Ira K. Blake, president
Ira Kincade Blake, Ph.D., is the first woman and first African-American president of University of Houston-Clear Lake, one of the region’s top public universities.
With an educational background in psychology and extensive experience as an educator and leader, President Blake is focused on inclusive learning and creating leadership opportunities.
She understands the converging needs for success both in the classroom and in the real world. As a result, she has been instrumental in adding new undergraduate and graduate degree programs to meet the needs of the communities the university serves and its students – programs that strengthen the bridge between academic degrees and the workforce – as she cultivates strategic partnerships with area academia, industry and business.
President Blake shepherds the university’s growth at UH-Clear Lake, UHCL Pearland and at the university’s location in the Texas Medical Center. She also leads the development of the university’s next strategic plan, which will include full representation of campus membership, alumni and community partners.
Under her guidance, UHCL has experienced success through expansion and enrollment:
- Honoring her belief in the importance of student success, President Blake realigned all student services under the Division of Student Affairs to encompass all of the university’s student-facing services and all current and future student resources.
- Recognizing the importance of fitness, not only for community, but in the correlation between student success and exercise, President Blake offered support in the creation of the community-focused Health and Human Performance Institute, formerly the Exercise and Nutritional Health Institute. It is located in the university's Recreation and Wellness Center.
- Four new buildings have expanded not only the university footprint, but under the leadership of President Blake, advanced opportunities. New buildings included the STEM and Classroom Building, Recreation and Wellness Center, Hunter Hall (the university’s first residence hall) and, at UHCL Pearland, the Health Services and Classroom Building.
- In fall 2018, UHCL saw record enrollment with approximately 9,000 students attending UHCL to meet their educational goals.
She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from George Washington University, a master’s degree in educational psychology from San Francisco State University, and a second master’s degree and doctorate in developmental psychology from Columbia University. She has spoken and published on topics of language, literacy, ethnicity, culture, socialization and childhood development.
The middle child of nine, President Blake attributes her success to her parents who instilled the belief that if she and her siblings made education a priority, they could achieve anything.