Melissa Click Fired: University of Missouri Board Votes 4-2 in FavorBy Russell Westerholm, UniversityHerald Reporter
The University of Missouri's Board of Curators voted 4-2 in favor of terminating Melissa Click, an associated professor of communications at the school's Columbia campus.
In a statement released Thursday, the board said it voted on Click's long-term status with the school after reviewing an "investigative report detailing the relevant facts surrounding [Click's] recent conduct." The conduct the board was referring to was captured in a viral video showing Click shoving a student reporter and calling for "muscle" to help move him away from a demonstration on campus.
The Columbia Missourian also obtained footage of Click berating police officers at the school's Homecoming Parade during a demonstration. MU Interim Chancellor Hank Foley condemned her actions in both videos and promised a review.
"The board believes that Dr. Click's conduct was not compatible with university policies and did not meet expectations for a university faculty member," read the statement from board chair Pam Henrickson. "The circumstances surrounding Dr. Click's behavior, both at a protest in October when she tried to interfere with police officers who were carrying out their duties, and at a rally in November, 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.
"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. 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."
MU suspended Click with pay on Jan. 27, The Columbia Daily Tribune reported, while the investigation took place. Click had already started the process of becoming tenured when the video of her went viral. Foley acknowledged the circumstances of Click's termination were "not typical."
Click since apologized publicly and to the student, who is currently pursuing assault charges against her, though they could be dropped under certain circumstances. Click may appeal the board's decision, but it is not clear if she plans to do so.