ST. GEORGE – Dixie State University held an inauguration ceremony on Thursday, inducting Dr. Richard “Biff” Williams as the University’s 18th President, a celebration included as part of Dixie’s homecoming week.
The ceremony was attended by several dignitaries, including Mayor Jon Pike, Mayor of St. George.
“I want to extend a warm welcome to President Biff Williams,” Pike said. “As a community, we are increasingly dependent on the skills taught here at Dixie State University. We need nurses, technicians, communicators, engineers, programmers, artists, teachers, tradesmen, entrepreneurs, and more. Southern Utah will be prepared for the future … President Biff Williams is prepared. He has the experience and skills to lead this institution.”
Dixie has experienced many changes over the last several years, including emerging as a University. Williams looks to add masters programs to the school’s offering of educational programs.
“We want to offer programs that will feed into the economy, programs that aren’t replicating programs at other schools,” Williams said. “The thing that is great about Dixie is that we have faculty and staff that have real-life experience. At times in higher education, you have faculty who have never done what they’re teaching others to do. Out students have many opportunities to experience the workforce before they actually enter into the workforce.”
To kick off his campaign as president, Williams has ordered 1,000 Dixie State flags to distribute throughout the community.
“We want this to be a University town,” Williams said. “We really have to get every business and member of the community to buy into Dixie State University.”
Williams has a strong background in education, most recently serving as provost and vice president for academic affairs at Indiana State University. He was the founding dean of the College of Nursing, Health, and Human Services at Indiana State. As the dean, Williams developed 6 new degree programs for that school.
Homecoming week festivities end on Saturday with the homecoming parade, football game, and dance.
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