FULL INTERVIEW: Chancellor says 2019 will transform Texas Tech w - FOX34 Lubbock

FULL INTERVIEW: Chancellor says 2019 will transform Texas Tech with vet, dental schools

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LUBBOCK, Texas -

The Texas Tech system is well-prepared for this legislative session, Chancellor Tedd Mitchell reported Monday; each of the four campuses has its own priority.

A guest on the News@Nine Monday, Chancellor Mitchell said it's part of a statewide approach to higher education funding; there simply isn't enough to go around, so the systems are prioritizing, each choosing one unique project to pursue for a particular university.

Texas Tech's will be a school of veterinary medicine; the Texas Tech Health Sciences Center's will be funding for a mental health program; the project for the Health Sciences Center at El Paso is a school of medical dentistry; and San Angelo State is pursuing funding for "student enrichment."

Mitchell said the system will only request operational budgets from the Legislature for the vet school, pointing out private philanthropic efforts and fundraising have produced $90 million for facilities budgets.

"As well as the state's done economically, we realize there's only a finite amount of money," Mitchell said. "So we don't want to go in there asking for a long laundry list of things, we tried to keep it directed towards one per university."

Mitchell said both the vet school and the dental school will serve purposes statewide, as the demand for large animal vets and for dentists have both outpaced the supply. He said the need for the mental health program at Lubbock's HSC campus is evident and speaks for itself, and Angelo State's student enrichment program will help that university focus on first-generation students and students from low-income families or other poor socioeconomic conditions that would otherwise prevent them from going to college.

"These are all extremely important initiatives for us," he said. "Not just as a university, not just as a system, but for the people of this area, for the economy of West Texas, and actually -- quite frankly -- for the overall economy of the state."

Watch our full interview with the chancellor at the top of this page. It includes other topics, like the growth of the university. how Dr. Mitchell's prepared for the job, and his sense of humor (how being president of a university is like standing in a graveyard).

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