Lawmakers in Texas pitch for new veterinary school


Lubbock, Texas - The latest debate in Texas has legislators in a frenzy to convince school officials that a new veterinary school belongs in the Lone Star State.

Lubbock, Texas - The latest debate in Texas has legislators ina frenzy to convince school officials that a new veterinary school belongsin the Lone Star State.

State officials are proposing the creation of a veterinary school atTexas Tech University. The only similar program offered in the state originated85 years ago at Texas A&M University.

The two schools have plenty of legroom between them. Texas Tech, in Lubbock,occupies the west side of the state. Nearly 400 miles to the east is CollegeStation, home of Texas A&M.

The catch: the state legislators are appealing Texas Tech officials tohead east - by no coincidence, where the legislators call home.

Tommy Merritt, a Republican state representative, and Tom Ramsey, chairof county affairs in the Texas House of Representatives, both hail fromthe northeast corner of the state. They and other legislators plan to meetwith Texas Tech officials in coming months to further study the school plan.

Merritt originally proposed the idea, he says, upon hearing that a friend'sdaughter had been rejected by the Texas A&M veterinary school, one of28 veterinary programs in the country.

Texas Tech officials had no intention to assess the need for a new veterinaryschool until they were approached in recent months by Merritt and otherlegislators.

School officials report they are assessing the feasibility of anotherveterinary school, including determining the extent of the need, the cost,and related issues.

Merritt and Ramsey say they are determined to obtain the funding if giventhe green light.

"We're going to work very diligently to secure funding in the nextlegislative session if Lubbock Tech recommends that," Merritt says.

Over at Texas A&M, Dr. H. Richard Adams, dean of the College of VeterinaryMedicine, says he doubts the proposed veterinary project will sail in thenext legislature.

"We do not think that it makes sense to develop another veterinaryschool without objective evidence that additional veterinarians are needed,"he says.

Thus far, the Texas A&M veterinary school has had no contact withTexas Tech officials or the legislature, Adams tells DVM Newsmagazine.

For the rest of the story, refer to the September issue of DVM Newsmagazine.

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