Freeman Hrabowski is quick to point out that he's an educator and not a politician.
So much so that the president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County did something Wednesday that some might consider politically imprudent: he spoke in absolutes about his interest in shrugging off academics for a life in politics.
"Absolutely not," Hrabowski said Wednesday.
The question arose after Hrabowski took center stage during a news conference at his university to support efforts to win a referendum fight over a law that would grant in-state tuition to some illegal and undocumented immigrants.
Hrabowski was quick to point out that the news conference was not a university sponsored event. The University System of Maryland has twice voted to support the law that will now be on the ballot in November and Hrabowski said he personally supports the law.
"I want my students to know that I will speak what I see as the truth," Hrabowski said.
But could his presence at the event also signal a first step into statewide politics?
"I have a lot of respect for politicians," Hrabowski said. "I can't do what they do.
"Anyone who knows me knows I'm 100 percent education," he said.
So is that a "never", he was asked?
"Read my lips, my eyes, my heart," Hrabowski said. "Absolutely not."