The Quello Center seeks to stimulate and inform debate on the economic and social implications of media, communication and information innovations of our digital age. It conducts research that questions taken-for-granted assumptions, and collaborates with other centers of excellence in research on Internet studies, new media, and the social and economic implications of communication, media, and information technologies of our digital age as well as the policy and management issues raised by these developments.
Quello Center: Established as The James H. and Mary B. Quello Center for Telecommunication Management and Law
The Quello Center was launched in 1998, as The James H. and Mary B. Quello Center for Telecommunication Management and Law, but is increasingly known and referred to as the James and Mary Quello Center or simply the Quello Center. It was established as a multi-disciplinary center within the Department of Media and Information at Michigan State University, but its faculty work in collaboration with faculty from across the College of Communication Arts and Sciences, the broader University, and associates worldwide.
The scope of the center has changed with the increasing centrality of the Internet and digital media, but its mission has continued to focus on research that will improve understanding of the choices and options affected by innovation in communication technologies, industries, and consumer choices. The Quello Center pursues these goals through a variety of activities, including: the conduct of rigorous interdisciplinary research; an interest in technology, policy and practice at multiple levels from individual citizen/consumer to local and state to national and global arenas; providing opportunities, such as symposia and conferences, to facilitate dialogue among policy makers, scholars, industry executives, and consumer interest groups; participation in events and proceedings that evaluate important communication policy developments; and providing expertise and independent research to public and nonprofit institutions as well as the communication and Internet industry.
The Director of the Quello Center from 2014 is Professor Bill Dutton, who works with the support of a dedicated staff and a wide range of faculty and research associates, visiting researchers, and research assistants. Bill was preceded by Steven S. Wildman, who became the first Director in August 1999, holding the endowed James H. Quello Chair for Telecommunication Studies. Steve was joined by Barbara A. Cherry as Associate Director and Associate Professor in the Department of Telecommunication. In 2001, Johannes M. Bauer joined the Center and became Executive Director in 2003. Professor Bauer has remained active in the Center as a Professor in the Department of Media and Information, which he chairs.
Bill Dutton was appointed as the Director of the Quello Center and Quello Professor of Media and Information Policy in August 2014. Bill is advised by the center’s associate directors and faculty, as well as by an outstanding advisory board that draws from industry, government, and academia.
Advisory Board (further details on members are available on our ‘people’ section)
Rationale Behind the Center
Media, communication, information, and Internet industries are undergoing tumultuous change, creating new market opportunities and societal choices with major social and economic consequences. These developments are posing new challenges for these industries in determining what products or services to market, investments to make, and marketing practices to adopt, as well as for consumers in understanding new technologies, choosing products and services, and protecting their privacy. Existing regulatory and legal systems have often been inadequate in addressing these developments, creating new policy problems and unclear choices for policy makers, such as around how to grapple with concerns over fake news, echo chambers, and filter bubbles.
The Quello Center is affiliated with the Department of Media and Information in the College of Communication Arts and Sciences at Michigan State University. Its activities are enabled by an endowment to which nearly 200 donors have contributed in honor of James H. and Mary B. Quello and James Quello’s vision for the Center. Building on the endowment, the Center pursues funding from major national research councils, governmental departments, public agencies, foundations and the private sector to underpin the independence and quality of its research.