HBU Announces New Dean to School of Nursing and Allied Health

Dr. Robert Sloan, President of Houston Baptist University, and Dr. Stanley Napper, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, are pleased to announce the selection of Dr. Carol Lavender, Professor of Nursing, as Dean of the School of Nursing and Allied Health (SNAH).

Dr. Lavender earned the BS in Nursing from Lamar University, the Executive MBA from HBU, the MSN in Nursing Leadership from the University of Texas Medical Branch, and the Doctor of Nursing Practice in Executive Nursing Administration from the University of South Alabama.  She owned and led her own healthcare consulting firm for 10 years, has held a variety of clinical and leadership roles in healthcare institutions and has extensive teaching experience at HBU and at Chamberlain University.

While serving as Interim Dean at HBU, Dr. Lavender has demonstrated leadership in accreditation, program development, student field experiences and faculty professional development and is experienced in data analysis, strategic planning and executive management. She has implemented plans for reviewing both undergraduate and graduate curricula to ensure outstanding academic programs to prepare our graduates for future employment with our partners for health and wellness throughout the Houston metro area.

Working with teams of faculty and her extensive network in the medical community, Dr. Lavender is already building a strategic plan for SNAH founded on standards, data and concern for the preparation of HBU students to meet the challenges and opportunities of healthcare in the 21st century. This plan is driven by her vision for quality training for all our students, for growth and expansion of our graduate programs, her personal relationships with healthcare partners in Houston and a desire to renew and reform our approach to healthcare as we emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic.  She is also eager to take up the primary responsibility of an HBU dean to represent and advocate for the School of Nursing and Allied Health with our extensive partners throughout Houston and to innovate new possibilities for collaboration and partnership with new partners in the years to come. As an HBU alumnus and long-time instructor, Dr. Lavender understands HBU’s mission as a Christian university and is eager to realize its ambitions to prepare a new generation of healthcare professionals who will serve out of a Christ-centered commitment to compassion and excellence.

Provost Napper affirms this new appointment, saying, “Having worked closely with Dr. Lavender in her role as Interim Dean, I am certain that she brings administrative and leadership experience that will enable undergraduate nursing and allied health programs, graduate nursing and allied health programs to grow, to expand, and to serve our students and our community through quality partnerships and new graduates.  She is organized and strategic in leadership, and sensitive to students and to faculty.”

Dr. Lavender’s appointment was effective March 1, 2022. She will be supported by an active faculty leadership team:

  • MaryCatherine Harmon (Chair, Department of Kinesiology)
  • Shonta Bell (Chair, Department of Nursing)
  • Toi Durham (Director of Undergraduate Curriculum and Accreditation)
  • Shayla Brown (Director of Graduate Nurse Practitioner Programs)
  • Tonye Cox-Miller (Director of Graduate Nursing Leadership and Education Programs)

A new executive advisory board is also under development to provide strategic counsel and external engagement opportunities to the leadership, faculty and students of the School. Dr. Nancy Yuill, past Dean of Nursing at HBU and at Chamberlain University as well as President-Elect of the Texas Nurses Association District 9, will serve as chair of this advisory board. The School of Nursing and Allied Health will continue its partnership with the Dean’s Development Council, which has actively supported the Dean by meeting special resource needs, raising funds for scholarships, hosting an annual luncheon and encouraging faculty and students for many years.

The HBU School of Nursing and Allied Health prepares a new generation of Christ-centered healthcare professionals to serve the holistic needs of people across Houston and around the world with care and compassion. Guided by a conviction that achieving true health is far more than just avoiding or treating sickness, SNAH’s educational approach promotes the wholeness of the person and the community. We model the importance of treating the whole patient through a commitment to teaching the whole student. SNAH offers both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in kinesiology, athletic training, sports management and in several nursing specializations.

The School of Nursing and Allied Health is a proud member of the Texas Medical Center. SNAH stands ready to expand on its legacy of preparing healthcare professionals of excellence and compassion through the advanced opportunities that will be available to students and faculty upon the completion of the Jim and Sherry Smith STEM and Nursing Building in the heart of Houston Baptist University’s campus.


About HBU School of Nursing and Allied Health

The School of Nursing and Allied Health is a proud member of the Texas Medical Center. SNAH stands ready to expand on its legacy of preparing healthcare professionals of excellence and compassion through the advanced opportunities that will be available to students and faculty upon the completion of the Jim and Sherry Smith STEM and Nursing Building in the heart of Houston Baptist University’s campus.

About Houston Baptist University

Houston Baptist University is an ethnically and religiously diverse private institution in Houston, TX, emphasizing a Christian liberal arts education. The University offers a wide range of majors and programs, as well as NCAA Division I athletics in the Southland Conference. Located in the heart of one of the nation’s largest metropolitan centers, HBU aims to develop citizens whose character, attitude and intellect are valuable contributions to thriving communities. Find out more at HBU.edu