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TYLER, June 25, 2013-- By signing Senate Bill 566, Gov. Rick Perry has officially authorized The University of Texas System Board of Regents to establish a pharmacy school at The University of Texas at Tyler, UT Tyler President Rodney H. Mabry announced.
With Gov. Perry’s signature, the process now moves to the Board of Regents, who must officially establish the school. Once the school is established, UT Tyler will formally begin the accreditation process and plans to enroll its first class in fall 2015.
The school, a joint proposal from UT Tyler and UT Health Northeast, will fulfill a crucial East Texas workforce need for pharmacists.
“UT Tyler learned from our businesses and hospitals that we face a dire need for pharmacists, especially in the East Texas region,” President Mabry said. “With our track record of quickly establishing successful healthcare programs, it was a perfect fit for the university, the community and the state as a whole.”
The proposed pharmacy school will utilize a self-supporting model based on the successful experience at East Tennessee State University in Johnson City, Tenn. In this model, the school will require no state funds to operate, but instead rely on philanthropic gifts and student tuition, which UT Tyler projects to remain lower than the average out-of-state tuition charged at pharmacy schools across the United States.
Almost 600 Texas residents attended pharmacy school out of state during the 2012–13 academic year.
State Sen. Kevin Eltife authored SB 566 and ushered it through the legislative process. State Sen. Robert Nichols of Jacksonville joined Eltife as a co-author, and StateRep. Travis Clardy of Nacogdoches served as the sponsor of the bill with nine additional East Texas representatives signing on as co-sponsors.
“As the healthcare hub of East Texas, we must make sure that our workforce has the training necessary to provide second-to-none care to our citizens,” Eltife said. “The self-supporting pharmacy school at UT Tyler provides a conservative, market-based approach to solve a challenge facing our community.”
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