ST. GEORGE — Beginning the process of changing the name of Dixie State University, the university’s board of trustees executive committee established Thursday a timeline and a 19-member Name Change Committee who will work together to come up with a name for the institution.
As outlined in the Name Change Process for Dixie State University, designated as HB 278 in the 2021 Utah Legislature, the committee will review options for the institution’s name, provide opportunities for public input and make a formal name recommendation to the board of trustees. The committee is expected to have a final recommendation by June 14, but that date is flexible if a name needs to be revisited, Tiffany Wilson, board of trustees vice chair, said.
“This is the opportunity now when we are anxious to engage the community because this is where we want their input,” Wilson said during the meeting. “We are confident this is a group that will come together with the mission in mind of what this name committee’s responsibility is, which is come up with a name that fits the parameters of HB 278, to elevate the institution to national prominence, to reflect the mission of the university and to recognize the area that we are in.”
Wilson added that it is important to the board of trustees to have members with all different perspectives regarding the name change on the name recommendation committee, and the first thing they asked of the members they appointed was that they listen and honor one another. She also said that it will be important to follow closely the language of HB 278.
The name recommendation committee comprises community members, university personnel, students and industry leaders, as required by HB 278. Trustee Julie Beck will serve as chair of the committee.
Beck said during the meeting that she has full confidence in the newly appointed committee and is grateful for the trust of the university and community to begin the process.
“I think we have as fine of people engaged in this process as I’ve ever met,” she said. “Everybody has an earnest desire to do their best and so that makes it easier for me to accept this responsibility.”
As previously reported by St. George News, the committee must present their final name recommendation to the board of trustees, who will vote and then recommend it to the Utah Board of Higher Education. The board must then present a final name recommendation to the state Legislature no later than Nov. 1. If the committee recommends a name that does not include the word “Dixie,” the university must create a Heritage Committee to preserve the heritage, culture and history of the region and the significance of “Dixie.”
Those appointed to the committee include: Utah Board of Higher Education member and committee vice chair, Shawn Newell; SkyWest founder, Ralph Atkin; SkyWest CEO and president, Chip Childs; Dixie State staff association president-elect, Megan Church; Intermountain Healthcare communications director, Terri Draper; Dixie State faculty Senate president-elect, Susan Ertel; Dixie State alumni, Bruce Hurst; Dixie State alumni, Danny Ipson; Utah Board of Higher Education member, Patricia Jones; Dixie State provost, Michael Lacourse; Dixie State alumni and community member, Patsy Lamb; trustee, Deven MacDonald; Dixie State student body president, Penny Mills; Dixie State student athletic association president, Deven Osborne; Dixie State alumni association president, Connor Shakespeare; Dixie State vice president of marketing and communication, Jordon Sharp; Dixie Technical College board chair, Darcy Stewart; and community member, Randy Wilkinson.
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