The Texas Tech University System Board of Regents moved forward with Texas Tech University’s plans to establish a new School of Veterinary Medicine in Amarillo by approving the new school, its degree plan and funding for preliminary designs for the school.
The approval was given during the Board of Regents’ meeting last week. During its last legislative session in 2017, the state legislature approved $4.17 million for a feasibility study to establish the state’s second school of veterinary medicine on the campus of Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in Amarillo.
“We appreciate the Board’s continued commitment to the School of Veterinary Medicine in Amarillo and support of our vision to address a critical need in the region, state and nation,” said Lawrence Schovanec, Texas Tech President. “I will continue to work closely with Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center President Tedd Mitchell and our Board as we move forward with this important initiative.”
Construction of two new veterinary school buildings is expected to cost $89.82 million with an additional five-year operating budget cost of $82.29 million, which includes classroom equipment, supplies and the cost of faculty pay. The Board of Regents approved the concept for the veterinary school and a proposed first-stage design budget of $1.37 million.
“The Texas Tech University School of Veterinary Medicine is one of the initiatives we are pursuing for the Texas Tech University System as we continue to build momentum heading into the upcoming legislative session,” Texas Tech University System Chairman of the Board of Regents L. Frederick “Rick” Francis said. “This impactful initiative will further demonstrate the ability our institutions have to serve our state. We greatly value our partnership with Mayor Ginger Nelson and the Amarillo community along with the agricultural community and the dedicated support we have received from our generous donors.”
The plan approved by the Board of Regents would enroll 60 students per year for a desired enrollment of 240 students for the four-year program. The school also would serve 150-200 graduate students who are not seeking a doctorate in veterinary medicine, as well as an academic staff of 90.
Since Texas Tech began pursuing this initiative, the board of regents has approved six items in support of the School of Veterinary Medicine, which include:
- Unanimously approved the Texas Tech University System’s strategic priorities in August 2017, which included pursuing the Texas Tech School of Veterinary Medicine.
- In October 2017, the board unanimously approved Schovanec to execute consulting contracts related to analyzing feasibility and overall planning for a School of Veterinary Medicine. Texas Tech followed by approving contracts with Alastair Cribb and John Thomson.
- The board unanimously supported the preliminary stage I facilities feasibility study in December 2017. This was to establish a feasibility study for the veterinary school facility with a budget of $242,000 for programming, planning and probable cost budget.
- Following the City of Amarillo’s commitment on May 8, the board unanimously authorized Schovanec to execute an agreement with the Amarillo Economic Development Corporation to fund up to $69 million for the School of Veterinary Medicine.
- At this month’s meeting, the Board of Regents unanimously voted to authorize Schovanec to establish a stage I budget of $1.37 million to provide planning and design services for the facilities.
- The Board of Regents also supported the authorization for Schovanec to establish the School of Veterinary Medicine and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree program during the August meeting.