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VCU creates hotline in wake of Monroe degree scandal

Virginia Commonwealth University is establishing a confidential hotline in the wake of controversy over a bachelor's degree wrongly awarded to Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Rodney Monroe. Last spring, an anonymous whistleblower tipped off a college accreditation body and the media that then-Richmond Police Chief Rodney Monroe did not meet requirements to earn a bachelor's degree. Turns out, he was right. Monroe only completed six of the 30 hours required to earn his degree from VCU as a transfer student. Dick Bunce, VCU's director of assurance services, says the hotline provides people with complaints another option to remain anonymous and get their cases examined. "Maybe this would've been just one more outlet where an individual might've felt more comfortable using that mechanism instead of the mechanisms that were used in the degree investigation case," Bunce says. Bunce says the hotline has been in the works for more than a year and has nothing to do with the degree controversy. Investigations conducted by VCU and Virginia state officials found that Monroe did not seek special treatment, but was the beneficiary of others who broke many rules for him. The school says it doesn't have the authority to revoke Monroe 's degree. Meanwhile, the whistleblower who remains anonymous has been named 2008 Richmonder of the Year by the city's Style Weekly magazine. And the CBS affiliate in Richmond, Va., recently interviewed him with his face and voice disguised. "This was absolutely and by far and away the most extreme example of a violation of any rule I've ever seen," said the whisteblower, whom the station dubbed "Harry Potter." The whistleblower does have something in common with Monroe. In 2007, it was Monroe who was Style Magazine's Richmonder of the Year.