AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - The Higher Education Coordinating Board has released a report stating that Texas does not currently need a new veterinary college but instead there is a need for a department that primarily focuses on educating students in large animal medicine.
The board's report comes at an inopportune time for Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, a multi-campus institution that announced its plans to build a veterinary college in Amarillo. Educators said the program would teach students both on large and small animal medicine.
"The program that we are proposing will be a professional and graduate program," said System Chancellor Robert Duncan. "It will not be an undergraduate program, the undergraduate programs that we will recruit from will of course be from West Texas A&M, Texas Tech University, schools that have very strong pre-veterinary programs and that can give us that type of student that we think can be very successful in these types of practices."
The current standing graduate veterinary program is provided through Texas A&M, which partners with schools like WTAMU, where students from undergraduate programs currently study large animal medicine.
"The rural kids obviously have more of a leaning towards large animals and that's our bread and butter," said Dean Hawkins, Ph.D. Dean of Agriculture & Natural Sciences. "We get those kids that come from farms and ranches already and now we are going to help polish up their application the best it can be. We are very blessed in Texas to have one of the best veterinary schools not only in the nation but in the world."
If the education board and legislature decides not to support Texas Tech's proposal for a veterinary school, Texas A&M will remain the only school that provides graduate veterinary programs.