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Office of the President

Executive Leadership

Patricia Lee Starck, D.S.N., R.N., F.A.A.N.

Patricia Lee Starck, Ph.D., R.N., F.A.A.N.

Dean, School of Nursing and Senior Vice President for Interprofessional Education


Since 1984, Dr. Starck has served as dean of The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) School of Nursing, where she holds the John P. McGovern Distinguished Professorship in Nursing and the Huffington Foundation Chair for Nursing Education Leadership. She also serves as UTHealth’s Senior Vice President for Interprofessional Education.

From June 2011-May 2013, Dr. Starck served as UTHealth’s Senior Vice President for Community Affairs, where she led the Office of Advancement to expand public awareness of UTHealth and cultivate philanthropic support.

Dean Starck has spent 45 years in nursing education and led nursing schools at universities in Georgia, Alabama and Texas. During those years, she has published 47 articles and seven book chapters. She is the author of the Meaning in Suffering Test (MIST), used by students from various disciplines around the world. In her later work on pain and suffering, she was the first to declare that under treatment of pain is a medical error.

Dr. Starck received her doctorate from the University of Alabama in Birmingham in 1979 and her master’s of nursing from Emory University in Atlanta, Ga.

With her strong foundation in clinical doctoral education, she created an innovative model for faculty practice, first at Troy State University and later at The University of Texas Health Services. Today, this practice generates $3 million per year and contributes to health care in the larger community.

Dr. Starck has initiated many new programs, including the first on-site graduate nursing program in the Texas Rio Grande Valley and the first Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program in Texas.  She has pioneered doctoral education within and across states via distance education, and she was a member of a seven-dean delegation that started the first master’s program in China.

Over the years, Dean Starck has raised millions of dollars to support nursing, including funds to build the $57-million School of Nursing and Student Community Center (completed in 2004). She is the founding dean of PARTNERS, a community support group that provides resources for numerous scholarships, endowed professorships and other support for the school.

She has completed executive programs at Memorial Hermann Healthcare System’s Institute for Spiritual Leadership, the Covey Institute, American Productivity and Quality Center and Rice University. Among her many distinctions, Dean Starck was the first recipient of the Retail Clinician Education Congress Leadership Award in 2010 and has been nationally recognized for her leadership on health policy.

Dean Starck has lectured on many topics, including: the future of nursing and nursing education, community health, nursing methodologies, Logotherapy and dealing with human suffering. In 2003, she was honored with the Presidential Award for Distinguished Contributions and Sterling Leadership at the XIV Congress on Viktor Frankl’s Logotherapy.