UPDATE: Texas Tech School of Veterinary Medicine
By Texas Tech University
If you dairy in Texas, chances are you have heard Texas Tech University is responding to the needs of Texas and opening the first new veterinary school in the state in a century. Since the Legislature gave its approval by appropriating the necessary startup funds in the 2019 session, there has been tremendous progress, and Texas Tech remains on track to welcome its first class to the state-of-the art campus, located in Amarillo, in the fall of 2021. In short, the School of Veterinary Medicine is on track, on time and within budget.
The school has very narrow focus areas on rural and regional communities, access and affordability, and supporting the sustainability of our livestock industries. This isn’t just part of the school’s focus; it is all of it, and strategies around recruitment, admissions, curriculum and experiential learning have been developed to achieve this focus. Getting there is dependent on admitting the right students; in particular, those with deep experiences in rural and regional communities and, importantly, this includes students with backgrounds in the dairy industry.
The school has a specific request for the Texas Association of Dairymen: help identify – and let the school know of – outstanding candidates who will help them achieve our goals.
Pending approval from the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) Council on Education, Texas Tech plans to begin accepting applications for its inaugural class this fall. The target class size will be 60 students, and, over a couple of years, the class size will grow to a maximum of 100 students.
While much of the work to bring the Texas Tech School of Veterinary Medicine to fruition has involved processes most haven’t seen, the state-of-the-art facilities on the northwest side of Amarillo have taken shape. Now clearly visible north of Interstate 40 from both Loop 335 and Coulter Avenue, the return on investment from the gifts and grants provided by generous donors and the Amarillo Economic Development Corporation (AEDC) is evident. The vision shared by Texas Tech, Amarillo, the region and across Texas has become a reality.
Construction of the School of Veterinary Medicine facilities, like the school, is on track, on time and within budget. Facilities include what is known as the Amarillo Campus and Mariposa Station. The former includes all offices, classrooms and teaching and research labs, while Mariposa Station is designed to support the teaching needs for everything food-animal and equine.
Building an outstanding team
From the moment Texas Tech announced the creation of the School of Veterinary Medicine in Amarillo, it received rave reviews from those in the industry who recognized the need for more rural and regional veterinarians across the U.S.
An amazing team has joined the school as its founding faculty and staff. The school is currently looking for the first faculty who will focus on cattle production – one person will be beef- and one dairy-oriented. These faculty will form the basis of a growing team of scholars to support the cattle industries of Texas.
Since June 2019, when Gov. Greg Abbott signed into law $17.35 million in appropriations in the state budget designed to support operational needs for the School of Veterinary Medicine, Texas Tech has hired more than two dozen outstanding faculty members in a wide variety of disciplines. It is anticipated that the school will have approximately 30 faculty hired by the time the inaugural class arrives on campus in August 2021. Over the next few years, this will grow to a size of approximately 75 faculty. All faculty have roles across teaching, research and service, and the school is excited to partner with the great dairymen and women of Texas to help support this industry for decades to come.