AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — The Texas Tech University School of Veterinary Medicine in Amarillo is nearly ready to hit the ground running.
The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board approved the request from Texas Tech for a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree program with a major in veterinary medicine. It happened Wednesday morning during a special board meeting to adopt the recommendation from the Committee on Academic and Workforce Success.
Getting board approval was one of the final steps in sealing the fate of the vet school here in Amarillo.
“It’s the culmination of an idea and work that goes back to 2005 and so many people have worked on it over the years,” said State Sen. Kel Seliger, R-Amarillo.
Sen. Seliger took to Twitter on Wednesday afternoon to break the news to his constituents in District 31.
The senator said the effort is about cooperation and moving our region forward.
“It’s going to mean great things for Texas Tech and it’s going to be good for young people all over the state of Texas who would like to go to veterinary school and it’s going to be good for the industry because the focus is going to be on large animals,” Sen. Seliger added. “That means cows and horses for which this area has tremendous importance.”
Texas Tech President, Dr. Lawrence Schovanec, addressed the move in a university statement on Wednesday:
“The support of the governor, our local legislators, the civic leaders of Amarillo and the numerous donors who believe in this initiative have led us to this monumental day. Their support will allow Texas Tech to provide an affordable and innovative veterinary education that will enhance the veterinary workforce statewide and service to the large-animal industry and to rural Texas.”
Steve Pair, executive director of Amarillo Matters, a political action committee that lobbied for the veterinary school in Amarillo, said the approval is a huge win for our community.
“There was a clear need for another vet program in Texas and this is going to help meet that need,” Pair said. “It’s really an exciting day and just another exciting step in the overall journey.”
The next step for the vet school will be securing accreditation for the DVM program, which Sen. Seliger said is already in the works. Once that is done, the veterinary school will open as planned in the fall of 2021 and enroll about 60 students for its first class.
The university is moving quickly — they have already broken ground at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in the Amarillo medical district and have named a dean of the veterinary school.
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