Named for Williard R. Sparks in 2003 but established in 1963, the Sparks Bureau of Business and Economic Research (SBBER) is the largest research center at the University of Memphis. For nearly two decades, the SBBER has ranked among the largest and most successful business research centers in the nation. The SBBER forms a multidisciplinary research organization that conducts an extensive array of applied research activities, provides faculty, graduate, and undergraduate research opportunities, and delivers technical assistance and training services for units of state and local government.
The SBBER staff conducts research related to economic, demographic, and business issues that impact Tennessee and the surrounding Mid-South states. Research projects have included:
The Bureau employs over 21 professional and support staff members that include seven Ph.D./Ed.D. economists and researchers, eleven Master-level research associates and IT professionals, three graduate students, and 13 student workers. The SBBER is also home to three associated research centers: the Center for Manpower Studies, the Center for Real Estate Research, and the Applied Information Technology Center.