Rodney Monroe, Charlotte's police chief, has publicly accepted responsibility for a degree he did not earn. That's a step in the right direction.
Yet Monroe has not mapped out a specific path for how he intends to earn a college degree that is not in question, nor has he set a timetable for accomplishing that goal.
He needs to do both, without delay, then make good on that plan. That's the only way to put the divisive matter of the chief's tarnished college degree to rest.
On Monday, Monroe made a public statement saying he intended to “explore various options for removing elements of this back-and-forth debate” about his disputed bachelor's degree in interdisciplinary studies from Virginia Commonwealth University. Yet he was vague about what he intended to do, vague about where he might enroll and didn't even talk about when he intended to start.
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That's not good enough.
No one has shown Monroe has done anything wrong. He has earned the required number of hours to graduate. But he did not complete the number of hours of study VCU's own rules require at that campus to get a VCU degree.
The university deserves the blame for violating its own policies. It ought to offer him a path to earn a degree fairly. But Monroe has a responsibility, too, to accept the implications of that mistake and pursue a degree that's not in question.
We want Monroe to remain as Charlotte's police chief. We like what he's done so far. His college degree isn't what qualified him for that work.
But a discredited degree is an obstacle to being the strong police chief Charlotte needs. Monroe needs to tell specifically how and when he intends to make this matter right – then follow through.