ST. GEORGE, Utah, June 29, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — The Board of Trustees at Dixie State University voted Tuesday to change the school’s preferred new name to Utah Tech University.
This comes 15 days after the Dixie State University Name Recommendation Committee voted in favor of renaming the school Utah Polytechnic State University, with the suggested nickname of Utah Tech.
The board’s decision followed publish backlash against the committee’s suggested name. Among other reactions, Dixie State University student Jordan Kirby launched a change.org petition asking for an alternative name rather than the one the committee approved.
As of Tuesday afternoon, petition signatures topped 18,000.
The newly suggested name, Utah Tech University, next goes to the Utah Board of Higher Education for review. This name or any replacement picked there next goes to Utah lawmakers for a final vote.
The push for a new name came after public and student complaints that the name Dixie suggested a connection to the American south during the slaveholding era, and came with racist connotations. Students reported having to try and justify the name to potential employers.