Dr. James L Hurley is the 28th President of Tusculum University.
Through the implementation of the University’s strategic plan – University Thriving: Sit Lux Standard 2025 – Dr. Hurley has set a course for advancing the state’s first higher education institution to become a distinguished, first-choice university. Building upon its 225-year history of tradition and educational excellence Tusculum University under Dr. Hurley’s leadership will pursue new opportunities centered on programmatic development, academic distinction and student success.
Energizing the campus, community and region with an academically entrepreneurial vision to raise and advance Tusculum’s profile, Dr. Hurley in his first year has formulated and led several strategic changes. These include the conversion from college to university status and the creation and development of the College of Health Sciences; the College of Optometric Medicine; the College of Science, Technology and Math; and the Physician Assistant Studies program.
Dr. Hurley’s commitment to students evinces itself in his development of a centralized office of student success, designed to enhance the overall student experience. Additionally, he has led efforts to enhance the campus dining experience by renovating and modernizing the dining facility and adding an on- campus full-service Chick-fil-A. Plans are currently underway to renovate and modernize residential halls across campus.
In his commitment to support and equip Tusculum faculty and staff, Dr. Hurley has secured funds to renovate the Tredway building. This $4.8 million dollar project will provide a cutting-edge facility, with state-of-the-art technology and new modes for dynamic teaching and learning. The renovated academic edifice will serve as home to the College of Business and the College of Education.
Earlier in his career, Dr. Hurley served as President at his alma mater, the University of Pikeville (UPIKE), and as Executive Vice President and Dean of Business at Lincoln Memorial University (LMU). During his tenure at UPIKE, the institution achieved six consecutive record enrollments, a record fundraising campaign, and the founding of the only College of Optometry in the state of Kentucky.
Throughout his career, Dr. Hurley has been involved in the local and regional development of economic educational advancement opportunities. He gives back to the community by serving on numerous non- profit boards and engaging in service outreach.
Dr. Hurley is a first-generation college graduate. He holds a doctoral degree from Morehead State University in leadership and finance, a master’s of science from Indiana University, and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Pikeville.
He is married to Kindall Hurley, who works at East Tennessee Children’s Hospital. They are the proud parents of three children, Drew, Carter, and Blayklee. The Hurleys are honored to call Appalachia and Tusculum home.