The Chancellor is appointed by the Board and serves as the chief executive officer of the System, exercising such executive powers as are necessary for the appropriate governance of the System. The Chancellor is the principal link between the Board’s responsibility for policy and each President’s responsibility for operations. The Chancellor reports directly to the Board regarding the current affairs of all components of the System and discusses with the Board basic issues, new directions, and policy recommendations. The Chancellor directs the planning, development, and appraisal of all activities of the System, and is responsible for their coordination and implementation. The Chancellor also provides linkage between the System and various components of state government, as well as other educational groups and organizations.
On March 5, 2012, Dr. Robert E. Witt was unanimously elected Chancellor of The University of Alabama System, which is Alabama’s largest higher education enterprise. Comprised of doctoral research universities in Birmingham, Huntsville and Tuscaloosa as well as the UAB Health System, the UA System budget exceeds $4.6 billion with student enrollment of 57,000 and more than 26,000 employees.
Prior to becoming UA System Chancellor, Dr. Witt was President of The University of Alabama, assuming that post in 2003. During his nine-year tenure he was responsible for successfully undertaking an ambitious plan for academic growth and achievement that has positioned UA as one of America’s fastest growing public universities. The University of Alabama’s Fall 2011 freshman class was the largest in history and ranked second in the nation among public universities in the enrollment of National Merit Scholars.
Before being recruited to Alabama, Dr. Witt was President of the University of Texas at Arlington from 1995-2003. He began his 35-year career in higher education in the state of Texas in 1968 when he joined the business school faculty at the University of Texas at Austin, rising through the ranks as chair and associate dean. In 1985 he was named dean of the UT business school, which was recognized by the Wall Street Journal as one of the top seven schools of business in the world.
Robert Witt received his B.A. in economics from Bates College, his M.B.A. from the Tuck School at Dartmouth College, and his Ph.D. from Penn State University. In 2011 he was inducted into the Alabama Academy of Honor, comprised of 100 living Alabamians elected on the basis of service to the state.