With a vote that hopefully closes a painful chapter in the history of the University of Missouri Columbia, on Wednesday, the Board of Curators for the university system voted 4-2 during a meeting in Kansas City, to flat out terminate the employment of Assistant Professor Melissa Click, the woman caught on camera calling for muscle to rid the Black Lives Matter protests of student journalists in November.
In recent weeks, additional video – this time from police body cameras – surfaced of Click cursing police officers during a homecoming parade in October. Given this additional information, the Board of Curators hired independent investigators to uncover more in depth data, and following receipt of that report made their decision. Board of Curators Chairwoman Pam Hendrickson released a statement on Thursday:
“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 said in the prepared statement. “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 has been on leave without pay since late January, and with this move by the Board of Curators is now flat out dismissed with no compensation package. Over 100 members of the state legislature called for Click’s dismissal, and have been in negotiations regarding the university system budgets with that move being part of the discussion. However, according to Hank Foley, the interim chancellor at Mizzou, the flagship campus, it was the entirety of the situation that prompted the Board of Curators to make this move. In past interviews, he has said that Click’s behavior demonstrates a pattern that the university administration found unacceptable.
“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 said. “Her actions in October and November are those that directly violate the core values of our university.”
Click is eligible to appeal her termination. The decision to place her on leave was criticized by the faculty at Mizzou and the American Association of University Professors, more or less the professor’s union.
At this writing, reaction to Click’s termination was not complete.