The Clemson Board of Trustees voted to take the next step towards founding the first college of veterinary medicine in the state of South Carolina on Feb. 3 by approving the recently-completed feasibility study.
The study discovered that founding a vet school is well within the will of Thomas Green Clemson, in the interests of the people of South Carolina, and that “there has never been a better time to establish a new college of veterinary medicine,” according to steering committee co-chair Boyd Parr.
The new school plays well with Clemson’s existing facilities and curriculum, fitting in well with the large agricultural school. Clemson already conducts extensive animal research and has a well-respected animal and veterinary science major for undergraduates.
The facilities for Clemson’s new veterinary school will be constructed by the T. Ed Garrison Livestock Arena and will take up about 30 acres, including teaching labs and a research building.
However, a teaching hospital will not be included in the design, with students doing clinical learning through a distributed model. Students will likely do their clinicals by practicing vet offices across the state, as is done in human medicine.
There is a significant shortage of veterinarians in South Carolina, and an excess of applicants, with some students finding that veterinary school is harder to get into than medical school. This new school hopes to alleviate both issues.
A bill to fund the construction of the new school is currently working its way through the state legislature and has been received very positively, according to Parr, with the support of both the South Carolina Farm Bureau and the South Carolina Association of Veterinarians.