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An update on the Lyon College plans for vet and dental schools in Little Rock – Arkansas Times

Jeremy Peppas, who authors Arkansas Newsroom, a subscription news outlet on Substack, has some details in his latest newsletter about Lyon College’s plans to begin veterinary medicine and dental schools in space it is purchasing from Heifer International.

Peppas focuses on Maumelle, but occasionally ranges farther afield, and he was on hand when Dr. Melissa Taverner, Lyon’s president, met recently in Little Rock with college alumni and others to talk about the plans. From his report:

The dental and veterinary schools will each have incoming freshman classes of 150 students with a projected start in the fall of 2024, roughly two years away.

Both programs will be four-year schools, but Taverner said, the last two years, or final three semesters will be held off-site as students enter into clinical rotations.

That would mean by year three, with faculty and staff, the campus head count would be roughly 800, or about the same number of people in Batesville, and doubling the college’s total enrollment.

Taverner, cup of coffee in hand, said Heifer Village, the one-story structure by the main building and currently home to event space and a gift shop would become the new school’s student center, while the Lyon would occupy the first two floors of the main building with plans to eventually take over the third floor as well. The fourth floor would remain as office space for Heifer and the Clinton Foundation.

The number of students would mean a need for walkable housing as well as nearby places to eat that would serve the campus community.

The addition of the dental and veterinary schools fill a dramatic need for both in Arkansas. The state currently ranks 51st in dental health and 49th in the country in vet-to-population ratio.

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