At USC, I'm providing more time supplying public goods than I used to at my previous university post. Yesterday, I spent three hours interviewing high school students who have been already been accepted into USC and now are competing to receive a full tuition paid merit scholarship. I have taught undergraduates at the University of Chicago, Columbia, Harvard, Stanford, and UCLA. The students I interviewed yesterday were of equal quality to the best students I taught at those other schools. I discussed game theory and issues of time consistency with one student. With another student, I discussed Steve Levitt's 1994 JPE paper on testing for whether money matters in politics. I sensed that the student understood the Levitt identification strategy of studying pairs of candidates who faced each other repeatedly to include pair fixed effects to exploit within pair variation in PAC campaign contributions. These are the students I want in my classroom and this is why I'm recruiting for USC. The students I met are quite young but they are mature and articulate. They are not pre-programmed robots. They can think on their feet.
As our school becomes richer, we will use our resources to attract Ivy League caliber students who want a high quality education in the sunshine. Ivy League west (and South of Stanford)!