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Bill Approving Dixie State Name Change Process Off To Gov. Cox’s Desk

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The bill that creates a process for the Dixie State University Board of Trustees to select and recommend a new name for the university has been approved by the Utah Legislature and now heads to Gov. Spencer J. Cox’s desk for his signature.

Cox has previously indicated he will sign the bill.

HB0278, which does not require that the name “Dixie” be removed, passed the Senate by a 26-3 vote before going back to the House of Representatives, where it passed by a 48-23 vote Wednesday afternoon.

Senate officials said the bill “establishes a collaborative process for recommending a name that involves university students, faculty and the local community” through a new committee.

If the university’s new name does not include the term “Dixie,” the bill requires the DSU Board of Trustees and Utah Board of Higher Education to create a Heritage Committee “to preserve the heritage, culture, and history of the region on the campus of the institution, including the regional significance of the term ‘Dixie.’”

The bill also appropriates $500,000 for the heritage committee.

Senators repeatedly said this legislation has taken a lot of “emotional energy” as they continued to weigh in up until the final vote.

“Quite frankly, no matter what decision is made, there will be some on both sides who will never support it. That’s just the nature of it,” said Senate Majority Leader Evan Vickers, R-Cedar City.

“Where does it stop? Mr. Potato Head is now Potato Head; Dr. Suess is on his deathbed. Where does it stop?” said Sen. John Johnson, R-North Ogden.

Any name agreed upon by the DSU Board of Trustees and Utah Board of Higher Education must be submitted by November 1.

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