Column: Foley’s change of opinion
The interim Chancellor shouldn’t have publicly assured Click’s job would be protected.
Mar. 02, 2016
The opinions expressed by The Maneater columnists do not represent the opinions of The Maneater editorial board.
Interim Chancellor Hank Foley was unable to make a solid opinion on former associate professor Melissa Click, which lead to some angry faculty and students questioning Foley’s leadership.
According to previous Maneater reporting, Foley held a press conference Jan. 25 to discuss Click’s position at MU where he assured MU that Click would not lose her job before the tenure process was completed. He also defended Click’s actions in the video of her asking for some “muscle” by saying he believed “Click had a moment of ‘heated anger,” The Maneater reported.
However, after the (second) video of Click’s exchange with a police officer at the Homecoming parade came to Foley’s attention, his opinion on Click and her behavior drastically changed. Foley made a statement in regards to the newfound video.
“(Click’s) actions caught on camera last October, are just another example of a pattern of misconduct by Dr. Click — most notably, her assault on one of our students while seeking ‘muscle’ during a highly volatile situation on Carnahan Quadrangle in November,” Foley’s statement read according to past Maneater reporting.
Proceeding Click’s termination Feb. 25, Foley made a statement saying he agreed with the Board of Curators’ decision. The complete turnaround of Foley’s opinion of Click had caused a disrupt.
I can not think poorly of a man who is flexible with his opinion. Flexibility, especially with one’s opinion, is a trait I find valuable, humble and intelligent. I believe it shows a person’s ability to constructively think and take everything he has at his disposal into consideration before concluding to an opinion rather than allowing himself to settle for the possibly preconceived notion he already has created.
With that in mind, I do not agree with faulting Foley for his change in opinion on Click’s actions. Foley was presented with more evidence of Click’s character, making him see her differently, which is human and OK.
Consequently, the issue I have with Foley’s actions is the fact that he essentially promised a woman’s job would not be taken from her and then did not follow through. Foley never should have assured the public that Click’s position at MU would be saved. He did have the ability to share his opinion about Click and how, at the time, he did not believe she should lose her job over the first video without assuring that her job wouldn’t be taken from her.
To avoid disdain, he should have given himself room for a public change in opinion by not assuring Click would not lose her job. It was early in the situation, and Foley should have known better than to make an absolute statement like that because now he must deal with the consequences of his change of opinion.
Foley’s overall indecision about Click and whether or not she should have stayed at MU would be excusable if he had not assured her job would not be taken from her. For that, I must hold Foley accountable for a lack of sense.