The University of Missouri has dismissed Melissa Click, the professor who tried to block a student journalist from an on-campus protest and asked for “muscle” to brought in.
During a demonstration by an activist group in November, assistant professor of communications Dr. Click was caught on camera trying to stop a student reporter from getting close enough to take photos. “Who wants to help me get this reporter out of here? I need some muscle over here,” she says in a video of the incident.
The university’s Board of Curators suspended Click and opened an investigation last month, which resulted in her dismissal on Thursday.
“After reviewing the report and Dr. Click’s response, and, after extensive discussion, the board voted last night in executive session to terminate the employment of Dr. Click,” the board’s chairwoman Pam Hendrickson said in a statement. “She has the right to appeal her termination.”
“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,” the statement continued. “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 university’s Interim Chancellor Hank Foley also released a statement, expressing “complete agreement” with Hendrickson and the decision. “Her actions in October and November are those that directly violate the core values of our university,” he said.
“When I watch it, I am embarrassed and sorry,” Hendrickson told the New York Times in a recent interview. “I see someone dealing with a high-stress situation who gets flustered. I see a moment where I feel like I’m not representing my best self, and I see somebody who’s trying to do her best to help marginalized students.”