Timothy L. Hall President Austin Peay State University On August 1, 2007, Tim Hall became the ninth president of Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tenn. Enrollment at the university has climbed steadily since Hall’s arrival at APSU, passing 10,000 students in 2009 and increasing overall nearly 20% from 2007 to 2011. Research funding has improved by 50%  and giving to the university by nearly 100% during that same period. Hall’s constant focus on student success has seen the APSU’s retention and graduation rates reach all-time highs. To meet the demand of record enrollments, the university has added 57 new faculty lines since President Hall began his tenure. He has also overseen the university’s expansion through establishing satellite programs in Dickson and Springfield, and significant increases in evening courses, courses offered during the summer, and—most recently, a new winter term begun during the 2011-12 holiday break.
The growth of the Austin Peay student body has also prompted a wave of new building projects. Since Hall became president, university facilities have expanded to include an educational building on the Fort Campbell Army post opened in the spring of 2008; the Hemlock Semiconductor Building—home of the university’s new Chemical Engineering Tech program—and a new Honors Commons, both opened in the fall of 2010; and the Castle Heights residence hall, opened in the fall of 2011. Plans are under way to add three new dormitories, a new Math and Computer Science Building, major renovations to the football stadium, and major renovation and expansion of the Trahern Building over the next several years. President Hall supervised the opening of the Governor’s School for Computational Physics in the summer of 2008, a five-week, summer residential program for talented high school students. He also cooperated with the local school system to establish in the fall of 2008 the Middle College at Austin Peay State University, a program for high school students who complete both high school and university credits on the campus of Austin Peay.
Hall has been closely involved in local economic development activities through participation in the Chamber of Commerce, the Economic Development Council, and the Industrial Development Board. He also serves on the community advisory board for a local bank and serves as a board member for the Cumberland Region Tomorrow board, which focuses on regional development issues in Middle Tennessee. His leadership has been recognized by his inclusion in the Nashville Post’s 2010 and 2011 In Charge list of education leaders in the Middle Tennessee area.
Hall received a B.A. in philosophy, summa cum laude, from the University of Houston in 1978. He followed this degree with two years of graduate work in the religious studies department at Rice University in Houston, Texas, before attending law school and receiving his juris doctorate, cum laude, from the University of Texas Law School in 1983. While in law school, he served as articles editor of the Texas Law Review and was selected for membership in the Order of the Coif, the nation’s leading legal honor society. Following a year as a judicial clerk to the Honorable Will Garwood, U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit, Hall joined the firm of Hughes & Luce in Austin, Texas, where he practiced trial law for five years. Subsequently, Hall had served as a law professor and later as associate vice chancellor of academic affairs at the University of Mississippi from 1989 to 2007. In 2005, he was asked to assume additional responsibilities as executive director of a campaign to raise $60 million for a new law school facility at the University of Mississippi.
Both during his years as a law teacher and later as an academic administrator, Hall has been active as a scholar. He has written numerous articles and books, most of which have concentrated on church-state relations and American religion. He is the author of several well-known books, including Separating Church and State: Roger Williams in America (University of Illinois Press, 1998); Supreme Court Justices: A Biographical Dictionary (Facts on File, 2001); American Religious Leaders (Facts on File, 2003); and Religion in America (Facts on File, 2007). He is currently at work on a book about leadership. Hall continues to find time for the classroom by teaching the first course for students entering the President’s Emerging Leaders Program at Austin Peay.
He and his wife, Lee Nicholson Hall, celebrated their 35th wedding anniversary in the fall of 2011. They have two children: Ben, an English teacher at Clarksville Academy in Clarksville, Tenn., and Amy, a junior art major at Austin Peay.