The University of Missouri professor who called for help to prevent a journalist from reporting on student protests on the Columbia campus in November lost her job Thursday. The university’s board of curators voted 4-2 to fire Melissa Click after suspending her a month ago, the Columbia Daily Tribune reported.
The decision came after the board reviewed the results of an investigation into an incident involving Click, an assistant professor of mass media. In early November, Click was caught on camera calling for “some muscle over here” to remove student reporter Mark Schierbecker from the scene of a Concerned Student 1950 protest over mishandled racist incidents on campus, NBC News reported. Another viral video was recently released showing Click arguing with police officers at an October Homecoming event.
Melissa Click terminated by Univ. of MO. Curator Pam Henrickson: "She has the right to appeal her termination." pic.twitter.com/CnOXj4un8h
— Ed Rich (@ksdked) February 25, 2016
The investigators interviewed more than 20 people, including Click, and turned over evidence to the curators, according to a statement from Chairwoman Pam Henrickson. “The board believes that Dr. Click’s conduct was not compatible with university policies and did not meet expectations for a university faculty member,” Henrickson said.
Click, who was also charged with misdemeanor assault, was suspended with pay Jan. 27, preceding Thursday’s vote. She can appeal her firing.
“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 wrote. “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.”
In a response to the report, Click argued that the investigation was incomplete and not a fair way to look at the incidents. “Those videotaped moments (for which I have formally and publicly apologized) deserve to be understood in a wider frame of reference, among all the momentous events of the fall semester,” she said, the Columbia Missourian reported.
On her side was faculty council chairman Ben Trachtenberg, who told the Missourian he thought she should have gone through “a fair process, not one created on the fly.”
Schierbecker reacted to the news, as well:
I have said I would know what I thought about Melissa Click when there was an outcome. I still have no idea.
— Mark Schierbecker (@Schierbecker) February 25, 2016