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Panel discusses how Dixie State name change became politicized

Dixie State University in St. George is pictured on Friday, April 9, 2021. Photo: Jeffrey Allred, Deseret News

ST GEORGE — A state lawmaker says national events politicized the effort to change the name of Dixie State University.

Hurricane Representative Brad Last works at Dixie State, and he said University officials were talking about changing the name before the George Floyd riots.

New survey asks for resident input on Dixie State University name change

They wanted to see whether they should adopt a name that reflects the goal of the institution, like with the name polytechnic or technology.

But then everything changed and became more political. And they fear it damaged all their efforts to include residents in the conversation.

The Deseret News said Southern Utah legislators had a panel discussion about the name change process Thursday at Dixie State University.

State lawmakers passed a bill to create a process for a recommendation for a new name. Area leaders say many residents have told them they don’t want it to change, because of its connection to Southern Utah. They say the name Dixie is historical to Utah and does not denote racism.


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