The Mamitua Saber Research Center (formerly University Research Center) was earlier known as the Institute of Research for Filipino Culture when it began its operation in 1962. It was named after its first Director, Dr. Mamitua Saber, who also founded the Museum before he died in January 1962. It was created to implement a provision of the University Charter, which is, to undertake research on “Filipino native culture, art, science, philosophy and literature” (Section 2, RA 1893). It was restructured five years later and became known as the University Research Center.
In pursuit of its goal, the Center directs research on Filipino culture along three interrelated lines:
1. The roots and nature of Filipino culture prior to foreign mass influences, to collate the results of these inquiries into a distinct cultural whole;
2. The dominant Asian cultural mainstreams and their impact on the native culture to the coming of Western civilization;
3. Western influences on Filipino culture.
Besides undertaking other research-related activities, the URC a) formulates research policies and adopts measures to encourage research in the university; (b) helps administer university research funds and other grants, donations, gifts and endowments for research; (c) coordinates research activities in the University and establishes relations with research institutions elsewhere; and (d) publishes meritorious research output and other similar materials of interest.
At present, the Center operates under the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Extension (OVCRE) and is organized into three divisions: Folklore, which undertakes collection and translation of Mindanao oral literatures; Publications, which is charged with preparing Center publications; and Administration, which supports the above divisions with office supplies and service assistance.
The Center focuses its research activities on the MINSUPALA region, where rich natural resources abound and where many social and cultural linguistic groups reside, the study and better understanding of whom are needed in any national program of peace and development in the region.