IPU’s Mission

The Institute of Public Utilities (IPU) supports informed, effective, and efficient regulation of the infrastructure-intensive network industries providing vital utility services – electricity, natural gas, water, and telecommunications.

We fulfill our mission by providing to the regulatory policy community integrative and interdisciplinary educational programs and applied research on the institutions, theory, and practice of modern utility regulation. Public utilities are essential for human health, welfare, and development. Economic regulation is essential in the context of persistent market constraints and evolving social objectives. IPU is dedicated to regulation in the public interest and uncompromising with respect to the obligations of diligence and integrity in regulatory governance. IPU takes a principled approach to regulation, an empirical approach to regulatory research, and a reasoned approach to structural and regulatory change. IPU’s guiding philosophy is that regulation is well served by university-based research and education.

IPU People

Janice Beecher | Ligita Espinosa | Kenneth Rose | Steven Kihm | Joydeep Mitra | Johannes Bauer | Jon Bartholic | Adam Candeub | Stephen Gasteyer | William Knudson | Steven Miller | Thomas Jeitschko | Doug Jones | Harry Trebing

Janice A. Beecher, Ph.D.
Prof. Janice Beecher has served as Director of the Institute of Public Utilities at Michigan State University since 2002, bringing more than thirty years of applied research experience to the position.  She is a frequent author, lecturer, and participant in professional forums and Editor of Utilities Policy.  She recently coauthored the book, Risk Principles for Public Utility Regulators (MSU Press). Her areas of interest include regulatory institutions, governance, and pricing and she specializes in the water sector. She is presently serving on Michigan’s 21st Century Infrastructure Commission and the U.S. EPA’s Environmental Finance Advisory Board. She previously held positions at The Ohio State and Indiana Universities and the Illinois Commerce Commission. She has a Ph.D. in Political Science from Northwestern University and faculty appointments in MSU’s College of Social Science, where she has taught graduate courses in public policy and regulation.

Sudha ArjunSudha Kannan, Graduate Research Assistant. Sudha Kannan is a research assistant at the Institute of Public Utilities and is a doctoral student in the Department of Agriculture, Food and Resource Economics at Michigan State University. She has a master’s degree in Environmental and Natural Resource Economics from the University of Rhode Island and a bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Madras, India. Her areas of research interests include regulatory economics, as well as governance in the fields of energy and water.

Seth ProffittSeth Proffitt, Website and Information Coordinator. Seth has been a part of the IPU team since November 2015. He is an MSU undergraduate working towards his B.S. in Human Biology, and will be a part of the Class of 2018. Seth plans to continue on into graduate work at MSU. He is fluent in German and conversant in French.

Kenneth Rose, Ph.D., Senior Fellow (Economics). Dr. Kenneth Rose is an independent consultant and a Senior Fellowb (Economics) at the Institute of Public Utilities at Michigan State University. Dr. Rose is a nationally recognized expert with more than twenty years of research experience in the structure, economics, and regulation of U.S. electricity markets. Dr. Rose’s areas of expertise include electricity wholesale and retail market restructuring, market power, and market monitoring. Other research topics have included competitive bidding for power supply, regulatory treatment of uneconomic costs, Clean Air Act implementation, environmental externalities associated with electricity production, and other issues associated with the electricity industry and its regulation. Dr. Rose has directed or contributed to many reports, papers, articles, and books and has testified or presented at many legislative and public utility commission hearings, proceedings, conferences, and workshops. Dr. Rose previously was a Senior Institute Economist at The National Regulatory Research Institute at The Ohio State University from 1989 to 2002 and also a lecturer for the School of Public Policy and Management at OSU. Prior to NRRI, Dr. Rose worked on many energy related issues at Argonne National Laboratory from 1984 to 1989. Dr. Rose received his B.S. (1981), M.A. (1983), and Ph.D. (1988) in Economics from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Steven Kihm Steven Kihm, Senior Fellow (Finance). Mr. Kihm is Principal and Chief Economist at the Energy Center of Wisconsin, an independent energy research organization located in Madison, WI. Steve’s background in public utility regulation and finance supports his technical and analytical work evaluating energy efficiency programs and developing, analyzing and critiquing policy initiatives. Prior to joining the Energy Center, he worked for 21 years as a financial analyst at the Wisconsin Public Service Commission. In addition, he worked for 5 years for MSB Energy Associates, consulting firm. Steve has filed expert testimony before regulators in the District of Columbia, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. In 2003, the National Regulatory Research Institute awarded Steve’s paper on utility risk assessment First Prize in its annual call for papers. He has published numerous financial articles in periodicals including The Electricity Journal and Public Utilities Fortnightly. Steve earned a Master of Business Administration in Finance and a Master of Science in Quantitative Analysis from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a Bachelor of Science in Economics with Highest Honor from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst.

Joydeep MitraJoydeep Mitra, Senior Faculty Associate. Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Joydeep Mitra joined the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering as an Associate Professor. Prior to this appointment he held academic positions at New Mexico State University and North Dakota State University, and was a senior consulting engineer with LCG Consulting, Los Altos, Calif. He acquired his PhD in electrical engineering from Texas A&M University, College Station, and his bachelor’s degree, also in electrical engineering, from Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur. His research interests include power system reliability and security, and distributed and renewable energy resource planning. He has received research support from electric utilities, Sandia National Laboratories, the Department of Energy, and the National Science Foundation, including an NSF CAREER Award. He is a senior member of the IEEE and contributes to the Power and Energy Society, the Industrial Applications Society, and the Standards Association.

Johannes Bauer Johannes M. Bauer, Ph.D., Senior Faculty Associate. Professor Bauer is on the faculty of the Department of Telecommunication, Information Studies and Media, Michigan State University and Director of Special Programs at MSU’s James H. and Mary B. Quello Center for Telecommunications Management and Law. Prof. Bauer is also a former director of the Institute of Public Utilities. His research interests include the economics and regulation of public utility and infrastructure industries, the design of regulatory incentives and institutions, the globalization of network-based industries in the energy and telecommunications sectors, the economics of public enterprise, and the processes of regional economic integration in North America, Europe, and Asia. Professor Bauer writes, lectures, and consults frequently in the U.S. and Europe. He holds a M.A. and Ph.D. (economics), Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration, Vienna, Austria.

Jon Bartholic Jon Bartholic, Faculty Associate. Director, Institute of Water Research, Michigan State University. He is also a Professor in the Department of Resource Development. Prof. Bartholic has directed water quality and land use studies at regional, state, county and local watershed levels. He continues to work closely with MSU colleagues, multiple federal and state agencies and organizations on water quality and quantity issues, and land use and whole-farm planning from a watershed perspective. Most recently he has been working with others to develop an accessible integrated environmental information web-based system including RS-GIS technologies to aid users in making sound environmental, resource, and land use decisions. Prof. Bartholic has contributed significantly to the design and implementation of a highly successful series of MSU Virtual University Watershed Courses. He earned his bachelor’s degree in soil science from Michigan State University and his doctorate in soil physics from South Dakota State University.

Ken Boyer Ken Boyer, Faculty Associate. Professor of Economics, Michigan State University. B.A. (economics), Amherst College, Ph.D. (economics), University of Michigan. His primary research interests are in the economics of transportation and the economics of regulation. He is a 1979 winner of the Michigan State University teacher-scholar award and has taught at the Sino-American Training Center in Shanghai, China and the University of Michigan as well as at Michigan State University. He has conducted research on regulation and transportation in Western Europe, and is currently a member of two committees of the National Academy of Sciences. His textbook, Principles of Transportation Economics, was published in 1997. Prof. Boyer is the former Chair of the Transportation and Public Utilities Group of the American Economic Association.

Adam CandeubAdam Candeub, Faculty Associate. Prof. Candeub joined the MSU Law faculty in the Fall of 2004. Prior to this position, he was an attorney-advisor for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in the Media Bureau and previously in the Common Carrier Bureau, Competitive Pricing Division. His work at the FCC involved him in critical decisions in communications law. He is well published in numerous law reviews. In addition to his scholarship and interest in criminal law and philosophy, Prof. Candeub has developed an impressive expertise in communications, administrative and antitrust law as well as an extensive background in economics. He teaches courses in the Intellectual Property and Communications Law Program. Prof. Candeub received his J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School (1995) and his B.A. from Yale University (1990).

Stephen GasteyerStephen Gasteyer, Faculty Associate. Assistant Professor of Sociology. Prof. Gasteyer researches the structures and processes that influence community level access to critical natural resources and capacity to manage those resources. Relatedly, he applies a systematic analysis to understanding community leadership and economic development decision making. His research focuses on the US, the Middle East and West Africa. Before coming to Michigan State University, Prof. Gasteyer was on faculty in the Department of Human and Community Development (HCD) at University of Illinois. Prior to that, he was Research and Policy Director at the Rural Community Assistance Partnership (RCAP) in Washington, DC and a research consultant on issues of global water governance. Prof. Gasteyer was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Mali from 1987 through 1990, and worked from 1993 through 1998 in the Palestinian territories. He received a BA from Earlham College in 1987, and a Ph.D. in Sociology from Iowa State University in 2001.

William KnudsonWilliam Knudson, Faculty Associate. William Knudson is an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Agricultural Economics at Michigan State University. He was previously a Policy Advisor the Michigan Senate Majority Policy Office where he conducted analysis and advised senators on agricultural and high education issues. He is a member of the American Agricultural Economics Association, received his B.A. in Economics from California State University, and his Ph.D. in Philosophy and Agricultural Economics from Michigan State University.

Steven Miller Steven Miller, Faculty Associate. Steven Miller specializes in applied economic methods for forecasting and impact analysis. As a graduate, Steven maintained and programmed the Oklahoma State University Econometric Forecasting model and served as investigator on several Oklahoma Department of Human Resources studies of TANF funding, as well as child support studies for impact and needs assessments. He has produced numerous impact assessments of Wichita, Kansas area businesses seeking state and local sponsored incentives, produced papers on aviation demand across competing regional airports, and papers on alternative estimation methods of systems modeling.

Thomas Jeitschko Thomas Jeitschko, Faculty Associate. Thomas D. Jeitschko, Ph.D., Faculty Associate. Professor of Economics and an Adjunct Professor of Finance at Michigan State University. His research interests are in applied economic theory with specializations in industrial organization, law and economics, and micro-economics more broadly. He is an associate editor of the Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization and the International Journal of Industrial Organization, and an editorial board member of the Journal of Socio-Economics, in addition to holding several other editorial appointments. Dr. Jeitschko previously worked as a research economist at the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, where he analyzed mergers and potentially anticompetitive behaviors. In addition to many other cases, he was the lead economist evaluating possible anti-competitive effects of the proposed merger between the NYSE and the Deutsche Börse and the proposed takeover of NYSE by Nasdaq and ICE, he was involved in investigations covering Medicaid and health insurance providers, and he has expertise in Financial Markets, Securities and Derivatives Exchanges, OTC, Indices; Airlines at Slot-Controlled Airports; Telecommunications and Internet Content Provision; Patents and Patent Pooling; and Auctions. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Virginia (1995) with a specialization in Economic Theory and an undergraduate degree from the University of Münster in Germany (1991) with a specialization in Economic History.

Doug JonesDouglas Jones, Faculty Associate (External). Dr. Douglas N. Jones is the Harold L. and Audrey P. Enarson Professor (Emeritus) of Public Policy & Management at The Ohio State University and has been a member of the faculty since 1978. He was also the founding director of the National Regulatory Research Institute and served in that role from 1978 to 1998. His fields of specialization are public utility and antitrust economics, economic development, privatization, and public budgeting. He publishes mainly in the field of regulatory economics, deregulation and privatization. His international consulting has been with Canada, Costa Rica, Argentina, Bolivia, and Egypt. After earning a Ph.D. in economics from The Ohio State University he was a professor of economics at the U.S. Air Force Academy, Chief Economist on the President’s Committee for Developing Alaska, and Special Assistant to the U.S. Secretary of Commerce for Regional Economic Development. He also worked on the congressional staff from 1969 to 1978, first as Legislative Assistant to a U.S. Senator, then as Assistant Chief, Economics Division of the Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress.

Harry Trebing Harry Trebing, Ph.D., Professor of Economics Emeritus and Director Emeritus of the Institute of Public Utilities, Michigan State University; Adjunct Professor (Economics), New Mexico State University. Prof. Trebing founded the Institute and served as its director from 1966 to 1991, having responsibility for organizing and administering all education programs sponsored by the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC). He served as Chief Economist for both the U.S. Postal Rate Commission and the U.S. Federal Communications Commission. He also served on advisory panels for the Congressional Office Technology Assessment, General Accounting Office, U.S. Comptroller General, the National Academy of Sciences, and the National Regulator Research Institute. He is past president of the Association for Evolutionary Economic and recipient of the Veblen-Commons Award. In addition, he is a past chairman of the Transportation and Public Utilities Group of the American Economic Association. He has authored numerous publications dealing with public utility regulation and received a National Science Foundation grant to study regulatory reform in energy utilities. He is a recipient of several distinguished service awards. Prof. Trebing currently serves as a Governor-appointed member of the Michigan Utility Consumer Participation Board. He holds a B.A. and M.A. from the University of Maryland and a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin.