Dixie State to form committee, beginning name-change process

Mar 25, 2021, 3:32 PM | Updated: 3:32 pm
Dixie name change...
FILE: Dixie State University. (KSL TV)

ST. GEORGE, Utah — The Board of Trustees at Dixie State University announced Thursday it will begin forming a committee aimed to recommend an official name change to the college, following directives from a bill passed during the state’s 2021 legislative session. The committee will consist of 19 members who will field public input, offering a formal recommendation to the board. 

Dixie name-change process begins

The move comes after the state legislature passed H.B.278, which requires the university to recommend a new name after several complaints from the surrounding community and alumni. Once the board approves a new name, it will be presented to the legislature for final approval. 

“The Dixie State University Board of Trustees is thankful to the Utah State Legislature not only for supporting our name-change recommendation, but also for the guidance in the monumental task of recommending a name for our beloved institution,” David Clark, chair of the university’s Board of Trustees, said in a statement. “We are excited to assemble the committee and track the members’ progress.” 

The committee will work with an external partner to gather input from the public through an open survey. The committee will then sift through the data and narrow it down to five options. Next, it will present those names to students, alumni, community members and university employees. 

Not a fast process

The process may be easier said than done. Committee members must verify each name suggestion in terms of trademark restrictions, acronym usage, cultural meanings or innuendos, similar institution names, etc. 

Once the committee decides, they will present their final choice to the Dixie State Board of Trustees. If approved, the board will then forward the name to the legislature. Lawmakers will vote whether to recommend the name to the Utah Legislative Management Committee by Nov. 1. 

“The residents of Southern Utah and Dixie State University have a great history of coming together to support our students and build up our university and community, and I’m confident this relationship will continue through the name recommendation process,” Clark said. “The trustees are grateful to the committee members for giving so much of their time and energy to this important cause.” 

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Dixie State to form committee, beginning name-change process