Below are the responsibilities of the Alabama Commission on Higher Education.

The Commission:
  • approves new units of instruction.  This includes new institutions, mergers, branch campuses, colleges, schools, divisions and departments.
  • approves any new academic programs.
  • approves off-campus instruction.
  • facilitates planning for higher education.  This includes developing a statewide plan.
  • reviews and makes recommendations concerning existing programs.
  • prepares a Consolidated Budget Recommendation to the Governor and the Legislature.
  • collects and compiles information concerning higher education in the State.
  • administers student assistance programs.
  • conducts studies on higher education issues and makes recommendations to the institutions, the Legislature and the Governor concerning its findings.
  • provides a state-level framework for institutions to respond cooperatively and individually to the needs of the citizens of the State.
  • reviews institutional facilities masterplans and report to trustees and the Legislature.
  • maintains an electronic student unit record system to provide accountability on student progress.
  • oversight for the programmatic review of private and public institutions operating as foreign corporations in Alabama in accord with the regulatory authority assigned to the Commission by statute.
  • serves as the state portal for Alabama’s participation in the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (SARA).

The Commission is not responsible for:
  • the appropriation or allocation of funds.
  • the termination of existing programs or existing units of instruction outside the program viability process.
  • the approval of new construction projects.
  • the establishment of tuition and fees.
  • recommending/enforcing policies concerning enrollment parameters. This includes: setting enrollment caps; limiting the number of out-of-state students; setting residency requirements; or setting admission standards.
  • setting faculty work loads or salaries.
  • the hiring and firing of personnel at the institutions.