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Plans move forward with proposed Murray State vet school

Rebeca Mertins Chiodini
Murray State University moves ahead with plans to develop School of Veterinary Medicine

Murray State pre-veterinary students have shared their excitement over the Board of Regents approval for a feasibility study to develop a School of Veterinary Medicine. 

Quinn Brewer, a sophomore pre-vet major, said she didn’t believe the news at first. 

“When I found out it was true, I was shocked and excited, not for me, but for future pre-vet students,” Brewer said. “I also thought, ‘Wow I wish they had done this 10 years ago, so I could go to vet school here.’” 

Brian Parr, dean of the Hutson School of Agriculture, said since the Board’s approval, a firm has already been selected to conduct the feasibility study. This study will examine the current veterinarian shortage in the state in addition to the development of a School of Veterinary Medicine at the University. 

“Peak and Associates, [a firm] out of Georgia, is running the feasibility study for us,” Parr said. “We had two meetings with them today, and they’re going to be on-site tomorrow, so it’s moving very quickly.”

The idea behind developing a School of Veterinary Medicine at Murray State began in the early 1970s. 

“A very similar resolution went to the Board of Regents in our state, which is pretty cool,” Parr said. “Fifty years have passed, so the idea of it is old. The planning has been done at various stages and I think this is maybe the fourth time this conversation has happened.”

Parr said it’s his goal to have the feasibility study completed before the end of the fall semester. 

The next step is to determine the funding model for this project to present to leaders in Frankfort during the legislative session. 

Parr said they will compile data from the American Veterinary Association and other groups to help with the development plans. 

“They’re interviewing people from across the state who are either veterinarians, potential students, cattle producers or other folks that are involved in animal agriculture,” Parr said. “There’s no way we would create a vet school and then say everyone who goes here has to be a large animal vet, but that’s no doubt the problem we’re trying to address through this vet school, one of them anyway.”

A University press release said approximately 70 students from the state are accepted to out-of-state vet schools each year. However, there are only 32 vet schools accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). 

The University currently has a relationship with two of those accredited schools: Auburn University and Tuskegee University. Murray State pays the out-of-state portion of the tuition for students accepted to one of those schools. 

Parr said if the development of a School of Veterinary Medicine moves forward, the impact would be enormous. 

“I don’t even have a great estimate on what that looks like, but there’s no doubt several hundred students across the state that are looking to get into vet medicine, so having this opportunity here I think is huge for those students,” Parr said.

Brewer said if the University approves the development, it would ease some of her concerns about applying to vet school. 

“Most of the vet schools I have looked at have nearly 2,000 applicants per year and less than 100 accepted students,” Brewer said. “It is definitely a stressful and nerve-wracking thought [that] many renowned veterinarians don’t even get into school on their first try.”

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About the Contributors
Jill Smith, Assistant News Editor
Jillian Smith is Assistant News Editor at The News. Smith is a graduate student pursuing a Masters of Science in Mass Communications with a concentration in Public Relations. Smith is also a Graduate Assistant in Student Affairs. Beyond working and class, Smith enjoys reading, coffee, and listening to music.
Rebeca Mertins Chiodini, Photography Editor
Rebeca Mertins Chiodini began photographing for The News in fall 2022 and began Photo Editor in 2023. She loves to photograph all things sports, but especially baseball. A journalism major, she minors in Spanish.

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