Maybe “using muscle” against student journalists wasn’t the best idea after all
The University of Missouri canned the professor captured on video confronting student journalists during a protest last year, the Washington Post reported.
According to the Columbia Daily Tribune:
Assistant Professor Melissa Click, captured on video calling for “some muscle” to remove reporters from a campus protest site, was fired Wednesday by the University of Missouri Board of Curators, Chairwoman Pam Henrickson said in a prepared statement.
The board voted 4-2 in favor of termination during a closed session in Kansas City, with Henrickson and curator John Phillips opposing the move, UM System spokesman John Fougere wrote in an email Thursday. Curators David Steelman, Donald Cupps, Maurice Graham and Phil Snowden voted in favor of firing Click.
Click did not respond to a message seeking comment Thursday. The board earlier voted to suspend Click with pay on Jan. 27.
“The board respects Dr. Click’s right to express her views and does not base this decision on her support for students engaged in protest or their views,” Henrickson said in the prepared statement. “However, Dr. Click was not entitled to interfere with the rights of others, to confront members of law enforcement or to encourage potential physical intimidation against a student.”
The statement from Henrickson cited Click’s behavior at the Homecoming parade, when she cursed at a police officer who was moving protesters out of the street, and on Nov. 9 at Concerned Student 1950’s protest site on the Carnahan Quadrangle. Her actions at the protest site, Henrickson said, “when she interfered with members of the media and students who were exercising their rights in a public space and called for intimidation against one of our students, we believe demands serious action.”
In January, Melissa Click was charged with class C assault.
Days later she was suspended. As Professor Jacobson wrote in February, “Click claimed this was an aberration and that she’s not really the wacko she appears to be on the video.” And then video of a nasty police confrontation surfaced.
As the Columbia Daily Tribune reported, Click had become an expensive political liability. “The House Budget Committee will consider a spending bill next week that cuts $402,000 from the Columbia campus budget — the amount of Click’s salary as well as that of her department chair and the dean of the College of Arts and Science — and $7.6 million from the UM System’s administrative budget,” they reported.
Click responded calling the firing unfair:
Fired Assistant Professor Melissa Click, in her statement to explain her actions during campus protests, challenged the fairness and accuracy of the investigative report used by the University of Missouri Board of Curators to fire her.
In a five-page statement released along with the investigative report and a statement from Board of Curators Chair Pam Henrickson, Click said she should not be judged based on video recordings of her actions at a Homecoming parade protest and at the Concerned Student 1950 protest site on Carnahan Quadrangle.
“While some would judge me by a short portion of videotape, I do not think that this is a fair way to evaluate these events,” Click wrote. “Those videotaped moments (for which I have formally and publicly apologized) deserve to be understood in a wider frame of reference, among all of the momentous events of the fall semester.”
Follow Kemberlee on Twitter @kemberleekaye