Seal to lead Center for Distance Education

Susan Seal

Susan Seal has been named executive director of Mississippi State University’s Center for Distance Education.

Seal, an assistant professor of international agricultural and extension education, has served as the interim executive director of the Center for Distance Education since July.

“Susan demonstrated during the time that she served as interim executive director that she is an effective leader and has the human relations skills to work with our faculty, department heads and deans to ensure that we are seizing every opportunity to take our academic programs, where appropriate, to Mississippi residents and individuals around the world,” MSU Provost and Executive Vice President Judy Bonner said.

As executive director, Seal will continue to lead the university’s nationally recognized distance education efforts and work with campus units to enhance the educational experience for students and faculty.

“It is a privilege to lead the MSU Center for Distance Education and work with our exceptional staff who have such a passion for assisting our students in reaching their educational goals,” Seal said. “Through CDE, people across the state and around the world can be a part of the MSU family, receiving their degrees from the same outstanding faculty that our on-campus students have.”

Seal received an MBA from MSU in 2002 and completed her doctorate in agricultural education in 2006. Her dissertation focused on veterinarian acceptance of continuing education through distance learning. From 2001-2009, Seal was the distance education coordinator for the MSU Extension Service. She spent two years as the director of outreach and external affairs for the university’s College of Veterinary Medicine. After three years as director of outreach for Christian World Missions, Seal returned to MSU in 2014 as an assistant professor in the School of Human Sciences.

Earlier this month, four MSU distance programs were highlighted in the latest U.S. News and World Report rankings of best online programs. MSU’s distance MBA, master of science in information systems, as well as graduate education and engineering programs all were highly ranked in their respective categories.

“We have a lot of opportunities to meet the needs of students,” Seal said. “Life happens. Some of our students haven’t finished their bachelor’s degrees because family, work or other things caught up with them. Or, they’re wanting to go back to school to advance their careers. They can do that where they are. Distance education is another way for us to take the great academic programs we have at Mississippi State out to the people.”

For more on the Center for Distance Education’s 34 online degree programs, visit

MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at

James Carskadon | Public Affairs

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