Texas Tech announces plans for new veterinary school

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Amarillo being discussed as a possible location for the new program.

The Texas Tech University System has announced plans to develop a veterinary school and veterinary medicine doctoral program, citing student demand and industry needs, according to a university release. The College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources at Texas Tech and the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center will collaborate to develop a program that provides animal health solutions and veterinarians to address the agricultural challenges facing the region and state, university officials say. 

“Addressing the veterinary education needs in Texas is crucial not only because of the region's and state's deep-rooted history with agriculture and ranching, but also because of its continued prosperity,” says Robert L. Duncan, Texas Tech University System chancellor, in the release. “Our vision goes beyond the establishment of a veterinary school, setting out to transform the landscape of veterinary medicine education and provide innovative solutions for the industry's future.”

There are currently more than 150 students enrolled in preveterinary education at the College of Agriculture Sciences, but “the lack of veterinary schools prohibits many qualified students from becoming veterinarians,” the release states. “Therefore, the new veterinary school will serve the needs of both Texas students and agriculture.” Texas Tech's Amarillo campus is being considered as a location for the initiative.

The discussion about launching a veterinary school at Texas Tech goes back for decades, the release says, but this announcement comes after much internal planning, including conversations with higher education colleagues, representatives from the agriculture industry and philanthropists. Discussions will continue throughout 2016 and the university will seek approvals from the Texas Legislature and Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, according to the release.

This is not the first time a veterinary college proposal has come from Texas Tech. The last go-round was in 2001, after Texas legislators approached the university about creating a second veterinary school in the state, in part because a friend's daughter had been rejected from the Texas A&M program. The plan failed to draw the support needed.  

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