COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Culminating a seven-year plan, The
Texas A&M University System today announced partnerships to
expand veterinary education, research and undergraduate outreach
into several regions of the state through four A&M System
The partnerships are between the Texas A&M University
College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences (CVM) and
West Texas A&M University, Prairie View A&M University,
Texas A&M University-Kingsville and Tarleton State
In 2009, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board reported
there was no need for a second veterinary school but that CVM could
increase enrollment to meet future state needs. The study (http://www.thecb.state.tx.us/reports/pdf/1701.pdf)
focused on the need to increase the number of underrepresented
minorities entering the profession as well as enlarging the
pipeline of rural-based veterinarians to better serve the livestock
industry as well as deer and wildlife interests.
In response, the Texas A&M System began beefing up its
agriculture programs at the four universities while planning a
state-of-the-art veterinary teaching complex at College Station.
With no state appropriation available for construction during the
recession, Texas A&M invested $120 million from the Permanent
The teaching complex, which opens this fall, allows CVM to
accept more veterinary students and create the partnerships to
encourage more underrepresented minorities and rural students, who
are more likely to return to their home regions, to work as
veterinarians in the state’s agricultural economy.
“Texas agriculture feeds and clothes the country,” said
Chancellor John Sharp. “We will always need small-animal
veterinarians to take care of our pets, but we also need more
large-animal veterinarians helping to protect our state’s
All four of the A&M System universities have significant
underrepresented minority student populations as well as unique
animal science programs and ties to the livestock or wildlife
industries in their regions:
- West Texas A&M operates its own feedlot in the Panhandle, a
region that feeds a third of the nation’s beef and boasts expanding
dairy and swine industries. The Beef Carcass Research Center and
the Nance Ranch Teaching and Research Facility are located
- Tarleton State operates the state’s only university-based dairy
as a public-private partnership and collaborates regularly with the
dairy cattle industry. The university also has a Veterinary
- Prairie View A&M’s International Goat Research Center, with
more than 1,000 dairy and meat goats, is one of the largest, oldest
goat research programs in the nation. It specializes in the areas
of genetics, reproductive physiology, nutrition and veterinary
- Texas A&M-Kingsville’s Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research
Institute is the leading wildlife research organization in Texas.
It also has a Veterinary Technology program with a new
“This initiative is ultimately about service to our state,” said
Texas A&M University President Michael Young. “It extends the
reach of our highly-ranked College of Veterinary Medicine &
Biomedical Sciences while also putting the prospect of a veterinary
education on the radar of more students throughout Texas.”
Opening the new CVM teaching complex is key to extending the
reach of veterinary education and research beyond College Station.
While the state’s population has boomed, the size of the veterinary
school remained virtually flat due to older, cramped facilities.
The new facility will allow the CVM to meet the need for both the
veterinary and livestock industries as the demand for veterinarians
The new education complex will easily accommodate an initial
increased class size of 20 to 30 new veterinary students each year.
By providing new learning opportunities for students who attend the
four A&M System universities, the CVM hopes to increase the
number of applicants from those regions.
Toward that goal, the CVM intends to hire veterinary faculty
initially to teach undergraduate courses, strengthen the curriculum
and explore research partnerships with industry in each region.
Eventually, as demand increases, the CVM will evaluate the need to
offer some veterinary courses at sites other than College
The CVM is in the process of hiring two faculty members to teach
and conduct research at West Texas A&M. It also will be seeking
appropriations to duplicate those efforts at Tarleton State,
Prairie View A&M and Texas A&M-Kingsville.
This cost-effective, graduated approach to expanding veterinary
education leverages the state’s assets to their highest and best
use while being mindful of Texas taxpayers and following the
guidance of the Coordinating Board study.
“The Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine &
Biomedical Sciences has served animal owners in Texas and beyond
for 100 years,” said Dr. Eleanor M. Green, the Carl B. King dean of
veterinary medicine. “We intend to expand our ability to respond to
the needs of our diverse populations and to the needs of the
veterinary profession by linking the vast strengths of Texas
A&M across the state. This program puts boots on the ground
where they are needed, as they are needed.”
About the Texas A&M University System
The Texas A&M University System is one of the largest
systems of higher education in the nation, with a budget of $4.2
billion. Through a statewide network of 11 universities, seven
state agencies, two service units and a comprehensive health
science center,the A&M System educates more than 140,000
students and makes more than 22 million additional educational
contacts through service and outreach programs each year.
System-wide, externally funded research expenditures exceed $932
million and help drive the state’s economy.
About Texas A&M University
Texas A&M University – the flagship campus of The Texas
A&M University System – is a tier one research institution.
Committed to the values of its land-grant heritage, Texas A&M
ensures accessible education for the people of Texas and the
world. Its faculty-led research advances innovation for
society’s challenges, and yields over $854 million in annual
expenditures. Texas A&M is developing educated leaders of
character dedicated to serving the greater good.
About the College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical
Established in 1916, the Texas A&M University College of
Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences is one of only 30
Colleges of Veterinary Medicine in the United States. The College
has graduated more than 7,600 veterinarians since it was created.
Today the College has over 500 DVM students, another
2,300 undergraduate students in the biomedical sciences
program and 170 graduate students involved in research. Among
veterinary colleges, Texas A&M is ranked third in the nation
and sixth in the world.