Herald trumpets sounded the approval of university status, but “nays” and objections for “Dixie” were apparent among a minority of attendees.
For many, Jan. 25, 2013, will be a memorable day when hard work, dedication and vision culminated into a passing vote by the Utah Board of Regents.
“This has long been a dream of our community: to have the educational opportunity and resources that are associated with a university,” said Stephen Nadauld, Dixie State College president.
A majority of 20-member the board voted in favor of DSC becoming Dixie State University, but a couple of members voiced “nay.” During the meeting, two members spoke how the institution is skipping out on an opportunity to change the name: France Davis, the academic chair for the regents, and board member Bob Marquardt.
“We missed an opportunity to change the name,” Davis said. “One of the purposes of a university…is to confront and challenge the status quo and to reflect the sensitivity of a global society by highlighting the importance of imagery.”
Steven Caplin, chair of the DSC Board of Trustees, said the most important outcome of the Sorenson Advertising research was that 80 percent of the stakeholders of the institution wanted “Dixie” to stay in the name.
He then apologized for some negative aspects in the college’s history.
“I personally would like to state that I understand the feelings, the hurt and the experiences by use of [the Confederate symbols], among them being some caricatures in the college yearbooks and some events that related to them,” Caplin said. “We hope you will forgive us and let us move forward together. This is an important time to move forward as an institution as one body.”
Nadauld said there will be actions to inform outsiders about what “Dixie” is.
“We have plans for going forward… on how we might use some of our funds to make sure that everyone understands and knows who we are, and (who we) are not,” he said. “And to make this the most hospitable, warm part of Utah that we can make it.”
DSC will add a new scholarship for minority students in honor of Davis. Caplin said an undisclosed donor offered $20,000 toward this scholarship, and now others have donated, which culminates to more than $40,000. Students who are awarded this scholarship will have an opportunity to meet with Davis.
Other items the board voted on were concerning some business dealings of DSC.
The board approved new degrees at DSC as part of the benchmarks of university status. The Bachelor of Arts, the Bachelors of Science, and a minor in history were all approved.
Also, DSC’s Campus Master Plan was approved. This includes the completion of the Jeffrey R. Holland Centennial Commons, the Snow Science building, the acquisition of East Elementary, and the expansion of campus sites in Hurricane.