|“||You're in my town now, and I don't scare easily.||„|
|~ Professor Derek Knight|
Professor Derek Knight is a supporting character in Pixar's 2013 prequel Monsters University. He is a professor at the School of Scaring at Monsters U. In the film, he teaches Scaring 101: Intro to Scaring.
He is voiced by Alfred Molina.
"Professor Knight teaches Scaring 101, the introductory course to Scaring at Monsters University. With hundreds of new Scare students each year, Professor Knight must weed out the weak from the talented and identify who shows the most potential to be real Scarers. Only a few have what it takes to pass the formidable final exam and move on to the elite Scaring Program."
His design resembles a dinosaur. He has orange skin, with black claws. He wears glasses and a white dress shirt with a black necktie.
Professor Knight is shown to be intelligent and seems to care about his career and teachings. He is a firm teacher and wants to make sure his students are well-educated and are fully ready to be Scarers.
Role in the film
MU expects the best in every way, which extends to their elite teaching staff composed of only the most sought after and highly-accomplished professors. Dedicated to developing the most talented monsters around, Professor Knight meets this expectation...and then some. "Everybody thinks they're scary. Whether it's Joe Blo from accounting jumping out from the water cooler, or the weekend warriors doing scaraoke at the local pizza shop, everyone's a scarer, but when you get to my class you’re gonna learn one thing real fast – you don't know scary."
Professor Knight, or as the students affectionately call him "Sergeant Knight", has a very important role in the early academic career of each MU scaring major – he separates the laudable from the laughable. His keen eye for talent, rigorous demands, and teaching expertise makes the unprepared flee and the diamonds sparkle.
"Look, it’s simple, scaring is dangerous business, so excuse me if I say something that hurts your 'widdle' feelings. I’m sure your mommy, and your grade school teacher thought you were the most horrifying thing on the planet, but let’s get one thing straight…I ain't your mommy."
Former students agree that Knight's teaching methods last the test of time. "I still think of the lessons I learned from Professor Knight every day of my professional career," said Jed Barkleman (Class of '91), "and I still have nightmares about him every night of my life."
It's revealed at the end of the film that Prof. Knight was once a scarer at Fear Corporation before retiring and becoming a teacher at MU instead.