The University of Missouri Board of Curators on Thursday fired Professor Melissa Click, who asked for “some muscle” to be used on a student journalist during anti-racism protests last fall. Curators received last week an investigative report on Click’s actions during that protest and on when Click was seen on camera cursing at a police officer during last fall’s homecoming parade.
Board chair Pam Henrickson said the decision was based on an investigative report about Click’s conduct, not political pressure from state lawmakers.
Missouri House republican budget leaders proposed this week stripping $7.6-million from the University of Missouri system’s administration and $400,000 from the flagship campus, which is equivalent of salaries for Click, a communications chair and the dean of arts and science.
“The board respects Dr. Click’s rights to express her views and does not base this decision on her support for students engaged in protests or their views,” said Henrickson. “However, Dr. Click was not entitled to interfere with the rights of others, to confront law enforcement or to encourage potential physical intimidation.”
Interim Chancellor Hank Foley affirmed Henrickson’s position.
“The consideration of action was really based completely on the investigative report and a consideration of our collected rules and regulations, principles and values,” said Foley.
Foley doesn’t think Click’s firing sets a precedent for the way the university will handle faculty behavior in the future.
“What I do think it will do is cause us to give much more thoughtful reflection on our policies and procedures going forward. I think that’s much warranted and this case demonstrates that to me,” said Foley.
Henrickson said if Click wants to appeal the decision, she would have to ask the board to reconsider.
“I can’t say there was much on Dr. Click’s behalf that was compelling,” said Henrickson.
She said Click’s firing does not include a severance package.
Curators Donald Cupps, Maurice Graham and Phil Snowden and David Steelman voted in favor of firing Click, while Henrickson and John Phillips opposed terminating her.