GREENEVILLE, TN – Dr. James Hurley has been named the 28th president of Tusculum College. He will begin his tenure on Oct. 1. Dr. Hurley was selected after a nationwide search that was initiated following the retirement announcement by current president Dr. Nancy B. Moody earlier this year.
The announcement came after a called meeting of the Tusculum College Board of Trustees on Saturday, Aug. 26, on the main campus in Greeneville.
Dr. Hurley comes to Tusculum from Lincoln Memorial University (LMU) where he served as executive vice president, dean of the School of Business and professor of leadership and education. Under his guidance, the University enrolled its largest class, added many new academic programs and the School of Business grew by over 60%.
Dr. Hurley previously served as president of his alma mater, the University of Pikeville (UPIKE). During his tenure, UPIKE achieved its largest enrollment in history, experienced unprecedented programmatic growth and was named the 20th fastest-growing college in the U.S. by The Chronicle of Higher Education. Dr. Hurley’s vision and leadership resulted in three new colleges during his presidency including the Coleman College of Business, the Patton College of Education and the Kentucky College of Optometry. A successful fundraiser, Dr. Hurley launched an ambitious capital campaign, raising and securing over $62 million.
“We are excited to announce that Dr. Hurley has been named president of the college and will lead us into the next phase of Tusculum College history,” said Dr. Kenneth A. Bowman, chair of the Board of Trustees. “We are extremely confident in his ability and excited by his enthusiasm to become part of the Tusculum legacy.”
Throughout his 20-year career in education, Dr. Hurley has served as instructor, professor, dean, vice president and president. He has had extensive and varied experience at private, liberal arts, faith-based institutions and has shown an understanding of the challenges facing higher education, such as the increasingly competitive environment in which these institutions must simultaneously attract, retain and graduate students, as well as stabilize their fiscal health, grow their academic portfolio, and raise additional external funds.
“Dr. Hurley’s outstanding track record of executive leadership and administration has led to significant enrollment growth, faculty excellence, new programs and financial stability in the institutions he has served in his career,” said Dr. Greg Nelson, chairman of the Search Committee and member of the Tusculum College Board of Trustees. “His strong demonstrated capability to connect with students, faculty, staff and the greater community was evident to our entire Tusculum community during his campus visit. Not only does James bring a high energy level, knowledge, and passion for higher education in the Appalachian region, he also brings a strong network of regional and national leaders which will greatly benefit Tusculum College.”
Dr. Hurley holds a doctoral degree from Morehead State University in education leadership and finance; a Rank 1 Certification from the University of Kentucky in educational supervision; a Master of Science in education degree from Indiana University, and a bachelor’s degree in business education and management from Pikeville College. He has also completed the Institute for Presidential Leadership at Harvard University and received a certificate in higher education management from Vanderbilt University.
“I am honored and humbled to have the opportunity to lead Tennessee’s oldest college with its rich history, heritage and commitment to higher education in Appalachia. I was drawn to Tusculum because of its intentional mission of educating first-generation college students, the deliberate focus on the Civic Arts and deeply committed trustees, faculty and staff. Tusculum is a special place with a prolific history and a bright future,” Dr. Hurley said. “My family and I are eager to join the Greenville community and will pour our hearts and souls into strengthening Pioneer Nation.”
Dr. Hurley is committed to the community and region through service on nonprofit boards and community participation, which will continue throughout the Tri-Cities area. Dr. Hurley has extensive experience in globalization and diversity efforts. He has expanded international student opportunities and international campus partnerships on every campus he has served.
“Throughout his tenure at LMU, Dr. Hurley was integral in growing the University, strengthening our high-quality curriculum and recruiting excellent faculty and staff to improve our academic community. On behalf of LMU, I wish him well and offer him any support we can give,” said LMU Chairman Autry O.V. “Pete” DeBusk.
Dr. Hurley and his wife, Kindall, are expecting a child in the New Year, joining sons, Drew and Carter.
Tusculum College, the first college in Tennessee and the 28th oldest in the nation, is a liberal arts institution committed to utilizing the civic arts in developing educated citizens distinguished by academic excellence, public service and qualities of Judeo-Christian character. Approximately eighteen hundred students are enrolled on the main campus in Greeneville and two off-site locations in East Tennessee. The academic programs for both traditional-aged students and working adults served through the Graduate and Professional Studies program are delivered using focused calendars.