Professor Melissa Click has been hired as a lecturer by Gonzaga University despite her infamous past. The University of Missouri fired Click in February for attempting to use physical force to prevent a student journalist from entering a protest. The student filmed the altercation, and the video went viral.
Click was an assistant professor of communications at the University of Missouri at the time of the initial incident. She was filmed verbally and physically intimidating a student last November. The student journalist was attempting to record a protest at the university’s flagship campus in the city of Columbia. The school’s Concerned Student 1950 Camp held the demonstration according to the Kansas City Star. This student organization had planned a series of protests against the university administrators’ indifference towards racial issues. The activists eventually gained the support of the entire football team, whose members refused to play until their demands were met. This resulted in the resignation of the university’s president of all four campuses and the chancellor of its main campus in Columbia.
In the video, Melissa is seen shouting at the student videographer in a very angry tone. She tells him that he cannot film the protest and that he must turn around and leave. After he observes that he is within his rights to document the demonstration, Click becomes noticeably angrier. She then calls for “some muscle” to help her physically intimidate the journalist. As the video ends, Melissa Click is seen putting her hands on the student.
After the video went viral, hundreds of students, parents, professors, and lawmakers began bombarding the university with calls and emails calling for Melissa’s termination. According to the Chicago Tribune, Click was charged with misdemeanor assault for the confrontation, but a Columbia prosecutor ultimately agreed to drop the case if Click completed community service. Shortly after this video was released, another video of the professor at a previous protest was released in which she is seen shouting profanity at a police officer.
The university’s Board of Curators eventually fired Click in February without allowing her the series of hearings outlined in the school’s official rulebook. According to the American Association of University Professors, the board of curators did not provide Click with due process. However, Melissa has yet to file a wrongful termination lawsuit.
Despite this controversial past, the administration at Gonzaga University has decided to hire Click. FOX News reports that she was offered a one-year, non-tenure track contract as a lecturer in the communications department. According to Elisabeth Mermann-Jozwiak, the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Gonzaga, the university is well aware of Click’s past; nevertheless, they are confident that she will make a good addition to their communications department because she is quailed and published. Mermann-Jozwiak also noted that the board at Gonzaga believes that Click has learned from her mistakes at Missouri, and that Click will, “uphold the rigorous standards of academic excellence demanded of Gonzaga faculty and students.”
Why do you think Gonzaga University decided to hire Click for this position? Is it believable that she was the only qualified candidate? Do you think the administrators made this decision as a publicity stunt? Leave your comments below! For more CDA News, follow our tweets on Twitter and like us on Facebook.
By T. L. Perez
Photo Courtesy YouTube