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Themes for new Dixie State University name identified

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ST. GEORGE, Utah (ABC4) – As the process to rename Dixie State University continues, six themes for the new name have been identified.

The Name Recommendation Committee says they identified the themes based on data gathered in an open community survey. According to the committee, the themes will serve as primary discussion points for upcoming focus groups with stakeholders and do not represent final name recommendations.

The survey, which was completed by 14,449 individuals, identified these themes:

  • St. George
  • Dixie
  • Geological
  • Academic mission
  • Deseret
  • Utah

Salt Lake City-based communication firm Love Communications helped the committee narrow down the scope of the name ideas.

Now, the Name Recommendation Committee will research specific name options within each theme to consider strengths and weaknesses in areas like:

  • Trademark and website availability
  • Uniqueness
  • Compatibility to the institution’s history and academic focus
  • Abbreviations and connotations

Love Communications will facilitate at least 50 focus groups with a wide variety of stakeholders to gather additional feedback.

“We are grateful for the community’s overwhelming response to the survey that demonstrates, once again, their deep commitment to and love for our institution,” Julie Beck, a DSU Board of Trustee member and chair of the Name Recommendation Committee, says. “Our community has entrusted the Name Recommendation Committee with the important task of narrowing down the field of ideas. We feel a deep responsibility to taking this charge seriously and preparing Dixie State University for long-term continued success.” 

Additional survey findings

According to a Wednesday release, when measuring the most important factors for the success of the University, academic reputation, job placement, and heritage were among the top. Other factors include admittance to graduate schools, inclusivity, recruitment, employee recruitment, differentiation, and athletic recruitment.

Respondents also say that uniqueness, support of the University’s mission, and likeability were also ranked important in the name change.

When breaking down university names into the three categories most often used when naming institutions of higher learning – location identified, institutional mission, and historical identifier – roughly 70% of respondents attached above-average importance to a strong location identifier.

What’s next in the naming process

University officials say more than 500 community members will now be involved in focus groups to further collaborate with southwestern Utah residents, institutional partners, and university faculty, staff, students and alumni, as outlined in House Bill 278.

The process, according to HB278, will result in the committee recommending to the Dixie State University Board of Trustees a name that reflects the institution’s mission and significance to the surrounding region and state and enables the institution to compete and be recognized nationally.

For more on this process, visit Dixie State’s website.

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