Why did Rhode Island Uni cancel Rudy Giuliani and Michael Flynn? Internet says 'right move'

The University of Rhode Island rescinded its honorary degrees given to Giuliani and Flynn for their support of Donald Trump's conspiracy theories

                            Why did Rhode Island Uni cancel Rudy Giuliani and Michael Flynn? Internet says 'right move'
The University of Rhode Island (Facebook) with inserts of Michael Fynn (Andrew Harrer-Pool/Getty Image) and Rudy Giuliani (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

The backlash against former New York City Mayor Rudi Giuliani continues to grow, as more and more damning details about his role in the attempted coup come to the fore. On January 21, the University of Rhode Island became the latest to cancel the Trump ally, along with General Michael Flynn. In a scathing letter, the university's Board of Trustees said the two "no longer represent the highest level of our values and standards."

Since the university is only rescinding honorary degrees, it will have little impact for the two men in the grand scheme of things, but the news continues to show just how isolated Trump's allies are becoming. In 2021, the New York bar scrapped Giuliani's law license, and shortly after so did the District of Columbia's Court of Appeals. On January 17, the House Select Committee subpoenaed Giuliani to testify over the insurrection, while he is also facing a legal challenge from Dominion, who are seeking $1.3 billion in damages.


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Flynn, meanwhile, has gone relatively silent since Joe Biden became president, but has occasionally popped up. In September 2021 for example, he joined MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell on a "ReAwaken America Tour" that drew a lot of controversy for spreading anti-vaccine misinformation.

Rudy Giuliani speaks to the press about various lawsuits related to the 2020 election, inside the Republican National Committee headquarters on November 19, 2020, in Washington, DC. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Why did Giuliani and Flynn get canceled?

It should come as a little surprise by now that the two were targeted by the university for their role in spreading Trump's claims that the 2020 election was stolen. The URI Honorary Degree Committee investigating the two noted that Giuliani's "words encouraged domestic terrorist behavior aimed at preventing Congress from certifying the outcome of the 2020 presidential election." Likewise, it noted Flynn's controversial June 2021 Dallas speech where he said "a military coup was needed in the U.S.," and another in November 2021 in San Antonio where he "called for the establishment of 'one religion' in the U.S."

In 2003, the university honored Giuliani with a Doctor of Laws Honoris Causa for his handling of the 9/11 tragedy as New York City's mayor. Flynn was bestowed with an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters in 2014 for his military service. Now both those degrees are being taken back, with the committee noting, "URI has the privilege and responsibility to sustain and preserve American democracy by inspiring and modeling good citizenship. Revoking these honorary degrees reinforces our values and allows us to lead with truth and integrity."

Donald Trump jokes with Michael Flynn at a rally at Grand Junction Regional Airport on October 18, 2016, in Grand Junction Colorado. (George Frey/Getty Images)


The board's President Marc Parlange also weighed in, saying, "They no longer represent the highest level of our values and standards that were evident when we first bestowed the degree." So far, neither Giuliani nor Flynn have responded to the decision, but on social media, the news caused many to celebrate. 

Internet says 'this is the right move'

"It's about time," one person responded, while another tweeted, "Bravo @universityofri." One person commented, "This is the right move. Honorary degrees have no meaning when they are awarded to people with no honor." One person trolled, "Who cares if the University of Rhode Island revoked the honorary degrees given to Rudy Giuliani and Michael Flynn? They are still MAGA dum fraude graduates of Trump University!"






"Proud of URI and proud to live in RI," one user replied, and another responded, "GOOD. Took them long enough." One user questioned, "Why did either of them have honorary degrees in the first place?"





In its public letter, the committee also noted that Flynn had pleaded guilty twice to lying to the FBI, and Giuliani had his law licenses suspended in New York and Washington DC.