In July, professor Ed Stricker will take over the reins of the University of Pittsburgh's Honors College. He'll be charged with attracting the best and brightest students and challenging them with the school's toughest courses to better prepare them for the future.
You're replacing the late Alexander "Doc" Stewart. How do you envision stepping into his shoes?
It's easy for me to step into the position where the predecessor has been someone who has very similar ideas to mine. I'm not going to have to turn things around or undo anything he did. I think what he did was great.
How do you think having an academic environment like the one fostered at the Honors College helps Pittsburgh?
I think it would be wrong to say that Pittsburgh is a college town, but it's not a crazy idea to say that. The university is a big dog in this city, so if the university is healthy, so is the city.
There has been a lot of talk about investing less money in education in Pennsylvania. What effect do you think that will have?
It's such a colossal mistake that it's hard for me to understand. I'm not saying that the only thing that is important is education, but how could you not think that it deserves a lot of the taxpayer money? If you want to preserve Pennsylvania ... you want to have an educated citizenry. Not just the adults living in the state right now, but the adults living in the state for the next 50 years.