President Biff Williams announced plans and changes to Dixie State University to advance and mature in higher education.
Williams and five other speakers addressed DSU students and faculty members Sept. 21 in the Cox Performing Arts Center Auditorium for the State of the University Address on the successes and future goals of DSU.
“In higher education, if we don’t innovate, we are definitely going to perish,” Williams said.
Williams announced six goals for the next five years at DSU which include promoting student success, broadening and enhancing academic programs, investing in faculty and staff, enhancing support of inclusion and equity, engaging with the southern Utah region, and establishing a strong brand and identity.
“DSU is the newest and fastest growing university in the state of Utah,” said David Clark, vice chair of the Board of Trustees.
The main component of Williams address was the updated plan on campus to accommodate for 15,000 students. This plan has been in the making for a year and is already in the making with the new student Campus View Suites recently built. A ribbon cutting ceremony will take place for the new Campus View Suits Oct. 19. A total of three Additional Campus View Suites will be added along with other student housing added around campus.
Accommodating more students, DSU’s campus plan provides three new parking garages located on campus. Locations of the garages are at the current Testing Center, next to the LDS Institute building and on the west side of campus by the Cox Performing Arts Center.
Williams continued the addition of campus with a welcoming center, four plus academic facilities, and an academic building for the science department. The McDonald Center will be the focus point of campus with many students taking classes there and will be reconstructed as a centralized learning center. Further additions will also be made on the Gardner Center to expand the cafeteria and other rooms for academic usage.
As more academic buildings are built, academic degrees will also increase. Williams said Academic degrees in bioinformatics, information systems and analytics, and nursing are in the works as some of the new degrees.
New Legend Solar Stadium editions and an additional field for soccer, rugby and lacrosse are added to the campus plan. DSU administration said they are grateful for the community and their donations towards the school, academics and programs. Williams said with new campus plans, DSU wants to give back a community-friendly campus. Administration continues to host many events like DOCUTAH, carnivals, football games and the Dixie Power Kite Festival, and have hopes to involve more events, engage in the community, and strengthen DSU’s identity.
“It is truly an exciting time to be a Trailblazer,” Student Body President, Sarah Ramaker said. “Through our [DSU administration] strategic plans and your [citizens of Dixie] service, you aren’t simply building program; you are building people.”
DSU administration has set four themes to focus on this year to accelerate, communicate, differentiate and celebrate regarding the goals and plans made for the coming years.
“We don’t want to be like every other institution of higher education … we want to create our own new trail,” Williams said. “Remember we are Trailblazers.”