Chapter 2

External Governance and Oversight

2.1 The University of Alabama System

2.1.1 Board of Trustees

2.1.2 Chancellor

2.2 Alabama Commission on Higher Education (ACHE)

2.3 Accreditation

2.3.1 Institutional Accreditation

2.3.2 Accreditation of Programs

2.4 External Relationships

2.4.1 The University of Alabama Huntsville Foundation


2.1 The University of Alabama System

2.1.1 Board of Trustees

The Board of Trustees of The University of Alabama is the legal entity that governs and manages The University of Alabama System. The Governor of the State of Alabama is the ex officio President of the Board of Trustees, and the State Superintendent of Education is an ex officio member of the Board. The remaining members are elected by the Board itself, subject to confirmation by the Alabama Senate. By law, two members of the Board are to be elected from each Congressional District, except that the district that is the legal home of The University of Alabama System is to have one additional member.

The Board of Trustees operates three constituent institutions located in Tuscaloosa, Birmingham, and Huntsville. Each institution has a President appointed by the Board to serve as its chief executive officer. The Board has ultimate approval authority for the policies and goals of the university; academic plans, including new programs and new units; admissions policies; legislative requests for appropriations; annual budgets and other financial matters; compensation policy for faculty and staff; campus master plans and facilities development programs; auditing policies; and architects, engineers, and award of construction contracts. It administers campus programs and affairs through the Chancellor and the campus Presidents. 

2.1.2 Chancellor

The Chancellor is the chief executive officer of The University of Alabama System and is the principal link between the Board's responsibility for policy and each president's responsibility for operations. A full description of the Chancellor’s responsibilities can be found in the Board Manual, Bylaws of The Board of Trustees, Article V The University of Alabama System, Section 2, Authority and Duties of the Chancellor. 

2.2 Alabama Commission on Higher Education

The Alabama Commission on Higher Education (ACHE) endeavors to facilitate coordination among four-year institutions of public higher education in Alabama. The Alabama Commission on Higher Education approves new programs and units of instruction, regulates off-campus course offerings and conducts studies having to do with the classification of institutions of higher education and the development of standards for such classifications. ACHE also develops a unified budget report annually containing recommendations for state appropriations for each public institution of higher education. This report is presented to the Governor and Legislature. The ACHE policy manual, available in the Office of the Provost, contains all Commission policies and procedures. 

2.3 Accreditation

2.3.1. Institutional Accreditation

The University of Alabama in Huntsville is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees. 

2.3.2. Accreditation of Programs

Many university programs are also accredited by their respective accrediting agencies, including, as of 2015:

  • American Chemical Society (ACS)
  • Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET)
  • Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)
  • Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
  • Computer Sciences Accrediting Board (CSAB)
  • Accreditation Council for Cooperative Education (ACCE)
  • National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE)
  • National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD)
  • National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) 

2.4 External Relationships

2.4.1. The University of Alabama Huntsville Foundation

The University of Alabama Huntsville Foundation exists to benefit the university’s educational, scientific, research, and charitable activities. The Foundation is a non-profit corporation recognized as a 501(c)(3) and 509(a)(1) organization under the Internal Revenue Code, and its stated objective is to increase significantly gift

revenue for the university by participating in soliciting and receiving charitable gifts. These gifts support student aid and faculty development as well as other current operations and capital needs of the university.

The Foundation is unusual in that it pre-dates the university’s founding and evolved from a corporation that was instrumental in early land acquisition, including portions of what has become the Cummings Research Park. The Foundation’s Board is comprised of business and community leaders, members of the University’s Board of Trustees residing in the Congressional District in which UAH is located, the Chancellor of The University of Alabama System, the President of UAH, the Finance Officer of UAH, and the UAH Vice President for University Advancement, who serves as the Foundation’s Executive Director.