James C. Hearn


James C. Hearn

Professor of Higher Education; Associate Director, Institute of Higher Education
University of Georgia

James Hearn is professor and associate director in the University of Georgia's Institute of Higher Education. He also has taught at the University of Minnesota and Vanderbilt University. Before initiating his academic career, he worked as a financial analyst, higher education administrator, program research director, and policy analyst.

Hearn’s research and teaching focus on organization, policy, and finance in postsecondary education. His work has appeared in numerous sociology, education, and economics journals, as well as in several edited books. He earned his A.B. from Duke University, M.B.A. in finance from the University of Pennsylvania, and Ph.D. in the sociology of education from Stanford University.

Professional Achievements

  • Serves on the editorial advisory board of the Journal of Higher Education and as consulting editor of Research in Higher Education.
  • Past recipient of the Distinguished Research Award of Division J of the American Educational Research Association.
  • Received the Excellence in Public Policy of Higher Education Award from the Association for the Study of Higher Education's Council on Public Policy in Higher Education.


June 2022
As the pandemic emerged in early 2020, educators and policymakers grew increasingly concerned about its potential impacts on access-oriented colleges and equity. How would underrepresented populations fare in the context of radically changed campus operations?
December 2017
Has increased use of contingent faculty led to real improvements in institutional performance? This report explores the strategic payoffs of a well-documented trend in academia.
November 2015
A national survey suggests independent colleges are innovating, embracing change and feeling optimistic about the future—which is a far cry from the bleak portrayal in the popular media.