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Dixie State Board Recommends Name Change

The Dixie State University Board of Trustees on Monday voted to recommend removing “Dixie” from the university’s name, The Salt Lake Tribune reported.

The unanimous vote followed a study by Cicero, a consulting firm, that looked at potential effects of a name change. According to the study, 41 percent of recent alumni that live outside Utah felt uncomfortable wearing apparel with “Dixie” on it. One in five recent out-of-state graduates had an employer express concern over reading “Dixie” on their résumé.

Dixie is a nickname for the Southern United States, particularly states that were part of the Confederacy.

Older alumni were more likely to consider reducing support for the university if the name is changed, and 62 percent of Utah’s general population said keeping the name would help the university’s brand, the Tribune reported.

The study results are a change from 2013, when the university found that 83 percent of people in and around the university supported keeping the name.

The name change still needs approval from the Utah Board of Higher Education and the state Legislature. Richard Williams, president of the university, told the Tribune he didn’t know when the issue will be taken up but that he hopes it will be soon. The university has not decided on a potential new name.

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