Texas Tech’s plan to build the nation’s 31st veterinary school made a critical step forward last week, as the Amarillo City Council approved a measure to fund up to $69 million for its construction—a significant portion of the $90 million required. Once construction is complete, Texas Tech will have the only veterinary program in the nation located on the same campus as both a medical school and a pharmacy school, enhancing opportunities for research projects involving both human and animal medicine.
Texas Tech first announced its plan to open a vet school in 2015—a plan which was strongly opposed by the existing veterinary program at Texas A&M (which announced its own $22 million expansion earlier this year, for an educational research facility on the West Texas A&M campus). Breitbart Texas reported late last year that the proposed Texas Tech veterinary school would serve approximately 240 veterinary students, 150 non-veterinary graduate students, and a staff of 90. The school could open its doors as early as Fall 2021.
Instead of creating a teaching hospital on the campus, the school plans to partner with veterinarians in the region to provide hands on experience for its students. This nontraditional model is designed to help with the critical shortage of veterinarians in rural areas by fostering relationships between students and established practitioners, while also eliminating the expense of building a teaching hospital on the veterinary campus.