Paulette Burns, the dean of the Harris College of Nursing and Health Sciences, died Friday from pancreatic cancer, according to an email sent to students and faculty.
Burns, who was 65 at the time of her death, was diagnosed with cancer in 2013. Acting Dean Susan Weeks took over the position while Burns was being treated.
According to the email, Acting Dean Susan Weeks said, “Dr. Burns was a visionary leader, a valued colleague and a treasured friend. I cannot express in words, the loss I feel with her passing. I will carry with me the many points of wisdom, points of insight and unfailing patience that she shared.”
University spokesperson Megan Murphey said Weeks will continue to serve as acting dean until the position is filled. A search committee is conducting a national search to find a replacement for Burns, who had planned to step down at the end of the semester, Murphey said.
A memorial service will be held at University Christian Church on Wednesday at 2 p.m.