Ask anyone in Charlotte to name a few notable universities and you'll likely hear the names of UNC Chapel Hill, Duke, Wake Forest Clemson, USC, or NC State.
Virgina Commonwealth University just doesn't figure into the North Carolina mind set. So let me offer a little help, VCU is the NC State of Virgina. Remember Virgina is still referred to as the "Commonwealth of Virgina".
Now you got it, VCU is really Virgina State!
In fact VCU and NC State are very much alike in number of students and faculty.
Which would explain why in Virgina there is much outrage over the Rodney Monroe college degree scandal, and down here in Charlotte, where no one understands the "Commonwealth" concept, no one really seems to care.
But what if you hired someone who told you they had a degree from NC State?
Imagine you hired an engineer for your road building project based on his years of experience, pass successes and a degree in Engineering from say North Carolina State.
A few weeks after hiring this person to oversee the construction of millions of dollars in roads, a 1000 plus employee work force, and the safety of everyone who travels the roads you build for years to come, you discover that your new hire has a degree in Political Science from NC State and not an Engineering degree.
Further you discover that your new hire didn't really earn his degree from North Carolina State but instead was just issued a degree as a favor to a half a dozen politically connected big dog friends of NC State.
I'd expect that you would call your "new hire" into your office and send him packing.
So why is Rodney Monroe still running the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department?
Perhaps the public outcry about his bogus degree is muted because everyone in Charlotte assumes VCU is some second rate college in some rural part of some state a little north of here?
Perhaps, but the truth is Charlotte's Police Chief was hired based in part on having a four year degree in Criminal Justice from Virgina Commonwealth "State" University.
A degree he does not have.
No matter how successful Rodney Monroe is in reducing crime the VCU degree will always be an issue. An issue of ethics and credibility, an insult to the student's of VCU and every member of the CMPD who has a "real" college degree that was earned through four years of hard work, mind numbing classes and final exams.
This lacking credibility will wash over the men and women of the CMPD like acid rain, tarnishing every aspect of their job to a point where no matter how hard they work, or how successful they become it will always diminish the image of Charlotte's finest.