• Aidan Joly

Hurley to retire at end of 2021-22 school year

Canisius College President John Hurley announced Thursday that he will retire at the end of the 2021-22 academic year after 12 years in his position and 25 years at the school.


Hurley, 65, will remain in his position until June 30, 2022. A successor was not named.


A representative search committee with members of the board of trustees will be formed in the coming weeks with the assistance of an outside national search consultant. The search committee will be headed by Dr. Frank Lazarus, a 1966 graduate of Canisius and a member of the board. Lazarus also served as the president of the University of Dallas from 2004 to 2009.

According to a letter to the student body, Hurley believed he would only be the school’s president for 10 years, but in 2019 the board of trustees asked him to stay on and he agreed to a contract extension. When the coronavirus pandemic began, Hurley and the board agreed that he needed to stay on throughout the pandemic. He also cites his age as a factor in the decision.


“The decision to step away, even after 25 years, has not been an easy one. My time at Canisius has been the highlight of my life. We all know the high regard in which Canisius is held in this community and by our alumni across the country. As president, I have been privileged to hear directly from so many people about the important role Canisius has played in their lives and the lives of their family members,” Hurley said in a letter to the student body, faculty and staff.


The last year of Hurley’s tenure, however, has not been as positive, as the school has come under fire as a result of administrative decisions last summer. He received a vote of no confidence last July from the faculty senate after layoffs of over 70 faculty and staff and the termination of nine academic programs. Hurley, along with Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Sara Morris, received another vote of no confidence last February. The school itself was named in a civil rights lawsuit last April, accused of allowing sexual harassment and discrimination on the men’s and women’s cross-country teams. Finally, last month, Canisius was added to the AAUP’s list of sanctioned institutions.


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