Harris has been offered a new position as deputy assistant secretary of Education for Policy and Strategic Initiatives with the U.S. Department of Education within the Obama administration.
He has served as superintendent of Durham Public Schools since July 1, 2006. He previously served as deputy superintendent.
Harris will start his new role on January 1, 2010, the same day Hurd will takeover.
Hurd has 33 years experience as a school business administrator.
Prior to joining DPS, Hurd served as CFO and associate state superintendent for Financial and Business Services for the N.C. Department of Public Instruction for three years.
Hurd has also taught accounting at NC State and Campbell universities.
During a meeting Tuesday, the Durham Public School Board also approved the process for the superintendent search.
The board is accepting proposals from search firms and will select a firm at its next meeting on November 19.
On December 1, they will hold a meeting where parents, staff and community members will discuss the qualities the new superintendent should possess. The board says they expect to have the new superintendent in place by July 1.