Former?University of Missouri assistant communications professor Melissa Click is appealing her firing, which occurred recently. Her termination was linked to her participation inside a race-related student protest, making Click believe that her expulsion was political anyway.
Click explained in a statement that her dismissal wasn\’t fair since the university’s officials hadn\’t followed normal school procedures used when reacting to faculty members’ wrongful conduct, according to the Associated Press. Over 100 state legislators required her to be removed, most of whom were Republicans.
“In their decision to terminate my employment, the curators bowed to conservative voices that aim to tarnish my stellar 12-year record at MU,” Click wrote. “Instead of disciplining me for conduct that does not ‘meet expectations for a university faculty member,’ the curators are punishing me for standing with students who have drawn focus on the issue of overt racism at the University of Missouri.”
UM is managed with a Board of Curators comprised of nine members appointed through the governor and on?the recommendation of the Senate. No more than five members may fit in with a single political party, as mentioned on the UM website.
On Monday, the American Association of University Professors announced that three people in the organization would go to the UM campus later in the month to do an investigation into the process used in Click’s firing. Other areas of their research includes finding whether the termination violated her due process rights and if the institution’s conditions for tenure and academic freedom were intact.
Administrators pointed out that the 45-year-old Click had run-ins with cops during the protests that took place in October. They added that she also had altercations with student journalists a couple weeks later, which included a confrontation that was videotaped where she requested “some muscle” to have a videographer removed from the region where the protest was taking place.
Click was recorded asking the police to remove their hands from students who have been publicly objecting and cursing in a police officer who had grabbed her.
Activists declare that the public outcry came after administrators’ exhibited apathy toward campus racial issues. The Columbia chancellor and also the system president resigned within the wake from the protests, which included one student’s hunger strike along with a declaration in the football team they would not play.
Click did apologize for her actions that they claimed?were designed to keep protesters protected from retaliation. But in her statement, she said she\’d not acknowledge fault for her support of African-American students who\’ve been the victims of racism in the University of Missouri.
The rallies against racial issues sent Missouri’s flagship institution of higher education right into a tailspin and started a stream of like protests at universities and colleges across the nation, writes Susan Svrluga from the Washington Post. Lawmakers threatened to chop budgets in the university, but many members of the faculty stood staunchly on Click’s side.
The assistant professor was a factious figure whose actions began debates about academia, freedom of expression, and if the protests were much-needed wake-up calls to prevent racial inequities or perhaps a signal that a university system was at turmoil having a campus population that was in conflict with the rest of the state.