|By Brian Bethel, Abilene Reporter-News, Texas|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
"We're still building," said Hance, Tech's third chancellor, who spoke to the
When asked what, exactly, might be in the pipeline, Hance, who leaves his position in June after becoming chancellor in 2006, remained coy, explaining the school is "not ready to say" what such projects might be.
But some could emerge as soon as "the next 12 months," he noted, adding that
"I think that's where the need is," Hance said.
A site for Texas Tech Health Sciences System's
Established in 2007, with locations in
"We have planned for some time to have a
In general, "our job is to utilize the number of patients that are here so you have good clinical education and to produce more health care providers," Hance said, praising the presence and growth of
The former, in particular, is key -- along with other local nursing programs -- in helping to lessen the impact of expected nursing shortages in
"We started out small in nursing -- we're over 100 students now," he said. "My goal is for us to have 500 students."
Hance, 71, noted that when he came to Tech as chancellor, the school had no footprint in
From an initial 40 students, TTHSC's
But the school in both its traditional four-year college and health incarnations plans to tread lightly around the area's existing four-year universities --
While a merger with
"We've been successful in areas where we've been invited," he said. "We don't want to cause internal problems within a city."
While such might happen "some other way some day," it's "not something that we considered on my watch," he said.
Hance said that he does believe local colleges are doing a good job educating students, noting that candidates for graduate school, law school and medical school from those institutions come well-regarded.
Tech does have a strong connection with
Not every program has been successful.
An engineering program the school brought to
With tight budgets at the state level, local community support is absolutely essential to any future expansion, he said.