The court date has finally been set for the case George Staheli filed against Utah Tech University. This hearing is open to the public and everyone is welcome to attend.
WHEN:August 11, 2023 at 1:30 PM
WHERE: Courtroom D-3 (Third Floor)
Fifth District Court
206 West Tabernacle
St. George, Utah
Utah Court dress code will be enforced. No shorts, tank tops or sleeveless t-shirts allowed. T-shirts with written messages will not be allowed. Business casual attire is appropriate for this court proceeding.
● Arrive early to go through security, seating is limited.
● George Staheli is asking the court to order Utah Tech University, formerly Dixie State University, to hand over the entire Cicero Group Study including all raw data, all survey questions, all survey answers and results.
● Utah Tech leadership used the Cicero survey to convince the Utah Higher-ed board and Utah Legislature to vote in favor of changing the name of Dixie State University.
● Utah Tech refused Staheli's GRAMA request for this information. Staheli appealed to the State GRAMA Records Commission to try to get this information, where he was denied again.
The initial GRAMA request was filed in 2020 and immediately rejected. Utah Tech said that they do not own the Cicero Survey results or raw data so they cannot fulfill that request. The State Records Commission said that they cannot require Utah Tech to provide information that the school claims that they do not own.
Utah Tech paid Cicero Group $98,500 to conduct the survey which focused on the term, Dixie, and how that word was viewed by others. I asked Utah Tech what department the funds came from at the University to pay the $98,500. A member of the administration called me to say that the money came from “internally-generated funds” at the school. Later, a member of the administration said that taxpayer funds were used to pay Cicero.
At the conclusion of the survey, some of the results were shared with the public and Name Change Committee, but some of the questions and answers were not included in the information given to the public or the Higher-ed board or the legislature.
Utah Tech claims that they do not have the information that George Staheli asked for in his request. They claim that Cicero Group has that information. A GRAMA request to a private company like Cicero Group, is not possible.
Staheli wants all of the survey results and all data to be placed in the archives at the University and at least one other historical society in Washington County. He believes this information should be kept for future generations to see.
On August 11, 2023, the judge may rule on that request to give Staheli the Cicero Report or deny his request. Your support in the courtroom would be appreciated. If you go to the court proceeding please be respectful and dress appropriately.