COLUMBIA — MU assistant professor of communication Melissa Click's interaction with a Columbia police officer during the university's Homecoming Parade on Oct. 10 warrants a conversation with the University of Missouri System Board of Curators, MU Interim Chancellor Hank Foley said Sunday night in an emailed statement.
"Her conduct and behavior are appalling, and I am not only disappointed, I am angry, that a member of our faculty acted this way," Foley said in a release from the MU News Bureau. "Her actions caught on camera last October, are just another example of a pattern of misconduct by Dr. Click—most notably, her assault on one of our students while seeking ‘muscle’ during a highly volatile situation on Carnahan Quadrangle in November."
Foley referenced body camera footage in which Click steps in between a police officer and MU graduate student and activist Jonathan Butler. In the video, Click tells the police officers to "get your hands off the children" and later curses at an officer who grabbed her shoulder. A video of the interaction was published Saturday after the Missourian obtained it through an open records request.
"We must have high expectations of members of our community, and I will address these new revelations with the Board of Curators as they work to complete their own review of the matter,” Foley said in his statement.
Click was suspended from her university position on Jan. 27, two days after City Prosecutor Steve Richey filed a misdemeanor assault charge against Click in connection with her actions on Nov. 9. After former UM System President Tim Wolfe resigned, Click was filmed calling for "some muscle" to remove MU student and independent journalist Mark Schierbecker from inside a human wall keeping journalists from the Concerned Student 1950 camp on the Mel Carnahan Quadrangle.
In an interview Friday with the Missourian, Click admitted she made a mistake and said she would "fight to be treated fairly" as she moves to regain her job. As part of her suspension, she has been banned from setting foot on the MU campus.
On Jan. 29, the city prosecutor announced he would drop the criminal charge in a year as long as Click completes community service, but Click remained suspended from her teaching position pending a review by the UM System Board of Curators.