History of the DSU Staff Association

During the years leading up to 1989, the Utah Public Educators Association (UPEA) played a dual role on the Dixie College campus. UPEA served the needs of educators across the state, while its representatives on campus served also as a defacto staff association at Dixie. In the late 1980’s, Dixie’s UPEA representatives – Terry Bell and Randy Judd – came to realize that the needs of educators across the state did not always reflect the needs of the Dixie College staff. Therefore, in 1989, many staff members at Dixie determined that it would then be necessary to form the Dixie College Staff Association.

In 1989, under the guidance of Terry Bell (Staff Association President, 1989-1991) and with the support of Dixie College President Doug Alder, the Dixie College Staff Association took form. While reflecting on the fledgling years of the Association, Terry recalls the main concerns that prompted this transition: “We (Dixie College staff) were having some serious issues with personnel and lack of policy and procedures. I believe that is what prompted the push for an organization.”

Since its inception in 1989, the Staff Association has enjoyed marked support from administrators, growing membership, and active participation in the college’s decision making processes. Some of its major accomplishments to date include the formation of standards regarding salary grades and equity, published job descriptions, the creation of a constitution and bylaws for the Association, ongoing affiliation with UHESSA, and building morale and camaraderie among staff members.

By all accounts, the first five years that the Association existed – “the foundation years” – were crucial. During this time, the advancement of Staff Association goals was made possible through the tireless efforts of Association members and past presidents.
The first Staff Association President, Terry Bell, served for two consecutive terms (1989-91) and helped to define what the major staff issues were at the time. Under her leadership, the Staff Association Board begin the arduous task of addressing issues dealing with compensation, equity, and a mission for the Association. Terry’s successor, Randy Judd (President, 1991 – 92), continued the difficult task of defining salary grades and addressing salary equity procedures.

Seth Lott’s (President 1992 – 93), credits include the Employee of the Year and Employee of the Quarter program, numerous social activities, and financial compensation for future Staff Association Presidents. During Jonathan Morrell’s tenure as President (1994 – 95), the Association further established salary equity processes and completed the development of the Association’s bylaws and constitution. Since, each President and Board have worked diligently to ensure that staff needs are addressed and that staff representatives sit on key campus councils.

In studying the history of the Staff Association, it becomes evident that many current campus programs and traditions actually evolved from the Association. Such traditions include the Vantage Point campus newsletter, tours for new employees, the employee handbook, and the Benefits Fair.

As Dixie State College matures into its role as a baccalaureate granting institution, many more challenges are certain to arise for the staff. However, we are confident that our Association will continue to meet these challenges and will effectively represent the staff and its needs at local and state levels.