(a)(1) There is created a Board of Trustees for Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University, a state land-grant educational institution at Huntsville. The membership of the board shall be inclusive and reflect the racial, gender, geographic, urban/rural, and economic diversity of the state. The board of trustees shall consist of 12 members, two members who shall reside in the congressional district in which the institution is situated; one member shall reside in each of the remaining congressional districts in the state as constituted on September 5, 1975, and shall be a bona fide resident and qualified elector of that district, with a verifiable physical presence in that district, during the entire term of office; three at-large members who may be selected from outside the state; and the Governor, who shall be ex officio president of the board. The president of the student government association and the president of the faculty senate shall be ex officio nonvoting members of the board. If a trustee appointed from a congressional district ceases to be a bona fide resident and qualified elector of the district from which appointed, or ceases to have a verifiable physical presence in that district, the trustee shall vacate his or her office.
(2) Before June 9, 2011, the trustees shall be appointed by the Governor, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate.
(3) The membership shall include at least three members who have earned a degree from Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University.
(4) Except for the first trustees appointed, trustees shall hold office for a term of six years. No member presently serving as of January 1989 shall have his or her current term of office terminated because of these provisions.
(5) All appointments shall be effective upon confirmation by the Senate.
(6) The board shall be divided into three classes so that at least one third shall be appointed biennially. Of the first members appointed to the board, three shall be designated by the Governor to serve until January 31, 1978; four until January 31, 1980; and four to serve until January 31, 1982.
(7) A trustee may be appointed to serve a second term of six years, but no trustee shall be appointed to serve more than a total of 12 years, except as otherwise provided in paragraph b. of subdivision (4) of subsection (b).
(8) No trustee shall receive any pay or emolument other than his or her actual expenses incurred in the discharge of his or her duties.
(9) No member of the governing board, no officer of any public postsecondary educational institution, and no elected or appointed official having the power of review of the Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University budget, other than the Governor, shall be eligible to serve on the board of trustees.
(b)(1) On or after June 9, 2011, each trustee shall be appointed by the Governor from a list of three persons nominated by a nominating committee. The nominating committee shall consist of the following members:
a. One member of the board of trustees as elected by the membership of the board of trustees.
b. One member as selected jointly by the faculty senate and the staff senate and certified to the committee by the president of the faculty senate and the president of the staff senate.
c. The president of the student government association.
d. The President of the Huntsville-Madison County Chamber of Commerce, or his or her designee.
e. One member of the Madison County Legislative Delegation, as selected by the delegation.
f. The president of the national alumni association, or his or her designee.
g. A community representative as selected by the other members of the nominating committee.
(2) Where applicable, members of the nominating committee shall serve at the pleasure of the appointing authority for a period of at least one year.
(3) Thirty days before the expiration of the term of a board member, or within 20 days following the creation of a vacancy in a term of office by death, resignation, or other cause, the president pro tempore of the board of trustees shall call a meeting of the nominating committee, giving at least 10 days' notice. The nominating committee, by majority vote of those present at the meeting, shall nominate to the Governor the names of three individuals who are qualified pursuant to subsection (a) to fill the respective position on the board of trustees. The Governor shall appoint one of the nominated persons to the board by and with the advice and consent of the Senate. If the appointment is made by the Governor while the Legislature is not in session, the name of the appointee of the Governor shall be submitted to the Senate not later than the third legislative day following the reconvening of the Legislature. If the appointment is made by the Governor while the Legislature is in session the name of the appointee shall be submitted to the Senate not later than the next legislative day following the date of the appointment.
(4)a. If the vacancy on the board is caused by the expiration of the term of a trustee who has served for less than the maximum 12 years on the board, the vacating trustee shall continue to serve on the board until his or her successor is confirmed by the Senate. If the holdover trustee is reappointed to the board, the term of office for which he or she is reappointed shall be effective retroactive to the date of the expiration of the previous term. If a new trustee is appointed pursuant to this paragraph, the term of office for which he or she is appointed shall be effective retroactive to the date of the expiration of the previous term.
b. If the vacancy on the board is caused by death, resignation, or the expiration of the term of a trustee who has served for the maximum 12 years on the board, the position on the board shall remain vacant until the name of an appointee is submitted by the Governor to the Senate. If the appointee is not confirmed or rejected by the Senate during the session in which his or her name is submitted, the appointee shall nevertheless continue to serve in the position on the board until the next session of the Legislature, during which his or her name shall be resubmitted for confirmation. If an appointee is confirmed by the Senate, the term of office for which he or she is appointed pursuant to this paragraph shall be effective retroactive to the date the vacancy was created on the board, for the remainder of the unexpired term if the vacancy was created by death or resignation, or for the entire term if the vacancy was created by the expiration of the previous term. If an appointee is rejected by the Senate, the position on the board shall remain vacant as the nominating and appointing procedure provided in this subsection begins anew and until an appointment is made and confirmed by the Senate. If a trustee is appointed to fill an unexpired term of less than three years, the time shall not be counted toward the maximum 12 years of service.
(5) If the nominating committee fails to submit a list of nominees to the Governor within 30 days after a vacancy occurs due to expiration of term, death, resignation, or any other cause, the Governor, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, may appoint an otherwise qualified trustee to the board, notwithstanding the absence of such nominations.
(c) The board shall provide for the conduct of annual training sessions for trustees regarding the fiduciary responsibility of a trustee to the university and any other topic deemed appropriate by the board.