State legislature advances bill for UT-Tyler pharmacy school, go - KLTV.com-Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News

State legislature advances bill for UT-Tyler pharmacy school, governor next

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From the University of Texas at Tyler:

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - The bill that would authorize the creation of a pharmacy school at The University of Texas at Tyler has been passed by the Texas Senate and House and is now on its way to Gov. Rick Perry for approval, according to UT Tyler President Rodney H. Mabry.

A signature from the governor would be followed by final approval by the UT System Board of Regents.

“This is a momentous occasion in the university’s history, and we couldn’t be more pleased. We are one step closer to establishing a self-supporting pharmacy school at UT Tyler. This means it will receive no state funding, and that’s a unique model for Texas,” said President Mabry.

Philanthropy will play an integral part in the development of the pharmacy school. Interested donors have already contacted the university, and UT Tyler will continue to reach out to other community leaders and alumni for participation, Mabry added.

The pharmacy school would help fulfill a vital workforce need in the East Texas region.

“Several employers in the community have expressed the benefits of this program. It will provide East Texans access to a pharmacy school, leading to opportunities for stable, high-paying jobs well into the future, and local pharmacies will have access to ‘home grown’ pharmacists who will stay in the area reducing turnover rates,” President Mabry said.

This initiative was supported by the East Texas Legislative delegation and local businesses, hospitals, pharmacy organizations and higher education institutions.

“We especially thank Sen. Kevin Eltife for leading the effort in the legislature and Rep. Travis Clardy for carrying the bill in the House,” added President Mabry.

Almost 60 percent of pharmacists hired in Texas last year were imported from out of state. Texas as a whole has experienced high demand for pharmacists over the last decade.

The Upper East Texas region has the fewest number of students attending pharmacy schools in the state. Pharmacy schools in Texas currently receive roughly 3,400 applications per year for a total of around 800 seats. As of this academic year, 571 Texas residents are attending pharmacy school out of state.

The UT Tyler pharmacy school, which is a partnership between UT Tyler and UT Health Northeast, would be expected to enroll approximately 100 students per year.

One of the 15 campuses of the UT System, UT Tyler offers excellence in teaching, research, artistic performance and community service. More than 80 undergraduate and graduate degrees are available at UT Tyler, which has an enrollment of almost 7,000 high-ability students at its campuses in Tyler, Longview and Palestine.

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