It’s official! UT System Board of Regents gives go ahead for Tyler medical school

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TYLER, Texas (KETK) It’s official! Tyler is getting a medical school.

The University of Texas system Board of Regents approved a proposal to establish a medical school at the UT Health Science Center at Tyler.

It will be a first of its kind for our area, providing a pathway for students to get a comprehensive medical education.

The UT System and UT Health Science Center at Tyler are now authorized to work with the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, the Texas Legislature and other licensing and accrediting agencies to bring the school to fruition.

$80 million dollars in funding has already been secured for the school. UT leaders hope it will open in the fall of 2023.

“A medical school in Tyler is perfectly aligned with the Board of Regents’ commitment that Texans have access to quality education and health care, regardless where they reside. This important decision by the Board is a reflection, to a great extent, of the efforts of many community, business and health care leaders and elected officials who have been deeply invested in Northeast Texas and worked tirelessly for years to bring a UT medical school to Tyler.”

Kevin P. Eltife, Board Chairman

Vice Chairman Janiece Longoria, who also chairs the Board’s Health Affairs Committee, said that the medical school would play a critical role in allowing aspiring physicians from Northeast Texas to not only train there, but to live and practice, too. 

“UT students in Tyler and surrounding areas will now be able to earn their undergraduate and medical degrees in one locale, and then remain in the region to live, build their careers and deliver high quality health care,” Longoria said. “That’s good news for the entire state.”

“It’s a watershed time for Northeast Texas,” UT System Chancellor James B. Milliken said. “UT institutions in Tyler, which have played a critical role in the region’s education, health and economic infrastructure for decades, are now on the cusp of yet another great leap forward.”

The Board’s approval of the medical school – which would be the seventh in the UT System – marked yet another significant milestone among a cascade of recent major events in Northeast Texas to boost the impact of higher education and health care there.

In November 2019, the Board of Regents allocated $95 million in Permanent University Fund proceeds for UT Tyler and UT Health Science Center Tyler to construct two facilities to accelerate high-quality health education and health care in Northeast Texas. The allocation is the single largest PUF appropriation awarded to Tyler at one time.

Then in December, Regents authorized the integration of talent and assets at UT Tyler and UT Health Science Center at Tyler to create a unified institution to enhance education, research and clinical delivery for the region. An operational team composed of leadership from both Tyler institutions, the UT System and a community advisory board, is working to move that plan forward.

Earlier this month, leaders from the UT System, UT Health Science Center at Tyler and UT Tyler joined together to announce the intention to launch a medical school. And less than a week later, UT Health Science Center at Tyler announced a commitment of $80 million from the East Texas Medical Center Foundation to help establish the medical school.

“The sustained investment in our region, particularly over the last several years, has been extraordinary,” said Kirk A. Calhoun, president of the UT Health Science Center at Tyler. “We are profoundly grateful to the Board of Regents and UT System for recognizing both the need and the potential in Northeast Texas and for making it possible for a long-time vision to become a reality.”

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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