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SEC, ESPN form Academic Network

Mississippi State University (MSU) and the University of Mississippi (UM) are joining with the 10 other Southeastern Conference (SEC) institutions in the launch of a new SEC Academic Network. A web site designed to promote academic endeavors of SEC universities using ESPN360.com technology, www.secacademicnetwork.com, went live Aug. 21.

The Academic Network was established by the SEC, in partnership with ESPN and the member schools. It will feature content from every institution, ranging from research, innovation and economic development to community partnerships, civic engagement and service.

On the web site, each institution has its own page featuring videos categorized by topic. Alumni, students and fans worldwide now have the ability in one place to learn more about SEC academics through video features that are posted by the league institutions.

“This is an unparalleled opportunity to showcase some of Mississippi State’s key institutional strengths in research and outreach, two of the guiding themes of the launch,” said MSU president Mark Keenum.

UM chancellor Dan Jones said, “We’re excited about the chance to give millions of people a broad view of the academic, service and research work that makes the UM a unique and valuable part of the state, national and world communities.”

The SEC Communicators Association, composed of key institutional communication professionals, worked collaboratively to develop major themes and guidelines for the project. Support for the project at MSU and UM is being provided by their athletics departments, the two institutional leaders said.

“The No. 1 defining principle in our athletics department is to provide a quality education,” said MSU athletic director Greg Byrne. “Our support of the SEC Academic Network reinforces our commitment to the importance of the academic quality at Mississippi State.”

UM athletic director Pete Boone noted that “the ESPN internship and the ‘campus connection’ program ESPN has provided each SEC institution will enable our journalism students to gain an unparallel experience in television production and communications practices.”

Developed using technology and coordination from ESPN Digital Media and Origin Digital, the Academic Network is a component of the SEC’s 15-year television package with ESPN.

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