sidebar menu icon


UNIVERSITY OF HOUSTON–CLEAR LAKE. The University of Houston–Clear Lake, a graduate and upper-division branch of the University of Houston System, is located on a 487-acre tract bordered by the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center and Armand Bayou Nature Center, halfway between Houston and Galveston on the Gulf Freeway. It primarily serves the needs of the upper Texas Gulf Coast and the region's petrochemical and space industries. A council composed of the presidents of nine community colleges in the area advises the president. Established in 1971 and opened in 1974, the institution began on a fifty-acre tract donated by the Friendswood Development Company, a subsidiary of Humble Oil (later Exxon Company, U.S.A.). Renamed the University of Houston–Clear Lake in 1983, the branch serves a professional, adult student population, awarding bachelor's and master's degrees through seventy-eight programs in basic and applied research, programs for outreach to business, industry, government agencies, and the advanced technology of the region. Courses of study include programs in the liberal, fine, and performing arts, behavioral science, education, business and public administration, natural sciences, technology, computer science, and computer engineering, and the university operates a wide range of centers, institutes, and laboratories. Faculty and administrative staff were originally drawn from the University of Houston's main campus (University Park) and the nearby Johnson Space Center. Joint research efforts with the space center were conducted in space technology and health, resulting in the formation of the Research Institute for Computing and Information Systems in 1986. In 1991 university enrollment was 7,208 with a faculty of 412. In the fall of 2000 enrollment was 7,580, of which 3,946 were undergraduates, and the faculty numbered 514. The Alfred R. Neumann Library had a collection of more than 367,000 volumes, 1.6 million microforms, and more than 2,000 periodical subscriptions. William A. Staples, who became interim president in 1995, was officially appointed president in 1997.


Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.

Diana J. Kleiner

Image Use Disclaimer

All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.

For more information go to:

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, Diana J. Kleiner, "University of Houston-Clear Lake," accessed May 26, 2017,

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Modified on January 18, 2017. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.