Over fifty years ago, a group of university professors and social activists created University Research Co., LLC (URC) to address the social issues of the 1960s. Today URC has grown into a global company of some 1,000 employees and overseen projects in 80 countries, including the United States. Although the organization has transformed and grown, our drive to empower communities and systems to adopt change that matters in health, education, and social services, remains the same.
From the beginning, URC combined the idealism of the era and the rigor of academic research with the pragmatism necessary to achieve results. We are dedicated to a rigorous, evidence-based approach to addressing social challenges. Our company and non-profit affiliate Center for Human Services, have historically been at the forefront of public and private sector efforts to introduce innovative approaches based on evidence and operations research to ensure results that can rapidly be brought to scale.
In 1965, we spearheaded a national effort to improve job competencies of early childhood educators in Head Start programs and developed innovations in alcohol and drug abuse prevention and treatment. Today, we have projects as varied as introducing the science of quality improvement to delivering healthcare in developing countries; strengthening laboratory systems to increase national capacity for diagnosis of HIV and TB; ensuring the sustainable availability of essential nutrition for HIV patients; strengthening national malaria surveillance systems; and providing basic literacy skills for immigrants to the U.S. and professional development for kindergarten to adult instructors.
For 50 years, URC has sought to combine the idealism of academic research with the pragmatism necessary in the real world. URC took its name from the founding partners, university professors who brought together talented people from the academic and scientific communities to address challenges of the 1960s and 1970s such as Head Start, hospital modernization, alcohol and drug abuse, and model cities. In 1968, URC established a non-profit affiliate, the Center for Human Services (CHS), to link more directly with community services in the US.