Amarillo, TX - Texas Tech University System is developing a veterinary school and veterinary medicine doctoral program.
University officials said they are pushing for the school to be built on the Health Sciences Center campus in Amarillo; however, an exact location has yet to be confirmed. They said building the campus in the Panhandle would be a great addition to the University's current programs while helping the area.
Currently, more than 150 students are enrolled in pre-veterinary education in the College of Agriculture Sciences and Natural Resources, but the lack of the proposed school makes it harder for many qualified students from becoming veterinarians. The new veterinary school will serve the needs of both the Texas students and agriculture, by creating a program that provides important animal health solutions and veterinarians to address the agricultural challenges facing our region and state.
Dean, Mike Galyean, said building the campus in Amarillo will help address needs and problems in our area.
"Texas A&M has a terrific vet school, but I think the question is addressing needs of the industry in this area," Galyean said. "Trying to come up with a comprehensive solution to the animal health issues that face the various industries that we have here."
Like other Texas Tech programs, students will be able to work with the animals in our area while gaining experience, which University officials believe will be beneficial to our area. President of TTUHSC, Tedd Mitchell, said they will not be building an animal hospital, but students will work with local veterinarians and rotate through existing facilities.
"This keeps the overhead down and also engages the community folks to give them an opportunity to work with our students," Mitchell said. "Eventually we plan to have a specialty clinic/hospital to augment those services provided by local veterinarians, but that would be way down the road."
Texas Tech University System Chancellor, Robert Duncan, said Amarillo is the perfect location because it will serve and keep professionals in our area.
"It's just really an epicenter that needs to be serviced by health professionals and so we believe that a vet school out here will be absolutely perfect," Duncan said. "It will provide a lot of different services for animal production out here as well as hopefully allowing us to train young people to stay in this region, stay in this type of industry, which is badly needed."
The new school and program will not only affect student but our economy. University officials estimate the school to have a 150 million dollar impact on the community.
Texas Tech will continue the discussion of the school throughout 2016. They will seek approval from the Texas Legislature and Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board in 2017. The University hopes to start begin constructing the building and hiring staff in the Fall of 2017.