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. Our research is focused on 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. The Center seeks collaborations with other centers of excellence and stakeholders in research on Internet studies and new media.
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 Quello Center. It was established as a multi-disciplinary center within the Department of Media and Information at Michigan State University. Its network of researchers has since expanded through collaboration with faculty from across the College of Communication Arts and Sciences, the broader University, and associates worldwide.
While the scope of the Center has expanded to include the Internet and digital media, our mission remains on research that improves understanding of communication technologies, industries, and consumer choices. The Quello Center pursues these goals through a variety of activities, including: rigorous interdisciplinary research 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.
Professor Johannes M. Bauer became Director of the Quello Center in August, 2018. As the Center’s Director, Johannes works with the support of a dedicated staff and a wide range of faculty and research associates, visiting researchers, and research assistants. Johannes is advised by the center’s associate directors and faculty, and an outstanding Advisory Board that draws from industry, government, and academia. Johannes was preceded by William H. Dutton (2014-2018) and Steven S. Wildman (1999 – 2014).
Steven Wildman served as the Founding Director, joined by Barbara A. Cherry as Associate Director and Associate Professor in the (then) Department of Telecommunication. In 2001, the Center’s current director, Johannes M. Bauer, joined the Center as Executive Director from 2003-2008, returning to the lead the Center in 2018. Center directors also hold the endowed Quello Chair for Media and Information Policy.
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 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.