Utah regents have approved Dixie State College's years-long drive to become a university and are sticking with the school's traditional name despite some concerns expressed about racial insensitivity.
The regents voted Friday to adopt the new name of Dixie state university. The decision is subject to approval by the Utah Legislature and by Gov. Gary Herbert, who has indicated his support.
Dixie has been a nickname for the St. George region since the 1800s, when the LDS church sent pioneers - including former slave owners- there to grow cotton. That history had prompted some students, professors and state educators to call for a name change.
Among them was the Rev. France Davis, a member of the board of regents who marched for civil rights in Washington, D.C., with Martin Luther King, Jr.
Davis said the regents were missing out on a chance to change perceptions outside of Utah.