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UHCL History

The establishment of the university was authorized by the 62nd Texas Legislature in 1971. The measure was the result of a 1968 report by the Coordinating Board, Texas College and University System (now the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board) calling for a second University of Houston campus to provide upper-level and graduate programs. In 1973, the Texas Senate authorized construction of a permanent campus at Clear Lake.

Construction began early in 1974 with the first phase of the Bayou Building, the largest of the university's five principal buildings. September 1974 marked the beginning of regularly scheduled classes on the UHCL campus under the leadership of UHCL's founding chancellor, Alfred R. Neumann. Opening day enrollment totaled 1,069 students and 60 professors comprised the charter faculty.

Today, nestled on a 524-acre wildlife and nature preserve, UHCL has become a cornerstone of higher education in the state. Since opening its doors in 1974, the university has awarded more than 62,000 degrees. 

In May 2009, UHCL partnered with the City of Pearland to create UHCL Pearland Campus, a 30,956-square-foot facility designed to provide further access to high quality bachelor's and master's degree programs for residents of the Pearland area. Classes began at the satellite campus on Aug. 23, 2010. 

During the state's 2011 legislative session, University of Houston-Clear Lake received approval from the state for downward expansion, which allowed the upper-level university to add freshman- and sophomore-level courses to its roster. In fall 2014, UHCL welcomed its first freshmen and sophomores to campus. 

The university emphasizes high academic standards through teaching, research and community service and delivers outstanding educational opportunities in a traditional classroom setting using the latest instructional technologies, as well as cutting-edge distance learning.

The Schools of Business, Education, Human Sciences and Humanities, and Science and Computer Engineering offer courses leading to bachelor's and master's degrees in over 40 fields of study. UHCL continues to expand its offerings to meet the needs of its students and the community. In 2007, the university began offering its first doctoral degree, the Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership. A second doctoral degree, the Doctor in Education in Curriculum and Instruction, was added in 2014.

In its short history, UHCL has earned a distinctive reputation as a community-minded, partnership-oriented university. UHCL has developed partnerships with area businesses, organizations, schools and individuals that enhance the region's educational, economic, cultural, scientific, engineering and professional environment. The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching selected UHCL as one of 119 U.S. colleges and universities for its 2008 Community Engagement Classification. UHCL is also a five-time recipient of the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, the highest federal recognition a college or university can receive for its commitment to volunteering, service-learning and civic engagement. The university's numerous institutes and centers, such as the Environmental Institute of Houston, Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities, Center for Educational Programs, Psychological Services Clinic and Center for Executive Education, reflect UHCL's commitment to community service.

By developing partnerships in the global community, UHCL has formed collaborative programs and cross-cultural faculty and student exchanges in 15 countries. UHCL is currently active in six countries around the world.

With an average age of 31, almost half of UHCL's students are enrolled in graduate courses. The university serves a diverse population of more than 8,600 students from the state, the nation and abroad.

Related Links

UHCL Strategic Goals
UHCL Shared Governance
Administrative Organization Chart
News and Information
Presidential Search


Community Partnership AwardUHCL honored Pearland Chamber of Commerce with the 2016 Community Partnership Award for all they do in collaboration with and in support of the university.


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2016 President's Report

View the 2016 President's Report for a snapshot of the university’s revenue and key initiatives during the past year.


Last updated: 10/21/2016 UTC
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