More than 200 representatives of the Texas Tech University System were in Austin at the state capitol on Tuesday for TTU System Day.

Texas Tech Chancellor Dr. Tedd Mitchell was recognized in both the House and Senate chambers, and Tech officials state that they spoke to numerous legislators about the importance of funding the School for Veterinary Medicine in Amarillo and the School of Dental Medicine in El Paso.

“Texas Tech University System Day at the capitol is the one day we have to showcase who we are, and not just as a regional presence in West Texas, but the importance of the system for the entire state,” said Dr. Mitchell, chancellor of the TTU System and president of TTUHSC. “We want to make sure lawmakers today understand how thankful we are for their service to the state and their focus on higher education.”

According to Texas Tech officials, its lobbying focus is for the proposed School of Veterinary Medicine. Texas Tech is asking for a total of $17.4 million from the Legislature, which includes $13.2 million of new funding to go with the $4.2 million funding already designated by the State Legislature in the previous session two years ago.

In the first version of the budget bill in the Texas House, their budget includes the full $17.4 million in funding while the Senate version only includes the original $4.17 million. Texas Tech officials also note they have raised more than $90 million in private funding for construction and infrastructure for the School of Veterinary Medicine.

Angelo State University, in San Angelo, is also seeking additional funding, including $5 million dollars for the ASU Freshman College.

According to Tech officials, ASU is experiencing the highest four-year graduation rate in its school history. Enrollment at ASU is now over 10,000 students for combined undergraduate, graduate and dual-credit.