Joseph Silver Jr. will take over the campus in Montgomery in September. He is currently the provost at Clark Atlanta University.
The board approved Silver's contract on Friday. Silver says he wants to make Alabama State the best university in Alabama, not just the best historically black university in the state.
Trustees selected Silver last month after a yearlong search. He succeeds William H. Harris, who served twice as Alabama State president, first from 1994 until 2000, and then again from 2008 until currently.