Melissa Click: Mizzou Interim Chancellor Won't Rush Decision on EmploymentBy Russell Westerholm
The University of Missouri's interim chancellor is emphasizing patience in determining Melissa Click's future with the school.
Click was charged with simple assault for pushing a student holding a camera in order to stop him from covering demonstrations on MU's campus in November. Before that, two Mo. lawmakers called for Click and another professor who took similar action to be fired.
Speaking publicly on Click's situation, MU interim chancellor Hank Foley stated he would "allow due process to play out," according to The Associated Press.
"For those of you calling for hasty action, I say that we have good, strong processes in place," he said at a news conference Monday.
Click's misdemeanor charge carries a maximum punishment of 15 days in jail and a $300 fine. In addition to putting her hands on the student journalist, Click asked for "some muscle" to help keep him away from the campus (video below).
"The City Prosecutor obviously had a lot to weigh," Mark Schierbecker, the student who filed the complaint, told The Huffington Post. "I'm happy an informed choice was made rather than an expedient one."
Click has since apologized for actions and indicated her emotions got the best of her. Foley backed up her apology, stating the professor "is quite aggrieved by" the fallout from her actions.
MU started tenure proceedings with Click in September and Foley stated her employment status would not be decided before that is complete, The Columbia Missourian reported. Foley appointed a task force of school police representatives, administrators, students, and legal experts to review Click's actions and recommend potential action.
Foley recognized the situation of a professor facing an assault charge while being considered for tenure may well be unprecedented at MU, the newspaper reported. He said the assault charge would be considered, but her participation in the protests would not.