When he was chancellor of the Texas Tech University System, Kent Hance ventured to Amarillo and made a fascinating pronouncement.
Amarillo, he said, is ready to support a full-fledged medical school campus, rather than a campus for upperclassmen and women — as it does now.
It would require community support to make it happen, Hance said. He went back to Texas Tech’s “mother ship campus” in Lubbock and the subject has been pretty much dormant ever since.
Then this happened today: The current chancellor, Bob Duncan, ventured north to Amarillo and announced concrete plans to develop a college of veterinary medicine right here.
OK, so Texas Tech isn’t yet announcing a plan for an expanded health sciences operation here, but the veterinary school announcement is pretty darn big.
Reports have been circulating for the past few days. Texas Tech is aiming to serve a significant audience by bringing such an academic institution to Amarillo. The city sits in the heart of some of the richest agricultural land in the nation. Rural residents own lots of animals — large and small — that need medical attention.
The veterinary school would be poised to train “animal doctors” to care for these patients.
Chancellor Duncan has made a significant pledge to the Amarillo region with today’s announcement and has pledged to deepen Texas Tech University’s footprint in the Panhandle, which by itself is going to bring a major economic development boost to the region.