NIT Calicut is a fully centrally funded, academically autonomous institute of national importance and is governed by the NIT Act 2007. Hierarchically, President of India is the Visitor to the Institute under the Act. The governance structure contains the national Council for NITs as the apex policy making body, while the Institute’s governance is vested with the Board of Governors. Institute’s Senate is the authority in academic matters. Chairman of Board of Governors is appointed by the Visitor. The broad based governance and administrative system given under the NIT Act and First Statutes of NITs 2009 ensures participative decision making and assures Accountability.

The Director is the executive head of the institute. He is appointed by the Ministry of Education (MoE) for a period of five years. Director is a Member in the Board of Governors and the NIT Council and is also the Chairman of the Senate. The management roles of the Institute are looked after bythe Deans (Academic, Planning and Development, Faculty Welfare, Research andConsultancy, Student Welfare, Alumni Affairs and International Relations) and theHeads of the Departments and Schools. Administration wing consists of the Registrar,the Deputy Registrars, Assistant Registrars, other Officers and the Ministerial staff. Executive wing and Maintence wing is consisting of the engineering unit, electrical maintenance unit, water distribution unit, security and sanitation units.

Constitution of the Senate is prescribed by the NIT Act and members are drawn from the faculty of the Institute as well as from outside. Senate is responsible for the academic administration, including introduction and maintenance of academic courses. Subordinate to the Senate, there is a Board of Academic Council (BOAC) headed by the Dean (Academic) and is playing the link role between the Senate and the departments to make appropriate recommendations to the Senate. The student Hostels are administered by the Chief Warden, with the help of a council of Wardens and the Hostel and Mess Committee. Student activities are planned and managed by the elected body of Students Affairs Council, which is overseen by the Dean (Students Welfare) and other faculty coordinators. Central Computing facility, campus Networking facility, Central Instrumentation facility and the Library provide the backbone support for academics and research. Technology Business Incubator is playing the pivotal role in social outreach and the promotion of the startup ecosystem. There are facilities like Innovation and Entrepreneurship Development Centre, Centre for Transportation Research, Design Innovation Centre, Centre for Materials Characterization, Centre for Computational Modeling and Simulation, IPR Cell, etc. to provide the support for R&D with thrust on innovations.