The Institute's governing body is the Board of Visitors, whose members are appointed by the Governor. The Board of Visitors has the responsibility of appointing the Superintendent, who is the chief executive officer of VMI.
Established by the Virginia General Assembly in 1839, Virginia Military Institute is a four-year, state-supported college whose student body is organized as a military corps under the command of the Superintendent and is constituted as the guard of the Institute. WIthin Virginia's state-supported system of fifteen senior institutions and twenty-four two-year colleges, VMI was the second institution of higher education created by the Commonwealth after the University of Virginia. As a wholly undergraduate military college, VMI meets society's need for educated citizens and leaders and contributes significantly to the diversity of the Commonwealth's system of state-supported and independent institutions of higher education. The Institute's mission statement amplifies VMI's special statutory role.
VMI is accredited by the Commission of Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award the bachelor degree. Specific degree programs are accredited as follows: Civil and Environmental Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering are accredited by ABET, Inc.; Chemistry by the American Chemical Society; and Economics and Business by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.
Institute executives reporting directly to the Superintendent are the Deputy Superintendent for Academics and Dean of the Faculty; Deputy Superintendent for Finance, Administration and Support; Commandant of Cadets; Chief of Staff; Director of the VMI Center for Leadership and Ethics; Director of Intercollegiate Athletics; Director of Information Technology; and Secretary to the Board of Visitors. Special staff officers who also report directly to the Superintendent are the Inspector General and the Superintendent’s Representative to the Honor Court.