The University of Missouri has fired professor Melissa Click who was captured on camera scuffling with police and student journalists during protests last year.
The board voted 4-2 in favor of firing the Assistant Professor of Communication, who had been suspended with pay from the school since Jan. 27. Click can appeal the suspension.
“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,” said Chairwoman Pam Henrickson, who voted against Click’s termination, in a statement viewed by The Columbia Tribune. “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.”
Click first entered the public eye back in November when video surfaced of her arguing with a student journalist attempted to cover campus protests over perceived racial issues. During the video, Click grabs the journalist’s camera and then asks “can I get some muscle over here” to help remove him from the protest area, despite it being public property. A second video has recently come to light showing Click during an October 10 video, inserting herself between a police officer and a “campus activist” who was blocking the parade route. Click is seen yelling at the officers to “get your hands off the children”.
“The process the Board of Curators used to reach a determination about Dr. Click’s employment at the university is not typical — but these have been extraordinary times in our university’s history, and I am in complete agreement with the board that the termination of Dr. Click is in the best interest of our university,” Foley wrote in a statement obtained by The Missourian. “Her actions in October and November are those that directly violate the core values of our university. I can assure you — as Board Chairwoman Henrickson noted — that there has been fairness in this process and investigation.”
Despite Click’s admission that she “made mistakes. But my intention was to, like other faculty and staff, to support a student group that was expressing that they had been excluded from MU, the MU community” during an interview this month, some people are unhappy with the result. Faculty Council member Angela Speck said it was “ridiculous that she should be fired without due process.”