A-State exploring possibility of first in-state Veterinary Medicine School

JONESBORO, Ark — Editor’s Note: The above video is from 2018, when ASU teamed up with Horace Mann middle school.

According to Arkansas State University Chancellor Kelly Damphousse, ASU has reached an agreement to collaborate with Adtalem Global Education (ATGE) to explore the chances of possibly creating the first in-state veterinary medical school.

The university is exploring a public-private partnership with Adtalem, a global workforce solutions provider based in Chicago, with expertise educating veterinarians to AVMA-accredited standards. 

“The demand for veterinarians is significant as more households enjoy pet ownership, and Arkansas livestock producers have acknowledged a shortage of veterinarians for large animals,” said Damphousse. “This is a concern that our College of Agriculture faculty and others across the region have expressed to us. I am excited to begin the discussion on our campus. We plan to work closely with veterinarians throughout Arkansas as we move forward in the development of this new college.”

Damphousse also announced to the university faculty the creation of a Veterinary College Task Force.

“When Bud and our former dean Tim Burcham first approached me with the idea, I was very supportive because it speaks to our core mission for Arkansas and the region,” Damphousse said. “I want to stress that we are at the beginning stages. Along with chairing our Task Force, I have asked Dr. Kennedy to assist with selection of participants and request that they return with a recommendation later this year.”

The proposed veterinary medicine program would enroll classes of approximately 120 students each year. Accreditation for any A-State College of Veterinary Medicine would be sought by the university, and graduates would have Arkansas State academic credentials. 

Adtalem, the parent company of AVMA-accredited Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine, would provide expertise related to veterinary program management and accreditation, as well as capital and operating expense funding.

“We see opportunities to work with student programs such as 4-H and the National FFA Organization, as well as food safety initiatives,” System President Charles Welch said. “It would also complement our agriculture and biotechnology-related programs, the long-standing two-year veterinary technician program at ASU-Beebe and our red wolf conservation efforts.”

The Memorandum of Understanding signed on Friday, Jan. 31, between Arkansas State University and Adtalem Global Education is subject to approval by the ASU System Board of Trustees and ATGE Board.

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