The Institute for Public Service and Policy Research is an
interdisciplinary research and public service unit of the
University of South Carolina. Our primary purpose is to help governments in South Carolina by addressing current and emerging public policy, governance and leadership issues through our educational activities, applied research, and technical assistance programs.
Our activities support the University of South Carolina-Columbia's mission by conducting applied research to inform policy making decisions, promoting civic engagement within South Carolina government, and providing practical research and learning opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students.
We strive to be a public service research institute that is valued and respected by the University of South Carolina, our stakeholders throughout the state, and our peer institutes throughout the nation.
The Institute has grown from a rich tradition of public
service at USC. It was organized in September, 1945 as the
Bureau of Public Administration. In 1969 the name was changed
to the Bureau of Governmental Research and Service. In 1988
its mission was expanded to include more service-related
policy research and it became the Institute for Public
Affairs. In 2001 the Institute became a part of the College of
Liberal Arts and its name was changed to the Institute for
Public Service and Policy Research to convey the functions of
the organization more clearly:
to conduct research to find effective solutions to the public
policy challenges facing our state and communities and to meet the training and needs of local and state government.
A more detailed account of the Institute’s early history can
be found in Five Years of Governmental Research
written by former director Robert H. Stoudemire.