The St. George college is considering an entirely new name, partially for its upcoming change to four-year university status -- and partially due to the negative stigma the word 'Dixie' sometimes accompanies. Sorenson Advertising was enlisted by the school to conduct a community-wide survey to gauge an overall perception of the issue.
"It is imperative to us that we engaged and considered all opinions and details in the process," said Erik Sorenson, the agency's president.
During the three-month-long probe, more than 6,000 people participated in surveys, focus groups, forums and interviews. The agency sought opinions from Dixie students, alumni, staff, community members and regional stakeholders. Findings concluded that 84 percent of those surveyed favor keeping the word 'Dixie' in the school's name. In word testing, 85 percent of respondents said that the words 'Utah' and 'State' could or should be included in the new name. Nearly 60 percent said 'St. George' should be part of the name. The words 'southwest' and 'red rock' received approval from 35 percent and 25 percent of those surveyed, respectively.
Sorenson Advertising concluded its research by recommending four possible names to replace 'Dixie State College.' They are: Dixie State University (DSU), St. George University/University of St. George (SGU/USG), Utah Dixie State University (UDSU) and Utah Dixie University (UDU).
The college's board of trustees will vote on the name change proposal Jan. 18. The final name recommendation will advance to the Utah State Board of Regents for approval on Jan. 25. The board of regents is also expected during that meeting to ratify Dixie's change to four-year university-status.
Comments regarding the school's name change are being accepted at Dixie's official web site: Dixie.edu/namechange