ST. GEORGE, Utah (ABC4) – A bill to change the name of Dixie State University has passed the Senate.
The bill, House Bill 278, passed in a 26-3 vote. It will now return to the House because of a substitution made.
“We are always looking for a way to bring opposing sides together. I am hopeful this bill will lead to a positive outcome the whole community can support,” Sen. Evan Vickers says in a tweet from the Utah Senate.
The bill outlines a process for the school’s Board of Trustees, with consultation from the Utah Board of Higher Education, to recommend a new name for the university. According to HB 278, that name would have to be submitted to the State Legislature by November 1, 2021.
Under the substitution bill, ‘Dixie’ does not need to be absent from the new name.
Changing the name of Dixie State University has received both support and backlash in recent weeks.
After reports surfaced that the bill was dead, Senate leadership spoke out, insisting HB 278 would reach the floor.
Still, Dixie State University students gathered at the steps of the Utah Capitol – and a few in opposition to the change – to call on senators to hear the bill.
If HB 278 passes in the House, it will go to Governor Spencer Cox’s office.
This is a developing story. Stick with ABC4 on air and online for continuing coverage.