By Dr. Douglas Alder
When students arrive at Dixie State University campus in St. George, Utah, they can enjoy an inviting landscape with fountains and statues, athletic fields, two gymnasiums, and many well equipped classroom buildings, computer laboratories, two theaters, an art gallery, two concert halls, dormitories and a student center with a food court, a book store and a dance hall. A fine library is at the center of campus, with a park on each side. There are two other parks, the Encampment Mall and the O. C. Tanner Fountain Plaza. It is a walking campus with parking for cars on the perimeter. Above all, there are professors, about 175 of them plus adjunct teachers, and vibrant students—about 10,000. Together they are engaged in the excitement of learning.
This is quite a contrast to the initial condition of the site in 1963 when the enrollment was 385 college students. They had just moved to the new campus from the one downtown built in 1911. When they arrived at the 700 South location for the new college there was no landscaping or parking, no student center or athletic fields. Girls recall that they wore tennis shoes to get through the dust to the buildings—the Gym, the Fine Arts Center, the first phase of the Science Building and Home Economics building—then they changed to regular shoes and carried the rubber ones. The Shilo Dorm, a small cafeteria and a furnace were also in place. It took a decade for the students, townspeople, faculty and staff to plant grass and trees. What a change today—and what changes are coming in the future!
The story of Dixie University on the old campus includes two decades of belonging to the LDS Church system of academies from 1911 to 1933. During that time there were about 25 faculty members who taught high school juniors and seniors as well as college freshmen and sophomores on the four-building campus on the town square.
During those years a tradition was begun to involve the students in college government as well as a vibrant social life–dances, clubs, choirs, band, orchestra, theater, field trips, debate team trips, and painting the “D” on the hill. Athletics were important on both the high school and college levels and the teams were both called “Flyers.” The colors were blue and white and they traveled to meet teams at Snow College, Ricks, Weber, Cedar City and even Eastern Arizona.
In 1926 the LDS Church decided to close most of its academies because public high schools were coming into existence. The church chose to create high school seminaries next to them instead of maintaining their own academies. By 1933 it became Dixie’s turn to be closed. It was a traumatic crisis for the southern Utah community. Delicate negotiations with the state legislature made it possible to transfer the college to the state in 1935 but the local citizens had to pay the costs of keeping the college alive from 1933 to 1935. They did that through donations and labor, continuing the tradition of supporting the college.
In 1935 the State Board of Education took over financing the college and high school. There were about 200 college students and about the same number of high school students. The board wanted the two split, with the high school coming under the direction of Washington County. The community resisted. They felt they needed the two to be together to provide a good-sized student body for the many social and academic programs. Also the county did not have the funds to build a new high school.
There were a couple of close calls between 1935 and 1963 when various state leaders proposed closing the college, but they were outmaneuvered because the local citizens were doggedly loyal to the college and willing to donate to keep it alive. Finally the local citizens, particularly the Dixie Education Association, raised the funds to purchase four blocks of land on 700 East and 100 South for a new campus. They presented that land to the state that in turn agreed to fund a few buildings for a new campus there. In 1957 the gymnasium was finished and by 1963 four other buildings were ready for college students with the high school students remaining on the downtown campus.
Dixie State University came by its name through many changes. In 1888, the LDS Church established the St. George Stake Academy. After functioning for five years in the basement of the St. George Tabernacle, it was closed. Then in 1909, Stake President Edward H. Snow, who also served in the State Legislature and the state government in Salt Lake City, began urging LDS central leaders to authorize the founding of a high school in St. George under their sponsorship. Snow argued that students in Washington County who wanted to graduate from high school had to travel outside the county at considerable expense to do so. With the support of Apostle Francis M. Lyman, who visited St. George for a stake conference, the Church agreed. A building was constructed on the town square using funds from both the central Church and from the local congregations between 1909 and 1911.
When it opened the institution was called “The St. George Stake Academy.” It offered three years of high school and in 1912 the fourth year was added, allowing students to graduate from high school. In 1914, a year of teacher preparation was added and in 1916 the second year of college courses were begun. As a consequence of those changes the school’s name was changed to “Dixie Normal College.”
Why did they use the name “Dixie”? It was the result of the community’s aspiration. The name “Dixie” was already used to identify the area. Within a year of the school’s beginning, students wrote the word “Dixie” on the Red Hill overlooking the town. The next year they painted the letter “D” on the Black Hill. The locals wanted the name “Dixie” linked to their high school. That attitude has continued generation after generation. When the students published their first yearbook it was called “The Dixie.”
In 1923, the word “Normal” (meaning teacher preparation) from the college name was removed because many students were taking two years of college in fields other than education. The name “Dixie Junior College” was then adopted. That name was retained until 1972 when the name was changed to “Dixie College.” In 2000 the next major development occurred. Following a long effort by a local citizen committee, the Utah State Legislature authorized Dixie to become a four-year state college with the name “Dixie State College.” Two-year degrees (Associate Degrees) were still offered but so were four-year Bachelor’s degrees. The institution did not abandon its role as a community college but added focus on four-year programs in many fields. Much of this expansion was linked to the amazing growth of the county that was ten times its population in 1965. In 2013, the Utah State Legislature expanded the role of the institution to become a university. After much debate on campus and among the alumni and community, the name “Dixie” was retained, resulting in the designation “Dixie State University.”
1911–1913 – St. George Stake Academy
1913–1916 – Dixie Academy
1916–1923 – Dixie Normal College
1923–1970 – Dixie Junior College
1970–2000 – Dixie College
2000–2013 – Dixie State College of Utah
2013–present – Dixie State University
It became a community college and quickly grew to over 1000 student enrollment.
The campus was expanded as new buildings were added for vocational programs as well as business and humanities and a library. Science and home economics facilities were expanded, and a second dormitory was built.
The college mascot was changed from “Flyers” to “Rebels” in 1951.
Hansen Stadium was built, as well as six tennis courts.
Social life thrived—clubs, teams, radio stations, student newspaper, yearbook, dances, traditions, assemblies, plays, musicals, choirs, orchestra, band, intercollegiate competition were active organizations.
The original Dixie Center was built including the Cox Auditorium, Burns Arena, Smith’s Convention Center and Eccles Fitness Center.
Enrollment grew to 2000 students and then continued upwards gradually.
Several new facilities were added—the Browning Learning Resources Center, the Gardner Student Center, the Udvar-hazy Business Building, the Hurst Baseball Stadium, the Cooper Fields, the Encampment Mall.
The Institute for Continued Learning was created for retirees as well as the Elderhostel Program (now called Road Scholars).
A National Advisory Council was created to help with fundraising and other projects.
The Rotary Bowl was initiated to bring national junior college winners to compete at the end of the football season.
The library was doubled in size and named for Val A. Browning, its major donor.
The Eccles Fine Arts Center replaced the old Fine Arts Center and included the Sears Art Gallery.
Computerization of the whole campus was instituted, including administrative services, library, student computer labs, classroom computers, faculty and student services.
Property was obtained on the north side of 100 South, including the Harmon’s Grocery Store for the Art department and the Vocational campus and the LDS Institute for the Mathematics Department and several administrative offices.
Property was purchased around the campus to expand student housing and other programs.
A branch campus was built in Hurricane.
Community members undertook a campaign to gain four-year status for Dixie State University which the legislature and Governor Leavitt agreed to in March 1999.
With that change, Dixie became Dixie State University and had to move from NJCAA to NCAA status in athletics.
Enrollment grew dramatically to 6000, then 8,000, then to over 9,000. Many four-year programs were added to the curriculum by 2011, including 22 new bachelor’s degrees.
The Russell C. Taylor Health Sciences Building was dedicated on the IHC hospital campus.
The Jeffrey R. Holland Centennial Commons was dedicated in September of 2012. It provides a one-stop student services center, a new library, the English Department, career center, business services, and information technology.
Plans were developed for Dixie State University to become a state university. The state legislature and the Board of Regents agreed to the goal of university status for Dixie to be completed when funding became available and more faculty were added.
1911-18 – Hugh M. Woodward (wife: Emily Timothy)
1918-20 – Erastus S. Romney (wife: Roxey Stowell)
1920-23 – Joseph K. Nicholes (wife: Olive Maiben)
1923-26 – Edgar M. Jenson (wife: Ivie May Gardner)
1926-33 – Joseph K. Nicholes (wife: Olive Maiben)
1933-38 – B. Glen Smith (wife: 1. Wildee Dixon; 2. Mrs. Ruth Stephenson Jackman)
1938-50 – Glenn E. Snow (wife: Laura Gardner)
1950-51 – Mathew M. Bentley (wife: Iris Stowell)
1951-54 – Ellvert H. Himes (wife: Mildred Harter)
1954-64 – Arthur F. Bruhn (wife: Lorna Chamberlain)
1964-76 – Ferron C. Losee (wife: 1. Faye Greer; 2. Mrs. Mary Snyder Thomas; 3. Mrs. Mildred Hunt Ashworth)
1976-80 – Wm. Rolfe Kerr (wife: Janeil Raybould)
1980-86 – Alton L. Wade (wife: Diana Daniels)
1986-93 – Douglas D. Alder (wife: Elaine Reiser)
1993-2005 – Robert C. Huddleston (wife: Linda Hamilton)
2005-08 – Lee G. Caldwell (wife: Bonnie Allphin)
2008-14 – Stephen D. Nadauld (wife: Margaret Dyreng)
2014-present – Richard B. Williams (wife: Kristin Price)
Edward H. Snow, Thomas P. Cottam, George F. Whitehead, James G. Bleak, David H. Cannon, Arthur F. Miles, David H. Morris, John T. Woodbury, David Hirschi
1. 1911-18 – HUGH M. WOODWARD, President
Known as the “Father of Dixie”, he was the pioneer President. Under his leadership, the original Administration Building (of pink sandstone) and the Gymnasium were constructed on Main Street in downtown St. George.Through his efforts, approval was given, in 1916, for the establishment of Dixie Normal College. This guaranteed two years beyond high school courses offered at the St. George Stake Academy.
He believed in the phrase “a soft answer turneth away wrath.” He was held in high regard by the community.
(Enrollment during his tenure: 15 to 122 students)
2. 1918-20 – ERASTUS S. ROMNEY, President
While he was President, the St. George Stake Academy became known as Dixie Normal College, offering 60 hours of college work. Character building was considered to be the primary duty of the college, as well as maintaining high standards of scholarship and efficiency.He was President only one year and one semester. His early death during the flu epidemic of 1920 ended his dreams for Dixie.
He was well known for arousing enthusiasm in a group of students like none other, and wisely directed his efforts.
(Enrollment during his tenure: 15 to 20 students)
3. 1920-23 and 5. 1927-33 – JOSEPH K. NICHOLES, President
The College won what amounted to accreditation during his presidency, and Dixie Normal College became Dixie Junior College. In January of 1931, he received a letter from the LDS Church Commission of Education stating that all junior colleges were to be terminated. He had a mind for finance, and since the College was destitute, his talents were needed and used. His firm leadership allowed the College to continue under State control.He had amazing ability to inspire students with self-confidence, and his great desire was to see young people rise above their potential by setting an example for them to emulate.
(Enrollment during his tenure: 21 to 54 students, 1920-23 and 81 to 130 students, 1927-33)
4. 1923-27 – EDGAR M. JENSON, President
A methodical, precise and professional leader, he initiated a program for teacher training. He organized and supervised the program, training teachers who served Washington County and the surrounding area for many years (some serving a lifetime.) A skilled artist, many of his paintings are in homes of longtime residents of St. George. He created the Art Circle and Art Gallery at Dixie College.(Enrollment during his tenure: 50 to 94 students)
6. 1933-38 – B. GLEN SMITH, President
While he was President, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints relinquished control of Dixie Junior College, turning it over to the State of Utah. No financial support was offered, and the faculty took salaries in hay, wood, nuts, fruit, and anything parents and students could contribute for tuition.He offered leadership and operated in a smooth and efficient manner under stress and unfavorable circumstances, proving himself indispensable to Dixie College in its fight for continuance.
(Enrollment during his tenure: 142 to 180 students)
7. 1938-50 – GLENN E. SNOW, President
He was known for his close-knit faculty and his and their dedication. Dixie College had just come through a period of starvation, and he was instrumental in “putting the College on its feet.”He began the move to get Dixiana constructed, determined to have a women’s dormitory, especially after learning an LDS Stake President in Nevada has asked bishops not to send girls to Dixie College as there were no suitable living accommodations.
He was the first man west of the Mississippi to be added to the Board of Directors of the National Education Association, based in Washington, D. C., and became President of NEA in 1947-48.
(Enrollment during his tenure: 67 (WW II) to 304 students)
8. 1950-51 – MATHEW M. BENTLEY, President
Mathew Bentley was known for holding Dixie College together while faced once more with its doors being closed. He was keenly knowledgeable and diligent, and a financial wizard as well, handling every facet of administrative responsibility.Those who worked with Mathew say the one year he was President was the most pleasant of the years at Dixie to that date.
(Enrollment during his tenure: 240 students)
9. 1951-54 – ELLVERT H. HIMES, President
He was the President who brought the concept of a community college to Dixie, and his great contribution was the vision of a new campus and finding the area for Dixie College to expand.He organized a campaign not only to solicit donations to finish Dixiana dormitory, but for the new campus, which he determined would be a campus of beauty.
The first block on the new campus was purchased in December 1951, while Dr. Himes was President.
(Enrollment during his tenure: 167 to 193 students)
10. 1954-64 – ARTHUR F. BRUHN, President
Perhaps a more devoted president was not known at Dixie. Under his direction, Dixiana was finished and ready for inspection by Governor Bracken Lee, who had come to St. George to inform President Bruhn that Dixie College doors would have to be closed. After the inspection, and learning that Dixiana had been constructed entirely from community funding, with no dollars from the State, the Governor said “if this community wants Dixie College that badly, they should have it.”President Bruhn fought to retain Dixie College as a State institution of higher learning and presented deeds to the new campus to Governor Lee.
While he was President, the move was made from the downtown campus to the present campus at 225 South 700 East.
(Enrollment during his tenure: 214 to 355 students)
11. 1964-76 – FERRON C. LOSEE, President
President Losee was known as “the Builder of the Dixie College Campus.” He opened doors in Salt Lake City that previous presidents were not able to do and established a working relationship with Governor Calvin Rampton, convincing state officials he could give Dixie the new direction it needed. He changed the image of Dixie from a small campus with an enrollment of 383 students (Spring 1964) to a campus covering 89 acres with an enrollment of over 1200 students.The name of the College was officially changed from Dixie Junior College to Dixie College while he was President, this change taking place in 1970.
Dr. Losee was President at the time of the completion of the beautiful outside water fountain in the center of the campus (dedicated November 8, 1975) and the building of the Obert C. Tanner Amphitheater (in Springdale, Utah) at the mouth of Zion National Park, which acquisition increased the campus acreage to 201 acres.
The generosity of Dr. O. C. and Grace A. Tanner made possible both the fountain and the amphitheater. (The first performance in the Tanner Amphitheater took place on June 11, 1976, in a combined concert of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and the Utah Symphony Orchestra.)
Dedication of the Dixie College Outdoor Mosaic Mural (Fine Arts Center) on November 20, 1975, took place under President Losee’s administration. (Harrison T. Groutage, Artist; Hanns Joachim Scharff, Mosaicist). A generous contribution from Mr. and Mrs. William H. Child, Mrs. Helen W. Barber, and a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, Washington, D. C., made this possible.
(Enrollment during his tenure: 524 to 1204 students.)
12. 1976-80 – WM. ROLFE KERR, President
Dynamic, enthusiastic administrator. His unique strength spearheaded the Cooperative Education work program with local businesses, brought about salary increases for the faculty, and promoted closer ties between college and community.He had a keen understanding of human nature, and his distinct leadership changed the word “competition” to “cooperation” between Dixie College, Dixie High School, the Washington County School District, and in areas of his service, ie. as Chairman of the Board of the Dixie Medical Center Trustees, as well as a high councilor in an LDS Stake, which made him a leader who was followed by students, faculty and residents of all southern Utah. He later served as Commissioner, Utah System of Higher Education.
Dr. Kerr dreamed the dream imitating the concept of an educational, cultural, recreational facility to be built through the joint efforts of Dixie College, Washington County and the State of Utah. (The dream which began in 1977, became a reality in 1987, and is known as the Dixie Center.)
A new Trades & Industries building was built and dedicated (January 11, 1980) during his tenure.
(Enrollment during his tenure: 1343 to 1589 students)
13. 1980-86 – ALTON L. WADE, President
The magic of Alton Wade was that he could and did communicate with everyone, and will forever be remembered for his magnetic personality, positive attitude and administrative expertise. With clear vision and a keen sense of humor, he became the essence of the “Dixie Spirit”.A man who ‘caught the vision’ of the Dixie Center, and, as chairman and executive director of the Dixie Center Administrative Control Board, skillfully moved the concept into reality with a ground-breaking on April 2, 1985. The Center has been called a prototype of similar ventures soon to become nationwide.
He became the first President to see a Dixie College athletic team win a national championship when the Rebels, on March 23, 1985, defeated Kankakee College (Illinois) 57-55, at the NJCAA national tournament in Hutchinson, Kansas, to become the National Basketball Champions.
A beautiful Sculpture Garden (east of the Fine Arts Center) was dedicated on May 10, 1985, during his tenure. Dennis Smith was the sculptor.
Under Dr. Wade’s administration, computerization was introduced across campus. The Hansen Football Stadium & Track and the Dixie Bell Tennis Courts were built while he was President.
(Enrollment during his tenure: 1790 to 2191 students)
14. 1986-93 – DOUGLAS D. ALDER, President
Dixie College “An Academic Climate” was the slogan for the campus during Douglas Alder’s tenure. He emphasized the importance of academic rigor.During his administration, the Val A. Browning Learning Resources Center was built to house developmental education as well as music and computer laboratories. An addition to the Science building was completed. The College expanded continued education offerings, particularly the Elderhostel program for senior citizens. Funding was secured for library additions. One of the larger contributions was a $1.5 million endowment for library collections from the federal government and Val A. Browning.
Dr. Alder received the 1991 Governor’s Award in the Humanities for his work in organizing conferences, lectures and book groups dealing with history, literature and public issues throughout the State.
(Enrollment during his tenure: 2201 to 2963 students)
15. 1993-2005 – ROBERT C. HUDDLESTON, President
Tremendous growth occurred under the Robert Huddleston. Student enrollment headcount soared from 3000 (1993) to 7000 (2000). Full-time equivalent enrollment also increased from 2300 to 4000.An average of $3 million annually was raised from private donations plus millions more in deferred gifts.
Perennial nationally ranked teams or team members in Football, Basketball (Men and Women), Soccer (Women), Baseball, Volleyball and College Newspaper.
Among his many accomplishments:
- was the positive force to oversee Dixie College become Dixie State College, offering Baccalaureate programs.
- established a plan for institutional effectiveness.
- created a policy and procedures manual which flows from the mission and purposes of the College and is utilized and understood by faculty and staff.
- reorganized the College so that the organizational structure has a clear definition of roles and responsibilities that lead to a comprehensive internal communications program indicating clear lines of budgeting and decision-making authority.
- expanded post associate degree programs in cooperation with the state universities to meet the educational needs of
- improved the working relationships with the Board of Trustees, Utah State Board of Regents and the Legislature to fund the College to meet its operational and capital needs for students and the community.
- established a community educational television channel.
- increased faculty salaries 18% over a three-year period.
- managed a $20 million operational budget, over $5 million gifts, contracts and grants budget, plus a physical plant consisting of 663,212 gross square feet and a one hundred (100) acre campus.
- expanded the library, built a new institutional residence, business and student service buildings and seven (7) acre encampment mall, soccer and play fields and baseball/softball complex.
- established the first paid professional position for economic development in Washington County.
- challenged the faculty to examine the general education curriculum which resulted in a complete revision.
- played a major role in the conversion of the State of Utah Higher Education System converting from the quarter to semester academic calendar.
- implemented a county-wide in-service project for all faculty and staff in conjunction with the Washington County School District.
- activated the Strategic Planning Committee which resulted in a major revision in the Mission and Vision Statements and Goals for the College.
- organized the Leadership Dixie Committee and chaired the first year of its operation. (The mission and purpose is to develop a corps of informed qualified individuals capable of providing dynamic leadership for Washington County.)
(Enrollment during his tenure: 3014 (1993) to 6945 (2000)
16. 2005-08 – LEE G. CALDWELL, President
Dixie State College saw increadible program growth during Caldwell’s tenure. The College received approval to offer seven new baccalaureate degree programs and experienced a jump in enrollment this semester, including an increase in upper division enrollment, thanks in large part to the new bachelor degree offerings.
A number of other programs and offerings were implemented during Caldwell’s time as president, most notably the creation of a new Utah Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) satellite academy, and the establishment of a new United States Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corp (ROTC) program that began providing classwork and leadership training experiences and scholarship money to students. DSC’s intercollegiate athletics program also successfully completed its provisional period at the NCAA Division-II level.
Under his leadership, DSC is close to moving its entire health sciences program into the newly-built Russell C. Taylor Health Science Center, which is located on the Dixie Regional Medical Center’s River Road Campus. The 78,000-square foot facility will also double as a training facility for Dixie Regional, and house all College Allied Health degree programs.
Caldwell worked tirelessly to improve the academic landscape and economic development opportunities for Washington and Kane Counties. For his efforts, he was named Executive of the Year by the St. George Area Chamber of Commerce.
(Enrollment during his tenure: 9114 (2005) to 6443 (2008)
17. 2008-14 – STEPHEN D. NADAULD, President
Stephen D. Nadauld was appointed interim president of then-Dixie State College in March of 2008, and in January of 2010, the Utah State Board of Regents unanimously voted to permanently appoint Nadauld as the College’s 17th president.
During his tenure, President Nadauld has been at the helm during a number of crowning achievements and advancements at the institution. Those accomplishments include:
Unprecedented enrollment growth at Dixie State, which catapulted the school into the fastest growing four-year institution in the USHE system. Currently DSU is a USHE-best 29.6% ahead in terms of total headcount (+37.14% in budget-related FTE) enrollment since 2008.
The addition of 15 new baccalaureate degree programs, as well as several two-year and certificate programs, and new academic minors. The program additions also included the hiring of nearly 50 new faculty members with Ph.D. credentials.
Continuous growth in the number of degrees awarded, including a school-record 542 baccalaureate degrees conferred in 2013, along with nearly 1,200 associate degrees.
The cultivation of a number of community partnerships, including the City of St. George, the Washington County School District, Intermountain Healthcare, the St. George Area Chamber of Commerce and the Dixie Applied Technology College.
Dixie State’s Centennial Celebration – Commemorating 100 Years of Service with several campus and community events over a 17-month span in advance of the institution’s 100th birthday on September 19, 2011.
The construction of the Jeffrey R. Holland Centennial Commons, which officially opened in June of 2012, and dedicated in September of 2012. The Holland Centennial Commons serves as the new home of DSU’s Library, along with the institution’s English department, business services and IT departments. The building features 26 group study areas and six classrooms, along with a digital signage/interactive touchscreen wayfinding system and two food and beverage venues, among many other amenities. In addition, the facility supports Dixie State’s mission to provide a student-centered learning environment by hosting all the services students will need in one location, including registration, financial aid, advising and counseling.
The reconstruction of the old library into the Edward H. and Idonna E. Snow Science Center, in addition to many other campus facility improvements, including the remodel of the Jennings Building, the Gardner Student Center, and the relocation of the Testing Center.
The recent addition of eight new outdoor memory gardens and student study areas, and many other campus landscaping additions and improvements.
Upgrades to DSU athletic facilities, including the addition of the Frank Habibian Wrestling and Athletic Center, along with the installation of a new football field at Hansen Stadium, basketball floor inside the Burns Arena, and the remodeling of the gymnasium in the Student Activities Center (Old Gym).
The construction of a new University Clock Tower, which was dedicated in the spring of 2014.
At the time calling it “one of the most satisfying team efforts,” Nadauld’s legacy at Dixie State will be forever cemented in its proud history thanks to his tireless work to gain the institution university status in 2013. After both the institution’s Board of Trustees and the Utah State Board of Regents approved university status, both houses of the Utah State Legislature voted to pass House Bill 6, which called for Dixie State College to attain university status and change its name to Dixie State University. On Feb. 16, 2013, Utah Governor Gary R. Herbert signed HB61 into law making DSU the sixth university in the USHE system and the third open enrollment regional university in Utah. Additionally, Dixie State continues its community college mission in providing two-year and certificate programs to meet the needs of all students and the community.
(Enrollment during his tenure: 6443 (2008) to 8350 (2014) *peaked at 9086 in 2011
18. 2014-present – RICHARD B. WILLIAMS, President
Dr. Richard B. Williams was announced as the 18th President of Dixie State University on July 17, 2014. Prior to his arrival to Dixie State, Williams served as Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Indiana State University. Previous to his appointment as provost, Williams was the founding Dean of ISU’s College of Nursing, Health and Human Services, for which he led the development of six new degree programs designed to address the state’s critical shortage of healthcare workers.
Williams had also served as an associate dean of the College of Education at the University of Northern Iowa, where he was a faculty member, executive associate director of the School of Health, Physical Education, and Leisure Services, and chair of the Division of Athletic Training. At UNI he helped create a private-public partnership between the local hospital, medical community, and university that resulted in the construction of a two-story human performance center that served the surrounding rural communities.
A native of Brigham City, Utah, Williams holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Lifestyle Management from Weber State University, a Master’s degree in Athletic Training from Indiana State, and a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from New Mexico State University.