NORC and the University of Chicago

NORC is an independent affiliate of the University of Chicago and since 1947 we have had deep leadership and research ties to the University.

More than half of NORC’s board is composed of University of Chicago faculty and administration. In addition, NORC and the University of Chicago jointly staff several collaborative Academic Research Centers that are housed on the University’s campus.

An Enduring Partnership

NORC and the University of Chicago share a commitment to academic excellence and scientific rigor. From their earliest days, both institutions emphasized the potency of a research strategy melding theories with empirical evidence. John Dewey and others, including the founders of the Chicago School of Sociology and the Chicago School of Economics, led the way at the University, while at NORC, founder Harry Field and Paul Sheatsley, head of NORC’s New York office, guided the organization in pioneering these new strategies. Inspired by the vision of Social Sciences Dean Ralph Tyler and NORC’s second director Clyde Hart, their affiliation in 1947 forged a partnership that facilitated outstanding contributions to understanding human behavior and social institutions, and helped generate important methodological and technological advances, as well as new bodies of knowledge for public policy debate. Both the University and NORC have benefited from their enduring partnership.

NORC has provided the expert, technical know-how needed to draw proper samples, field surveys successfully, and prepare and document public-use datasets. NORC supports university faculty in applying for and administering research grants and promotes a collegial and supportive work environment for faculty. Over the years, NORC has given countless graduate students experience in real-world social science research; NORC researchers who also hold University faculty positions often become lifelong mentors to these students.

The University has afforded NORC opportunities to engage with one of the world’s most outstanding groups of faculty members in the social sciences. The relationship has also provided NORC with an intellectual environment that attracts staff and clients who value the vibrant and open culture that characterizes the University. With the guidance and nurturing of the University, including the administration and faculty members who sit on the NORC Board of Trustees, NORC has delivered data and analysis that have informed some of the most important decisions facing our communities, the nation, and the world.

As a result of this inspired affiliation, the reputation of each institution, as well as the quality of knowledge they produce, has been greatly enhanced. The products of this affiliation include research tools, data, and insights about human behavior and social institutions. The affiliation of the University and NORC has had—and will continue to have—a profound and substantive impact on insights, policies, and behavior in the fields of demography, education, labor, health care, and governance.

Celebrating 75 Years of Research: A Joint Anniversary Symposium

On April 14, 2016, NORC, in partnership with the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy and the Division of Social Sciences, presented a joint demography symposium in celebration of NORC’s 75th anniversary and the University of Chicago’s 125th anniversary.
View a playlist of videos from the Symposium.extlink

Symposium Acknowledgements

Many people at NORC and the University of Chicago have devoted time and energy to making today’s symposium a success. In particular, we’d like to thank the following:Robert Michael, the creative force behind the Joint Symposium program who formed the committee that organized the program. Amelia Solorio and Adelle Hinojosa, whose administrative skills, attention to details and organizational abilities on myriad tasks helped bring the symposium to life.Shauna Warren, who worked with NORC on all the logistical arrangements at the Chicago Theological Seminary (CTS).The University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy and Division of Social Sciences—Dean Diermeier, Dean Nirenberg, Renee Basick, and Sarah Galer—brilliant and generous partners.NORC’s Desktop Publishing team for turning the PowerPoint slides into posters, and creating our printed materials. IT mavens: Brian Whiteley (NORC), Martin Cornelius (NORC), Paul Ruffin (NORC), Jake Moomaw (CTS) and Jake Siska (CTS)UChicago Creative for the videography, including Brian Ciaccio who coordinated the production. The NORC 75th anniversary planning committee: Norman Bradburn and Kathleen Parks (co-chairs), Jennifer Benz, Angela DeBello, Nola du Toit, Alison Gross, Jeffrey Hackett, Brian Kirchhoff, Greg Lanier, Amelia Solorio, Cheryl Sutherland, and Eric Young. Finally, we’d like to acknowledge the talented and dedicated men and women of NORC, past, present, and future.

NORC's Legal Name

The legal name of NORC at the University of Chicago is National Opinion Research Center; we are also registered to do business as NORC. NORC is an affiliate of the University of Chicago and has offices located on the University campus, as well as downtown Chicago, the DC Metro area, Atlanta, Sacramento, Albuquerque, and Cambridge. NORC is an independent 501(c)3 research corporation and is not a part of the University.
Learn more about our name.​

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NORC's 75th Anniversary

Symposium videos are now available on Youtube!


University Partnerships

​In addition to strong and successful collaboration with the University’s Division of Social Sciences, NORC has long-standing relationships with other key institutions at the University, including: