Professors association to investigate Melissa Click firing
COLUMBIA - The American Association of University Professors announced Monday afternoon it will investigate the University of Missouri Board of Curators' decision to fire embattled former Associate Professor Melissa Click.
Association leadership met Monday to decide whether it would look into the case. In a statement to KOMU 8 News, AAUP said it will send staff to MU to investigate:
Dr. Julie Schmid, executive director of the American Association of University Professors, today authorized a formal investigation in the case of Professor Melissa Click at the University of Missouri. Last week the board of curators of the University of Missouri system summarily dismissed Professor Click from the UM faculty. Normative practice among American institutions of higher education is that a faculty member with indefinite tenure—or a probationary faculty member within the term of appointment—may be dismissed only following demonstration of cause in an adjudicative hearing before a faculty body.
The investigating committee will consist of three AAUP members from other institutions who will visit Columbia, Missouri, on March 22 and March 23 to meet with administrators, board members, faculty leaders, and Professor Click. After ascertaining the facts and the positions of the principal parties, the investigating committee will determine whether the board in dismissing Professor Click violated the 1940 Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure and derivative AAUP-supported academic procedural standards, whether its actions disregarded the institution’s own stated policies, and whether conditions for academic freedom and tenure at the institution are sound.
Click was fired Feb. 24. Curators listed several reasons for terminating Click, including her conduct during the MU Homecoming parade and during the Nov. 9 protests on MU campus.
At the time of Click's firing, curators said, "The board believes that Dr. Click’s conduct was not compatible with university policies and did not meet expectations for a university faculty member. The circumstances surrounding Dr. Click’s behavior, both at a protest in October when she tried to interfere with police officers who were carrying out their duties, and at a rally in November, when she interfered with members of the media and students who were exercising their rights in a public space and called for intimidation against one of our students, we believe demands serious action."