Nutt was professor of languages at Asbury (now DePauw) University (1837-1845), pastor of Methodist Episcopal church in Bloomington (1845), professor of Greek at Asbury University (1846-1849), president of Fort Wayne Female College (1849-1850), president of Whitewater College (1850-1855), professor of mathematics and acting president at Asbury University (1857-1860). 
In 1860, Nutt was elected president of Indiana University. During his presidency, the University attempted to create an agricultural and mechanical school under the terms of the Morrill Act, though by 1869 Purdue was established as the land grant college of Indiana. In 1867, the Board of Trustees voted to admit women to classes, and around the same time the university experienced the beginning of organized athletics with students embracing the game of baseball. The junior and senior-class-controlled newspaper The Student also was founded that year.
The final years of Nutt’s presidency saw growing tensions with students, though the reasons are unknown. Students published a bogus newspaper in March 1873 titled The Dagger in which they attacked Nutt. In 1875, the Board of Trustees dismissed Nutt, likely over internal problems with the board and the students. Nutt died on August 24, 1875, approximately one month after his dismissal.
Several of Nutt's baccalaureate sermons were published.
- Wilson, James Grant; Fiske, John, eds. (1900). "Nutt, Cyrus". Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography. New York: D. Appleton.
John Hiram Lathrop
|President of Indiana University
1860 – 1875