Texas Tech announced on December 4, 2015, they are developing a veterinary medicine school and doctoral program to fill the needs of their students as well as the region’s agriculture industry.

The college of Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources is developing the program along with the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center.

Texas Tech University System Chancellor Robert Duncan cited West Texas’ plethora of ranches and livestock enterprises and their impact on the regional economy in deciding to develop the program.

Duncan said in a release, “Our vision goes beyond the establishment of a veterinary school, setting out to transform the landscape of veterinary medicine education and provide innovative solutions for the industry’s future.”

TTU President Dr. Duane Nellis said agriculture has remained integral to Texas Tech’s research since its inception and Tech remains a leader in enhancing agricultural infrastructure.

“As our population grows, so does the reliance on agriculture. Increased and enhanced infrastructure is necessary now and will continue to be in the future. Texas Tech is offering solutions to meet those needs,” read a statement from Nellis.

Right now the closest veterinary school to West Texas is the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences in College Station, Texas.

The TTUHSC campus in Amarillo is intended to be the location of the veterinary college and much of the existing facilities, such as the school of pharmacy, can be utilized by TTUHSC and vet school students.

Moving forward, the Texas Tech University System will continue to discuss the program in 2016 as they seek approval from the Texas Legislature and Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.