Year in review: Dixie State proposes U merger

Sept. 10

The Dixie State Board of Trustees passed a resolution in early September announcing its plans to discuss becoming a satellite campus of the U.

Officials from the college in St. George 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 the educational needs of the rapidly growing area.

In early October, the U Board of Trustees created a task force to study the idea.

Some Dixie State trustees and area residents have objected to details of the merger because they are unhappy about losing the “Dixie” name and turning over the school’s autonomy to the U.

U Board of Trustees Chair Randy Dryer said any sort of merger would have to be done according to certain conditions, which would include changing the name and having the school’s chancellor report to U President Michael Young.

“To anyone outside Utah, Dixie has a connotation of the deep South, with confederacy, slavery and racism,” Dryer said. “People in St. George say this is Utah’s Dixie, which is different, referring to pioneer (heritage) and growing cotton, but requires a lot of explanation. Those aren’t some bags we want to incur.”

The 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.

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