Ira Coleman Batman was born in 1862 in Lawrence County, Indiana. He received his law degree from Indiana University in 1885. He began practicing law in Bloomington, holding offices as deputy prosecutor of Monroe and Owen counties, city attorney of Bloomington, and state representative in the Indiana General Assembly. He served two terms as judge of the Indiana Appellate Court from 1916 to 1924.
Mr. Batman served on the Indiana University Board of Trustees for 26 years, from 1908 to 1934, a member appointed by the State Board of Education. He died in 1934 at the age of 72.
The Ira C. Batman Faculty Fellowships were established in 1983 by the Emma B. Riley Charitable Trust, providing for the fellowships to be named in honor of her father.