dignity," Callahan said in his statement Friday.
"In rescinding this award, we hope to send an unequivocal message that what Mr. Rose did is unacceptable, and that such behavior — far too common in not just media companies but many organizations — must stop."
In 2015, there was debate in some journalism circles about whether ASU should revoke Brian Williams' 2009 excellence award after the then-NBC Nightly News anchor and managing editor exaggerated his part in a helicopter episode in Iraq and the network suspended him for six months without pay.