The university’s first official board of trustees meeting didn’t yield many changes, but one proposed campus additions may lead to student fee increases in the future, and a new entity on campus seeks to aid students, faculty and staff who feel discriminated against.
Dixie State University officials proposed a new health and wellness and physical education center and have placed a capital development project request with the state of Utah. If the state approves the project, then a portion of the funds would be provided through student fees. However, the project is still in the approval process, and no fee increases have been added.
Students pay a $40 building fee as part of their student fees each semester. Paul Morris, DSU vice president of administrative services, said each student would need to pay an additional $24 per semester over a 20-year period to pay the $13.5 million bond. The university would seek the remaining funds from private donors and from the state.
“I walked around campus…to sum up what we have and what we don’t have,” Morris said. “One thing that has really occurred to me as a real need on campus is for a physical education building and student wellness/recreation building.”
The proposed 100,000-foot physical education building would be constructed next to the existing fitness center and cost approximately $27 million. Morris said the cost could be an obstacle considering Utah’s priorities in higher education.
“Lately, the state has really had more of a push to fund more of the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) type buildings,” he said. “One way to help get a building like this one, through the process with the regents…and legislature, is to have multiple sources of funding.”
Morris said he met with the DSU Student Association and Dean of Students Del Beatty and asked for a 50 percent contribution in the form of a bond from the students.
“The students are behind this, and they’re willing to support it financially,” Morris said.
DSUSA President Carlos Morgan said his council was approached with the idea earlier in the year.
“We took a little time to really consider it and consider the students’ needs,” he said. “Initially we were like: ‘This is big. This is a lot. This is going to be big news for the students.’ But after talking it over…we as a student body and as an executive council, considering all of that, we feel like this…is a good way to say, ‘We did something for this school for future students.’”
Nadauld reported that DSU created a new ombud office that would aid students, faculty and staff who have been discriminated against or who have witnessed discrimination.
“(It) provides assistance in resolving problems and conflicts,” he said. “(It’s) an independent, impartial and informal confidential resource available to all members of the Dixie State University community.”
The ombud office will open Oct. 1 and will be operated by Ami Comeford, associate professor of English; Katie Armstrong, assistant director of academic advisement; and Will Craver, assistant director of human resources.
“We hope that the ombuds will be very helpful in providing a climate of fairness and appreciation for all our employees and our students,” Nadauld said. “They [had] training in Phoenix for three days, so they’re ready to do the work that they’ve been trained to do.”
Trustee Vice Chair Jon Pike said he was pleased with the selection of ombuds.
“Those three people…are three fantastic choices,” he said.