Dr. Haley received his Bachelor of Arts degree in chemistry and physics from Franklin College in 1963. After a tour in the US Army as a medic, he completed his Master of Science degree in chemistry at the University of Idaho in 1966 and earned his PhD in chemistry and biochemistry at Washington State University in 1971. He was an NIH Postdoctoral Scholar in the Department of Physiology at the Yale University Medical School from 1971 to 1974. His first academic appointment was at the University of Wyoming in 1974 with promotion to full professor in 1983.
He has served on several NIH study sections and grant review panels. In 1985, he was appointed as the first scientist at the Markey Cancer Center at the University of Kentucky with academic appointments as professor in the College of Pharmacy and in the Department of Biochemistry of the University of Kentucky Medical Center.
In 1996, Haley was named Professor and Chairman of the Department of Chemistry, a position he held for the next 8 years. He was also co-founder and scientific advisor of Affinity Labeling Technologies, Inc., a biotechnology company that synthesized and marketed to major research institutes radioactive nucleotide photoaffinity analogs for biomedical research. This company was expanded to ALT Biosciences, Inc. which also developed diagnostic tests for oral toxicity detection.