Dixie wants $2.5M for university transition, teaching and learning center

Published: Wednesday, July 31 2013 12:05 p.m. MDT

A cake celebrating the signing of a bill into law transforming Dixie State College into a university inside the school's Eccles Fine Arts Center, in St. George, Utah on Saturday, Feb. 16, 2013.

Deseret News

ST. GEORGE — Dixie State University officials are asking lawmakers for an additional $2.5 million to assist in the school's transition to a regional university.

In a presentation made earlier in July to members of the Executive Appropriations Committee, school officials expressed appreciation for the initial $1.5 million in transition funding received during the most recent legislative session.

An additional $2.5 million would put the school in line with the $4 million school officials requested last year to develop instruction and curriculum, train new instructors, purchase classroom equipment and create a Center for Teaching and Learning.

"We’re asking for the balance to be able to meet the needs that we anticipate," said university spokesman Steve Johnson. "I’m sure we’ll be asking for other appropriations as needed above and beyond what we typically get every fiscal year."

Of the initial $1.5 million in transition funding, $600,000 has been used for instruction and curriculum development; $325,000 for the Center for Teaching and Learning; and the remaining $575,000 for classroom equipment, personnel and facilities, according to a breakdown provided by university officials.

The additional $2.5 million would fund $400,000 in further curriculum development, $200,000 for instructor training, $825,000 for classroom equipment, $600,000 for personnel and facilities and $475,000 for the Center for Teaching and Learning.

Johnson said the Center for Teaching and Learning is intended to strengthen the academic core of the university, particularly in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, which are collectively known as STEM.

"It’s to support the academic effort of these programs to attract quality instructors and aid in support, with the addition of advisers, counselors, retention specialists, all in an effort to increase student achievement and supply the state’s work force in STEM areas with qualified graduates," he said.

Dixie State University, formerly Dixie State College of Utah, was granted university status during the most recent legislative session. The school officially became a university on Feb. 16 but will begin its first academic year as Dixie State University this fall.

Email: benwood@deseretnews.com

Twitter: bjaminwood

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