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HomePolicyDixie State Challenged to Find New Name for University

Dixie State Challenged to Find New Name for University

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After a study found that the problematic history behind Dixie State University’s name made it difficult for college graduates to find a job, the institution’s board of trustees has considered several name changes. These names have included Utah Polytechnic State University and Utah Tech University.

The board of trustees also voted nine to one in favor of recommending that the university’s St George campus be renamed the Dixie campus to preserve the university’s heritage.

Redefining Dixie State

The name “Dixie” was first coined to honor former residents of the South who settled in the area during the 1850s. However, its connotations suggesting slavery for cotton production have made it controversial.

On June 14, the Dixie State University Name Recommendation Committee voted in favor of Utah Polytechnic State University with the nickname “Utah Tech.” However, many did not like the name, with a petition disapproving of the moniker reaching nearly 18,000 signatures.

Vice Chairwoman of the Board of Trustees, Tiffany Wilson, explained to Deseret News that the proposed name was a “good idea” because it accurately reflected the university. However, it “just didn’t work” because it was a “mouthful.”

“It was very clear that Utah Polytechnic State University was an epic failure and we are willing to admit that,” she said.

Is Utah Tech the Future for Dixie?

On Tuesday, the board of trustees unanimously voted to recommend “Utah Tech University” to the Utah Board of Higher Education. If approved, it will then be voted on by the Utah Legislature, a move which could take place later this year or during the 2022 legislative session.

Chairman of the Board of Trustees, David Clark, told Deseret News that he agreed with the recommendation behind Utah Polytechnic State University but found Utah Tech to be a more straightforward way to “promote the same mission.”

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