Dr. James Hurley named 28th president of Tusculum College

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 where he served as executive vice president, dean of the School of Business and professor of leadership and education. Under his guidance, LMU enrolled its largest class, added many new academic programs and the School of Business grew by more than 60 percent.

Dr. Hurley previously served as president of his alma mater, the University of Pikeville. 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 more than $62 million.

Dr. James Hurley

“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 Greeneville 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 region. 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.

Also at the meeting on Saturday, Dr. Moody was recognized by the Board of Trustees by with the distinction of President Emerita.

“Through her tenure, Dr. Moody has provided strong and capable leadership to the institution and her students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends as the first female president,” said Dr. Bowman. “Under her guidance, the college has served its students to a greater and unequaled sense of accomplishment than ever before, and she has embraced the opportunity to encourage faculty, staff, students and volunteers to push Tusculum College forward through creative teaching and learning, responsible stewardship and a renewed commitment to service and civic engagement.

“Dr. Moody has led Tusculum College into a new era of growth and expansion, in terms of bricks and mortar, academic programs and opportunities, and fiscal responsibility. During Dr. Moody’s tenure the college has completed the most successful fund raising campaign in its history, raising more than $26 million, has constructed two new apartment-style residence halls, a 100,000 square foot, state-of-the art science building, and has increased the endowment by more than $6 million. The Ronald H. and Verna June Meen Center for Science and Math will impact math, science, computer science, biology, chemistry, environmental science and nursing students for generations to come. Dr. Moody’s warm relationship with Verna June Meen has led to the naming of the building, the development of an endowed scholarship and an endowed professorship.”

Dr. Bowman added that he and the Board of Trustees fully expect Dr. Moody will continue to advocate for the growth and development of Tusculum College and her students long into the future.