Dixie State University trustees vote to drop ‘Dixie’ from name

Dixie State University in Salt Lake City, Utah, is en route to a name change.

The university’s board of trustees voted unanimously Monday to approve a recommendation to change the name of the university, which must be approved by the Utah Legislature in consultation with the Utah System of Higher Education.

Dixie State University President Richard “Biff” Williams said amid the process of studying the impact of the university’s long-time name, which included commissioning a study by the Cicero Group, officials learned it was “increasingly problematic for our students and alumni” and had hindered the university’s ability to recruit students, faculty, staff and had limited its ability to build partnerships and obtain grants and funding.

While the name Dixie is cherished in the region, nationally the name does not “encompass inclusion and acceptance,” Williams said.

According to the study, 22% of recent graduates reported that while looking for work outside of Utah that an employer expressed concern about the term Dixie on their resumes.

The study also indicated that 42% of respondents from the university’s recruiting region said the name makes them less likely to attend DSU.

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