Former U.S. Ambassador will be teaching at UMKC

The former U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Portugal will teach at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

Allan J. Katz, a UMKC alumnus, has accepted an appointment as a Distinguished Professor doing double duty teaching in the Department of Public Affairs, part of the Henry W. Bloch School of Management, and in the Department of Political Science, part of the college of Arts and Sciences.

Katz graduated from UMKC in 1969 with a degree in history, and received his law degree from the American University Washington College of Law. Last year UMKC presented Katz with an honorary degree, Doctor of Philosophy Honoris Causa, recognizing him as an outstanding alumnus.

“Ambassador Katz represents the best that UMKC hopes to see in a graduate – an informed and caring world citizen who strives to make a difference,” Chancellor Leo E. Morton said in a statement, released Monday.

Katz’s appointment is effective Sept. 1. Among his courses will be one that traces the evolution of presidential campaigns and partisanship from 1960 through President Barack Obama’s winning campaign machine.

Obama nominated Katz to ambassador in 2009, the same year Katz was was honored by the Environmental Defense Fund and the Florida Wildlife Federation as a “Champion of Climate Change.”

When he was a UMKC student, Katz was student body president and co-founded the Robert F. Kennedy Symposium.

During a campus visit last year as a guest lecturer, Katz told one class that he sometimes surprises himself knowing facts he hadn’t much thought about for some time.

“I ask myself, ‘How did I know that?’ And of course, the answer is that it comes from being a student of history here at this university. Your education provides you with context, and context is everything,” Katz said.

Another new addition to UMKC is Ann Cary, director of the Loyola University New Orleans School of Nursing, who has been chosen dean of UMKC’s recently re-named School of Nursing and Health Studies.

The name was changed to reflect an expansion of programs offered.

Cary will replace retiring dean Lora Lacey-Haun, who led the school since 2004, and has been a member of the faculty for 32 years.

Before landing at Loyola, Cary directed online programs for the School of Public Health and Health Science and the School of Nursing at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.

Cary officially starts Aug. 1.