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Texas Tech Presents Plans for Future Veterinary College

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While there are plenty of colleges that offer pre-veterinary education, Texas A&M is the only university in Texas that offers a full veterinary degree program. However, Texas Tech is hoping to move forward with plans to open its own veterinary school. At first, this caused a stir with Texas A&M, but Texas Tech has announced that its plans have been presented to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB), and they are happy with the outcome of the discussion with the board.

Texas Tech Large Animal Veterinary ProposalPhoto: Pixabay

Texas Tech’s focus on opening a veterinary college is not to increase the number of veterinarians available to treat companion animals, but instead to concentrate on the number of veterinarians available to treat large animals, such as cattle and horses. According to THECB’s most recent report, the board is in agreement with Texas Tech’s argument, that the state is in need of more large animal veterinarians, but is concerned that opening a new veterinary school will not solve the problem.

“The high cost of establishing a new institution would outweigh the potential benefits to the state, given the small to moderate workforce demand and the issue that building a new school would not guarantee that any of the graduates would practice upon livestock, which is the state’s principal area of need,” THECB said in their report.

Texas TechPhoto: Pixabay

Instead, THECB offered three recommendations. One of these recommendations states that the board “would consider a proposal for a new college of veterinary medical education that is designed to specifically produce large animal veterinarians in an innovative, cost efficient manner that does not duplicate existing efforts.” This statement is what gives Texas Tech the green light to develop and submit such a proposal and hopefully move forward with opening a veterinary college.

According to Texas Tech, the school is in just the position to do exactly as the board recommended through Texas Tech University and the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center. The process of creating a program that will both follow the THECB’s recommendations and increase the number of large animal veterinarians has begun. The university’s focus is on “producing practice-ready veterinarians who serve and enhance the vibrancy of the rural communities important throughout Texas while at the same time intentionally reducing the cost of education.” It’ll be interesting to see how this all unfolds, and hopefully, we will see Texas Tech help fill the veterinary needs of Texas’ large animal owners.

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