Given the death of a university employee and other circumstances, last week was not the proper time for North Dakota University System Chancellor William Goetz to make sweeping promises of change and investigation at Dickinson State University.
There will soon come a time when we'd expect the chancellor to say more much more. But because of Goetz's close ties with the university, it's time for the State Board of Higher Education to do it for him.
After an audit showed the school awarded hundreds of degrees to foreign students who hadn't earned them, we expect there to be a top-to-bottom review of DSU, including athletics, and the institution's practices and procedures as well as all facets of the university's management.
It's absolutely necessary that such an investigation is done. The situation at Dickinson State has been downright embarrassing for the university and the entire system, with one president fired amid a scandal involving inflated enrollment figures and now the "diploma mill" allegations. A thorough investigation of the entire university must be done to restore the public's trust, as well as to make sure such outrageous breaches of ethics don't happen again.
Goetz is retiring in August, and he has strong ties to Dickinson State University, having been a professor and longtime administrator there before becoming chancellor. Because his connections make it impossible for him to lead the investigation effort, he should step aside and let the board take charge.