updated 4/6/2007 9:02:36 AM ET 2007-04-06T13:02:36

A couple of U.S. universities are having second thoughts about honorary degrees they awarded to Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe.

The student senate at the University of Massachusetts-Boston wants the school to rescind the honorary doctorate Mugabe was given in 1986. And the issue has also surfaced at Michigan State, where he was honored in 1990.

At the time, Mugabe was regarded as an inspiration for African democracy having led his nation to independence from white colonial rule. Now he's regarded as a ruthless dictator. Zimbabwe has the worst inflation in the world and its own religious leaders say health, education and other public services there "have all but disintegrated."

One U-Mass diploma-recall backer says Mugabe is no longer a "good citizen of the world."

But nothing's likely to happen anytime soon. The university has a detailed procedure for awarding degrees, but no process for taking one back.

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