The University of Missouri Board of Curators announced Wednesday night it is suspending University of Missouri assistant professor Melissa Click. Chair of the Board of Curators Pam Henrickson issued this statement following a nearly four hour special meeting:
“MU Professor Melissa Click is suspended pending further investigation. The Board of Curators directs the General Counsel, or outside counsel selected by General Counsel, to immediately conduct an investigation and collaborate with the city attorney and promptly report back to the Board so it may determine whether additional discipline is appropriate.”
This comes after more than 100 state legislators called for Click to be fired, and one curator made public comments about how he thought she should be fired, too. MU Interim Chancellor Hank Foley held a press conference Monday saying no decision would be made on Click's employment until after she went through the tenure review process, which had already begun.
Click had a confrontation with a student videographer on Nov. 9 during protests over what some saw as university leadership's indifference to racial issues. Click called for "some muscle" to help remove the videographer from the protest area on the Columbia campus. The confrontation happened on the day University of Missouri System President Tim Wolfe and MU Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin resigned.
Click has pleaded not guilty to a misdemeanor assault charge stemming from her confrontation with the student journalist. A spokesperson for Columbia's city prosecutor says an attorney for Melissa Click entered the not guilty plea on Click's behalf Tuesday in municipal court. Click's arraignment was waived. Another court appearance is scheduled for Feb. 16.
Update: The Executive Committee of the MU Faculty Council on University Policy has released a statement requesting that Click's investigation be conducted under the supervision of official bylaws instead of under the Board of Curators' broad authority.