TSU announces new Urban Research Center
TSU NEWS

TSU announces new Urban Research Center 

Texas Southern University is pleased to announce the formation of its new Urban Research and Resource Center (URRC). Created through collaborative efforts between faculty and staff from Thurgood Marshall School of Law (TMSL) and Barbara Jordan Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs (BJML SOPA), URCC ensures that TSU maintains its leadership role as the academic and policy resource for urban issues and solutions.

“In 1973, the 63rd Legislature designated Texas Southern University as a "special purpose" institution for urban programming,” says TSU President Austin Lane. “Therefore, we must remain connected to our community at all times. This research center will provide our students and faculty with the necessary resources to study and address the most pressing issues that urban communities face.”

TMSL Professor Marcia Johnson heads the center that will combine scholarly endeavors with community outreach to develop and expand research programs that address the University’s five pathways to excellence ─ Student Success and Completion, Academic Program Quality and Research, Culture, Strategic partnerships, and Finances.   Johnson founded the Earl Carl Institute for Legal and Social Policy, Inc. (ECI) at the law school in 1992.  ECI has become a nationally recognized think tank at the university.

URRC is collaborating with ECI as well as numerous community based organizations and advocacy groups to address many aspects of the Harris County Juvenile Justice System including disparities (racial and gender) in arrests, school ticketing, detention, sentencing, retention hearings, and legal representation; with the Texas State Historical Association and the Houston Historical Alliance to gather resources and assistance in working on the History of African Americans in Houston project; and with L. Anthony Johnson, who volunteered with the Barbara Jordan Policy Institute, to address criminal justice reform and the barriers that released prisoners face when reentering the community.

”The Center looks forward to serving as a strong community resource and providing a platform for Texas Southern University to coordinate its many urban programs,” Johnson said.

URCC’s evidence-based research will be published in its on-line Urban Research and Resource Journal, through the Commons Digital BePress publishers at University of California Berkeley.  The peer-reviewed journal will showcase multi-disciplinary research by TSU faculty and students as well as outside academics and experts.  

URRC founders are Dr. Michael Adams, interim dean, Barbara Jordan-Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs; James Douglas, esq., interim dean, Thurgood Marshall School of Law; L. Anthony Johnson, project manager, Barbara Jordan Institute for Policy Research; Marcia Johnson, URRC director, Thurgood Marshall School of Law; and Carroll Robinson, esq., interim associate dean, Barbara Jordan-Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs.