Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board Reports on the Future Needs of Veterinary Medical Education in Texas

COLLEGE STATION, TX – In a recent landmark report, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) made significant recommendations to the state legislature which address the shortage of food and fiber (large animal) veterinarians, as well as the need to address recruitment of students from underrepresented groups – a nationwide problem.

The THECB conducted a comparative study of veterinary medical education utilizing data from multiple veterinary medical organizations and consultants from veterinary medical academia around the country. The conclusions for the most efficient way to address the future of the veterinary medical education in the State of Texas were 1) that at this time no new veterinary medical school was needed, 2) the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences (CVM) should be offered the resources necessary to continue and expand their efforts to promote food and fiber animal practice, 3) recruiting students from underrepresented groups should be a top priority, and 4) formula funding should be restored to THECB recommendations..

“We have worked very diligently to educate and graduate the very best entry level veterinarian possible through a four-year program,” said Dr. H. Richard Adams, Carl B. King Dean of veterinary medicine. “In addition, we have implemented programs and strategies that have enabled us to be responsive to and proactive in addressing the future needs of the profession. The need for increased diversity and the shortage of rural practitioners are two pressing concerns for our profession, and we hope that the THECB report will serve to highlight those needs to our legislature.”

The THECB report noted that the CVM had initiated mentoring programs to support veterinary medical students interested in rural practice and large animal medicine, as well that the college had been able to keep tuition rates low when compared to the top 10 most populous states.

The report from the THECB is sent to the legislature, who will ultimately decide how best to implement the recommendations stated in the report.

“Should the legislature agree to follow through on the conclusions from this report with funding, the CVM would be able to reinvest in our infrastructure which would make a significant impact on our college and its contribution to the profession,” added Adams. “We appreciate the thoroughness of the THECB report and the opportunities it presents for solving the growing demands of the veterinary medical profession by its recommendations for support for veterinary medical education in Texas.

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