Texas Tech planning to open a vet school citing industry needs, student demand
Texas Tech University System officials announced today (Dec. 4) plans to develop a veterinary school and veterinary medicine doctoral program in response to student demand and industry needs.
Tech's College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources and the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center are utilizing established strengths to develop a program that provides important animal health solutions and veterinarians to address the unique agricultural challenges facing this region and state.
"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," said Robert Duncan, Texas Tech University System chancellor. "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."
Texas is the nation's leading producer of cattle, a $13 billion industry in 2012, according to the Texas Department of Agriculture. There also are more than 248,000 ranches and farms in Texas, the most of any state in the U.S., with large animals and food-producing livestock.
The College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources is one of the largest non-land grant agricultural schools in the nation with distinguished academic and research programs, world-renowned faculty and staff and award-winning students with a legacy of national championship titles. The college consists of 11 research centers and institutes, including the the Burnett Center and Feedlot, the International Center for Food Industry Excellence, the Texas Tech Equestrian Center, the Beef Cattle Center and New Deal Farm and the Department of Animal and Food Sciences, which offers the only animal science doctoral degree in the region.
Currently, there are more than 150 students in pre-veterinary education in the College of Agriculture Sciences and Natural Resources, but the lack of veterinary schools prohibits many qualified students from becoming veterinarians. Therefore, the new veterinary school will serve the needs of both Texas students and agriculture.
"Being in West Texas where most of the state's and nation's livestock are concentrated, we understand the importance of veterinary medicine and see the industry's needs first-hand," said Michael Galyean, dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources. "Texas Tech has been committed to serving the agricultural industry since its establishment in 1923, and it is our goal to be a national leader in animal health, food animal production and biosecurity."
Amarillo is the heart of the country's leading livestock production area, and TTUHSC's campus in Amarillo will serve as an ideal location for this initiative. In addition to leveraging its health care model that serves more than 2.5 million people throughout 108 counties, TTUHSC is poised to provide expertise, facilities and regional support. The university's faculty and numerous schools, particularly its School of Pharmacy, have the ability to collaborate on curriculum development, course instruction and research.
While the discussion of having a veterinary school goes back decades, the announcement comes after intensive internal planning, dialogue with higher education colleagues and notable interests from agricultural industry representatives and philanthropists. Texas Tech University System will continue discussions throughout 2016 and will seek appropriate approvals by the Texas Legislature and Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.
Written by Dailey Fuller
CONTACT: Michael Galyean, Dean, College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, Texas Tech University at (806) 742-2808 or firstname.lastname@example.org
1207NM15 / For a full text of the story produced by TTU Communications and Marketing, click http://today.ttu.edu/posts/2015/12/veterinary-school
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