ST. GEORGE, Utah (ABC4) – The process of changing Dixie State University’s name has been in the works for over a year and there’s still a lot to be done.
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“The two names I’ve heard and I’ve really liked are Red Rock University and Deseret State University, they had a survey that they sent out to all the students to just like get a feel and see what names we like the best,” says DSU student and St. George native, Jacob Olsen.
Jacob is one of nearly 15,000 people who responded to a survey to help Dixie State’s Name Recommendation Committee narrow the search for a new name.
“I think it’s a good decision for the school for the school to change it’s name, because their top priority should be serving the students and helping us be successful in life, and for people outside of Southern Utah, they don’t understand the name isn’t supposed to be racist,” says Jacob.
Dixie State along with Love Communications conducted 47 focus groups, with people from all over Southern Utah. These six themes for a new name, are the most popular: Academic Mission, Deseret, Dixie, Geological/ Geographic, St. George and Utah.
“The Name Recommendation Committee will recommend the name, it will get down to a theme, and they will work through several names within that theme and we’ll do another round of focus groups, and then ultimately give a name to the board of trustees of Dixie State University,” says Jordon Sharp, the VP of Marketing and Communications for DSU.
According to data from the focus groups, having Utah in the name is a favorite, while including Deseret is the least favorite. 65% of participants expressed support for changing the name and to leave Dixie out of it.
“The Name Recommendation Committee will work for the rest of this month, they will pass a name to the Dixie State Board of Trustees, they will pass it on to the Utah Board of Education, and the Utah Board of Higher Education will pass it to the State of Utah where it will have to go through the House and the Senate,” says Sharp.
DSU will receive $500,000 from the state if they leave Dixie out of the name. The committee is working to have a final name recommendation to bring to the university’s Board of Trustees for a vote at the end of the month.
For more information on the data collected by Love Communications and DSU click here.