Johannes M. Bauer has been named director of the James H. and Mary B. Quello Center and Quello Chair for Media and Information Policy in the Department of Media and Information of the Michigan State University College of Communication Arts and Sciences. Bauer will succeed William H. Dutton effective August 16.
Bauer recently served as professor and chair of the Department of Media and Information. He came to MSU in 1990 as a researcher, writer, teacher and academic with international experience working with organizations in the public and private sector. Before MSU, Bauer received his Ph.D. from the Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration in Austria.
"With breadth of experience and depth of expertise, Johannes is an ideal fit for Quello," said Prabu David, dean of the College of ComArtSci. "He understands the history and legacy of the Center and I am confident that he will build on the successes of previous leadership who made Quello one of the thought leaders in the world on communication policy."
Bauer's scholarly work and research has focused extensively on the role of information and communication technologies in empowering individuals, creating sustainable communities, and fostering inclusive and livable societies. The Quello Center, he said, bridges the world of academics and the world of practice by informing debate, conducting interdisciplinary research, and using the findings to help improve policy and management in the field of communication, media and information technologies.
"It's a two-way street," remarked Bauer. "We bring people from practice to MSU and learn what they are struggling with, then match them with researchers experienced in finding practical solutions."
Bauer said the digital economy is intertwined with media and communication technologies, which opens up tremendous opportunities for innovation and improvements in areas like health care, education, infrastructure service and the environment.
"Many of those solutions will not materialize unless there are appropriate policies, laws and regulations in place that allow for risk-taking," he said. "The Quello Center helps define and develop policies that follow and align with technological change."
Bauer follows Founding Director Steven Wildman and William H. Dutton as the third director of the Quello Center. Dutton remarked that Bauer has been affiliated with the Quello Center since its inception, and added that Bauer is a solid choice as the Center celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2018.
"Johannes will be a force for continuity," said Dutton. "With his appointment, we are now set for a smooth transition to the next phase of the Quello Center."
Bauer acknowledged the legacy of Dutton and Wildman who set equal courses for the Center's direction in researching and affecting the role of traditional and internet-driven media. Both leaders, he said, fostered collaborations on media policy, regulation and practice that have had wide-ranging impact on local, national and international fronts.
"It will be tough to fill those shoes," said Bauer. "Bill and Steve developed a very robust and forward-looking research agenda-be it net neutrality, freedom of speech, fake news or digital divides. Those issues haven't gone away, and will continue to change shape. This is a great honor, and I take very seriously the level of trust and privilege that the position entails."