Williams: We want this to be a university town; Dixie State inauguration ceremony

Dr. Richard “Biff” Williams speaks at his presidential inauguration ceremony, M. Anthony Burns Arena, Dixie State University, St. George, Utah, Oct. 23, 2014 | Photo by Brett Brostrom, St. George News

ST. GEORGE – Dixie State University held an inauguration ceremony on Thursday, inducting Dr. Richard “Biff” Williams as the University’s 18th President, a celebration included as part of Dixie’s homecoming week.

Students and staff congregating before the inauguration ceremony for university President Dr. Richard “Biff” Williams, M. Anthony Burns Arena, Dixie State University, St. George, Utah, Oct. 23, 2014 | Photo by Brett Brostrom, St. George News
Students and staff congregating before the inauguration ceremony for university President Dr. Richard “Biff” Williams, M. Anthony Burns Arena, Dixie State University, St. George, Utah, Oct. 23, 2014 | Photo by Brett Brostrom, St. George News

The ceremony was attended by several dignitaries, including Mayor Jon Pike, Mayor of St. George.

“I want to extend a warm welcome to President Biff Williams,” Pike said. “As a community, we are increasingly dependent on the skills taught here at Dixie State University. We need nurses, technicians, communicators, engineers, programmers, artists, teachers, tradesmen, entrepreneurs, and more. Southern Utah will be prepared for the future … President Biff Williams is prepared. He has the experience and skills to lead this institution.”

Dixie has experienced many changes over the last several years, including emerging as a University. Williams looks to add masters programs to the school’s offering of educational programs.

We want to offer programs that will feed into the economy, programs that aren’t replicating programs at other schools,” Williams said. “The thing that is great about Dixie is that we have faculty and staff that have real-life experience. At times in higher education, you have faculty who have never done what they’re teaching others to do. Out students have many opportunities to experience the workforce before they actually enter into the workforce.”

To kick off his campaign as president, Williams has ordered 1,000 Dixie State flags to distribute throughout the community.

“We want this to be a University town,” Williams said. “We really have to get every business and member of the community to buy into Dixie State University.”

Williams has a strong background in education, most recently serving as provost and vice president for academic affairs at Indiana State University. He was the founding dean of the College of Nursing, Health, and Human Services at Indiana State. As the dean, Williams developed 6 new degree programs for that school.

Homecoming week festivities end on Saturday with the homecoming parade, football game, and dance.

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  • My Evil Twin October 24, 2014 at 12:48 pm

    GREAT! If you want this to be a university town, the first thing you need to do is get rid of the totally inappropriate “RED STORM” and go back to the historic “Dixie Rebels.” How the heck can any of us native or long time residents support the red storm? It is stupid, juvenile and candy arsed. Sometimes change is needed. Sometimes change is done for convenience sake, and sometimes change is done purely for the ego factor of the folks making the change.
    We got rid of the idiot that brought us Red Storm, now let’s get rid of Red Storm!

  • Rosie October 24, 2014 at 5:02 pm

    Red Storm? That’s kind of dumb. I left St George over 45 years ago but will always remember fondly the Dixie Rebels. Too much PC for a conservative place like St George used to be. Now it seems like they are just like any town – not unique at all.

  • Ricky MacGyver October 24, 2014 at 8:25 pm

    I agree with Evil, Red Storm was a dumb idea back then and it’s dumb now. Anything would be better than Red Storm. Name it Lizards, Wiley Coyote, Road Runner Beep Beep, anything, just not Red Storm.
    As for making this a University Town, that means Party Town and it already is that. Along the name change idea; Red Rocks, Red Stones, Stoners, yeah, that’s it. The Dixie Stoners.

    • Simone October 25, 2014 at 12:41 am

      You have obviously never left St. George, aka Mormonville. For your information Mormonville could not be FARTHER from a party town. Unless of course you mean a “Political” party town. lol.

  • Rebel October 24, 2014 at 9:53 pm

    Let’s not worry about something small like the mascot. I think DSU has a lot of promise, and will allow St. George to actually get on the map…you know, rather than Cedar.

  • Koolaid October 24, 2014 at 10:26 pm

    What???? Whar is dem tradition of huntin’ black people at dat Dixie College, jes like we’uns good ole boyd did in dem good ole days?

  • Matthew Sevald October 24, 2014 at 11:53 pm

    “We want this to be a university town.”
    Ok, get rid of the tobacco ban on campus and allow adults to be adults.
    Get rid of the alcohol ban on campus and allow adults to be adults.
    Allow the Greek life on campus and allow adults to be adults.
    Allow co-ed housing and allow adults to be adults.
    Allow or encourage/reward the faculty for being harsh on students who treat it like its highschool. So many whine and try to weasel their way out of responsibilities by playing the “I didn’t know better” card.
    The campus will never be a “university” if the students are policed like young children. Part of growing up is experiencing life and making choices – good or bad – and learning from them. The way students are coddled and shielded from life makes me question if they really didn’t know better.
    The city and state also need to loosen their booze and tobacco laws and allow adults to be adults. There’s no place for young people to go. We could use a piano bar and other places for young people to go, drink, have fun, hook up, and do things that normal young people do in the rest of the country, rather than be held to medieval morality in a vain attempt to hold on to the Mormon bubble.

    • The Rest Of The Story October 25, 2014 at 3:03 am

      Bravo! Applause!

  • Jo October 25, 2014 at 8:59 am

    If students want any change in their college and town, they need to vote for new faces in their city council. For something new, you need to get rid of the old. Exercise your right to vote, and maybe your city officials will start listening to you.

  • Zonkerb October 25, 2014 at 9:17 pm

    The city does what is in the best interest of the LDS community this will always be a Mormon … city
    Ed. ellipsis.

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