University of Missouri Interim President Mike Middleton says Mizzou will have to live with being on the American Association of University Professors’ censure list, but he says the university will work hard to get off that list. Middleton spoke at a National Press Club event Tuesday in Washington, D.C. about Race and Equality on Campus.
The Association is censuring the university for the Board of Curators’ firing of former professor Melissa Click. Middleton says the board took an appropriate step.
“The university was really in turmoil and it didn’t appear as if that turmoil would die down unless something were done with professor Click,” Middleton said on CSPAN.
Click was caught on camera calling for “some muscle” to keep a student journalist away from protesters on the Columbia campus last fall.
“The board decided to do what it did. The AAUP, I’m not surprised that they censured us. I don’t think that what the university did had anything to do with Dr. Click’s academic freedom. The AAUP couched their sanction in those terms, but they have a job to do themselves and they did it,” said Middleton.
The AAUP’s decision follows the organization’s report released in May saying the university circumvented rules for faculty discipline and likely caved to political pressure when the school fired Click.