University of Utah-St. George?

Dixie State College in southern Utah might soon become the University of Utah-St. George.

The Dixie State Board of Trustees passed a resolution Friday announcing their plans to discuss becoming a satellite campus of the U.

U administrators are considering the proposal but have not come to any conclusions.

“It really is too early to really speculate what might happen,” said U spokeswoman Coralie Alder.

She said leaders from both schools have met over the past few months to discuss options for a merger of some sort. The discussions, however, are very much in the “exploratory phase,” she said.

Officials from Dixie State said they are pursuing an enhanced relationship with the U to increase the number of four-year and graduate degrees available through the school and better meet educational needs of the rapidly growing area.

“The demographics of Dixie State’s student body is changing and we are simply not keeping up with their needs,” Shandon Gubler, chair of Dixie State’s Trustees, said in a statement. “Southern Utah now faces a business community that is demanding a wide spectrum of educational services, including applied technology and health science certificates, associate’s degrees, bachelor’s degrees and master’s degrees.”

The U Board of Trustees and the Utah Board of Regents must approve any plan before it can be submitted to the Utah State Legislature for approval in the spring.

A statement from Dixie State said beyond an increase in degree programs the college would benefit from the U’s library resources as well as “academic and administrative support capabilities, including information technology and physical plant services.”

The schools already have a partnership for the U to provide instruction in graduate programs for special education, nursing and executive business administration, which was funded by the State Legislature last year.

If a plan is approved, Dixie State President Lee Caldwell would become school chancellor and report to U President Michael Young, Dixie State spokesman Steve Johnson told the Associated Press.

He also told the AP that Dixie State’s name could change to University of Utah-St. George or University of Utah-Dixie.

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U may merge with Dixie State

Dixie State could become U satellite campus