The Latest: Fired Missouri educator defends role in protests

AP News
|
Posted: Feb 25, 2016 6:45 PM

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Latest on the University of Missouri firing an assistant professor who had run-ins with student journalists during campus protests (all times local):

5:10 p.m.

A University of Missouri assistant communications professor fired over her role in student protests last year says she was merely trying to keep the protesters safe.

Top university administrators announced Melissa Click's ouster Thursday, citing her run-ins with police during October protests and with two student journalists weeks later on the Columbia campus.

Click already had been suspended.

Click has said publicly she regretted her actions. And in a document curators released Thursday, she insists in writing that her actions were her often-mischaracterized attempt to keep the black protesters "safe from retaliation."

She says edited video clips of her at the protests did not reflect what she called the "tense" atmosphere.

___

3:30 p.m.

The chairman of the University of Missouri Faculty Council says Melissa Click's firing was an "unfortunate and self-inflicted wound" on the university.

But Ben Trachtenberg, an associate law professor, says the university should have used its normal procedures for reacting to possible faculty misconduct in addressing Click's situation. He says the rules allow the Board of Curators or faculty to file a complaint against a faculty member and then receive a hearing.

Click was suspended after she confronted a student videographer during protests in November on the Columbia campus and called for "some muscle" to move him away from the protesters.

The faculty council's executive committee and the Intercampus Faculty Council had asked the curators to follow the procedures. Trachtenberg says the curators reply didn't address the faculty's comments in detail.

__

3 p.m.

Top University of Missouri administrators say they believe an assistant professor scrutinized for her conduct during campus protests was treated fairly during an internal probe that now has led to her firing.

The university system's governing board of curators voted 4-2 to dismiss Melissa Click without a severance package or other compensation.

During a conference call Thursday, the board's president, Pam Henrickson, told reporters that Click was interviewed twice by investigators, at least once with an attorney.

Click was suspended after she was videotaped calling for "some muscle" to remove a student videographer from protests in November that were spurred by what activists said was administrators' indifference to racial issues.

Click's attorney didn't immediately return a message Thursday.

___

2:05 p.m.

The University of Missouri has fired an assistant professor who was suspended after run-ins with student journalists during protests last year on the Columbia campus.

Top administrators announced Melissa Click's dismissal on Thursday.

Click was suspended after she was videotaped calling for "some muscle" to remove a student videographer from protests in November that were spurred by what activists said was administrators' indifference to racial issues.

More recently, police body camera footage from the October homecoming parade shows Click telling police to get their hands off students and cursing at an officer who grabbed her shoulder.

Click has said she regretted her actions.