Board of trustees meet, aim to increase student opportunities

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Dixie State University is undergoing many changes but trustees learned opportunities for students continue to increase.

The board of trustees held its second meeting of the academic year Friday and discussed issues including academic programs being restructured, successful student government events, and a guest speaker coming this spring semester.

Student Body President Matt Devore, a senior integrated studies major from Mesquite, Nevada, touted the success of recent DSU Student Association initiatives and said he has seen an increase in student participation all around.

“We had double the amount of participants from last year’s Legislation Day.” 

DSUSA had the chance to be on “The Today Show” Monday with Al Roker at Four Corners, Utah.

“We felt like this was a great opportunity to get exposure on a national scale,” Devore said. “We’re going to go and really implement the thoughts of ‘active learning, active life.’”

Brad Last, vice president of development, said there are a lot of fun things going on this year. DSU will once again begin hold an annual scholarship luncheon Nov. 30. The luncheon will enable students who receive scholarships to connect with the people who support them.

Last introduced a future guest speaker with the movie trailer to Michael Bay’s new movie “13 Hours.” Kris Paronto, a DSU alumnus, will be coming to DSU Jan. 25 to discuss his experiences as one of the Elite-Six soldiers who risked their lives defending the US embassy under attack in Benghazi, Libya, three years ago. Last said more details will be announced soon.

Carole Grady, interim provost and vice president of academic affairs, sought approval for multiple academic departments on campus. Some developments could include DSU offering an associate degree in surgical technology; the English as a second language program requested two English proficiency certificates; CIT department is restructuring its digital design emphasis, web design and development program; the automotive technology program will be taken over by the Dixie Applied Technology College instructors; and an integrated studies emphasis will be added for film production, media studies and communication. All programs were unanimously approved by the board.

Grady will vacate her position as interim provost Feb. 1 when Michael Lacourse takes over at DSU’s new provost.

The “Burgers with Biff” lunch was a success, President Biff Williams. It gave him a chance to speak with faculty about their concerns. He said it was nice to hear how many people care about the university.

Williams said even though DSU is now a university, it is still not funded appropriately and is severely lacking in support for its infrastructure from the state. DSU needs to get the attention of officials in Salt Lake City and growing the university is the key to getting additional funding. He said department budgets haven’t been changed in a long time, and unfortunately, deans, professors, and faculty have been forced to support programs on their own.

“There is a Dixie spirit,” Williams said. “Right now, part of that definition is that you take one for the team and you do a lot more than you get paid for. We need to correct that.”

More information from the meetings’ agenda can be found at dixie.edu. The next board meeting is planned for Jan. 29.

This article was updated on Nov. 10 at 5:30 p.m.