Melissa Click fired by Board of Curators

Interim Chancellor Hank Foley: “Her actions in October and November are those that directly violate the core values of our university.”
Courtesy of Lacy Rushin

Melissa Click was fired after the UM System Board of Curators voted 4-2 in a closed meeting on Wednesday.

Board of Curators Chairwoman Pamela Henrickson said Click, an assistant communications professor, was dismissed with no pay or severance. She also said that Click has the right to appeal the decision and ask the board for reconsideration.

“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 in a conference call with press Thursday afternoon.

Interim Chancellor Hank Foley said he agrees with the board that Click’s termination is in the best interest of the university.

“Her actions in October and November are those that directly violate the core values of our university,” Foley said.

Interim UM System President Mike Middleton also said he agreed with the board’s decision.

“Dr. Click’s behavior was inappropriate and unacceptable,” Middleton said.

The board suspended Click on Jan. 27 pending an investigation for her conduct, which included calling for “muscle” to handle a student journalist on Carnahan Quad at the campsite of Concerned Student 1950. Another video of Click taken from the body camera of an MU Police Department officer at the Homecoming parade Oct. 10 later surfaced showing Click shouting an expletive at an officer.

The investigative report on Click was made available to the Board of Curators Feb. 20. Henrickson said in a statement that Click was interviewed twice with legal representation. Click received the report Feb. 12 and submitted a written response to the board on Feb. 19, Henrickson said.

“There was a lot of sorrow and regret and fear,” Click said in an interview with The Maneater earlier this month. “A lot of disappointment with myself, knowing that my behavior in that video isn’t a good representation of me and certainly didn’t represent who I had been that day and who I have been in my 12 years at MU. I was disappointed in myself that the good I had done that day and the good intentions I had brought with me to campus that day weren’t represented in that moment.”

Curator John Phillips and Henrickson were the only two board members who voted against terminating Click, but Henrickson said in the call that she supports the board’s decision.

Henrickson said the board did not take state legislators’ opinions into account when making the decision. She also said that they have not heard from legislators following the executive session.

“A professor at the university is a role model to young people, and I would say the same thing if it was a police officer doing that,” said Rep. Chuck Basye, R-Columbia, at a Feb. 5 town hall meeting. “She was across the line, and she shouldn’t be in that position.”

Concerned Student 1950 protested at the Board of Curators meeting Feb. 4, where they listed reasons they stood with Click. The group has not yet released a statement.

Foley said that Click’s termination is not related to Concerned Student 1950, and he will still be speaking at the Faculty Council meeting later Thursday afternoon.

“We attend a university where caring for and protecting the students results in you being fired,” the Legion of Black Collegians tweeted Thursday.

Courtney Fitzpatrick, Click's spokeswoman, said Click had no comment and is not taking interviews at this time.

The Maneater answered questions from the curators’ lawyers regarding their investigation. Click served on the Student Publications Board, which has no editorial control over The Maneater, and Mark Schierbecker once worked for the paper as a photographer. Click resigned from her publications board position Nov. 10.

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