James C. Hearn

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


Ph.D., Stanford University



(706) 542-8729


Professor Hearn holds a Ph.D. in the sociology of education and an M.A. in sociology from Stanford University. He also holds an M.B.A. in finance from the University of Pennsylvania (Wharton) and an A.B. from Duke University. Prior to initiating his academic career, he worked as a financial analyst at a major bank, as an administrator at a small private college, as a program research director at the American College Testing program, and as a policy analyst and project director at a Washington, D.C.-area consulting firm. In his subsequent academic career, he served as a faculty member at the University of Minnesota and Vanderbilt University in addition to the University of Georgia.

At present, Professor Hearn serves as a member of the Editorial Advisory Board for the Journal of Higher Education and as a consulting editor for Research in Higher Education.  In the past, he has served as an associate editor of the Educational Researcher and Research in Higher Education and on the editorial boards of the Review of Higher Education, Teachers College Record, and Sociology of Education.  He has also served as a section editor for the annual volume Higher Education: Handbook of Theory and Research.

Professor Hearn focuses his research on organization, policy, and finance in postsecondary education. His research has appeared in education, sociology, and economics journals as well as in several edited books. His teaching concentrates on organization, policy, and finance. Among the classes he teaches are Organization and Governance in Higher Education (EDHI 9050) and Finance of Higher Education (EDHI 8400).

Professor Hearn is a past recipient of the Distinguished Research Award of Division J of the American Educational Research Association. In 2005, he was named a TIAA-CREF Institute Fellow. In 2014, he was presented with the Excellence in Public Policy of Higher Education Award by the Council on Public Policy in Higher Education of the Association for the Study of Higher Education.