Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Assault Charge Filed against MU Professor

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Assault Charge Filed against MU Professor

Article excerpt

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- An interim chancellor on Monday rebuffed demands for the ouster of an assistant University of Missouri professor that have been rekindled in the wake of her being criminally charged for a campus run-in with student journalists during protests.

Hank Foley, who oversees the four-school system's campus in Columbia, said the university "must allow due process to play out" and won't rush when it comes to determining Melissa Click's future at the school, including a decision on tenure.

"For those of you calling for hasty action, I say that we have good, strong processes in place," Foley said at a news conference.

Click, 45, was charged with misdemeanor assault earlier Monday. The assistant communications professor faces up to 15 days in jail and a fine up to $300 if convicted. The charge is related to a confrontation she had with a student photographer and a student videographer in November during protests over what some saw as indifference to racial issues.

Click called for "some muscle" to help remove the videographer, Mark Schierbecker, from the protest area. Schierbecker's video of the run-in went viral, and he complained to university police.

The confrontation came the same day the university system's president and the Columbia campus' chancellor resigned.

Click later said publicly that she regretted her actions, and that she apologized to Schierbecker and all journalists and the university community for detracting from the students' efforts to improve the Columbia campus' racial climate. Foley said Monday that Click "is quite aggrieved by this," and he called her legal troubles the result of a "moment of heated anger."

When asked about the prospect of Click being fired before her tenure process is completed later this year, Foley replied: "No. Not going to happen. …

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