Governor Meets with Concerned Students

A group of eight recent college graduates concerned about their continuing educational futures met with Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe this morning.

Arkansas is a state without a veterinarian school, so it is not surprising that our state could use a few more veterinarians.

Money to make vet schools in other states more affordable for Arkansas students is currently on the budget cut chopping block.

For decades the State Department of Higher Education has helped Arkansas students pay to attend veterinarian schools in other states.

Hundreds of thousands of dollars has been used to help educate new vets...with a hope but without a guarantee that the students would return to open up shop in Arkansas.

Proposed budget cuts has put that tuition assistance in jeopardy, and concerned students got a meeting with Governor Beebe Monday morning.

"It was good, yeah," says future veterinarian student William Ryan of Jonesboro. "It was a good meeting. We got to meet with the with him about that and getting a little more transparent idea about what is going to happen in the future. And what they're trying to do to help out."

"I thought it was a very productive meeting," says Patrick McFadden of Cabot, also a recent U of A graduate with an Animal Science degree. "The governor is open to looking into providing us funding from his rainy day fund for this upcoming year...essentially a one year commitment until the legislature can find something a little bit more permanent."

However it may be a bit late to keep McFadden heading to LSU.

Good students have options...and McFadden has been re-accepted into a coveted spot at the University of Auburn's veterinary school.

McFadden says he is grateful that the governor and others are taking the situation he and his fellow students find themselves in seriously...but he is not confident enough in a solution to keep him from jumping at another opportunity.

Air date: June 3rd, 2013