Former professor Melissa Click has had her termination formally confirmed by the University of Missouri as the state school’s finances wobble in the wake of her request for “muscle” to enforce a school “safe zone” in defiance of the First Amendment of the Constitution.
Enrollment is already down 23 percent painting a “grim picture for fall,” according to local reports.
“It’s a market correction,” said Mark Schierbecker, the University student and photo journalist whose video of Click asking for “muscle” went massively viral, “Students are voting with their feet.”
This time, the school’s official newspaper, the Columbia Missourian actually bothered to report the news on the same day it actually happened, unlike when the viral video raced across the web and the famed journal and its J-School quickly went into ‘public relations mode’.
PINAC readers may recall that Melissa Click was charged in late January with 3rd degree assault after a police investigation of Mark Schierbecker’s complaint. He was a photographer for the University of Missouri’s student run newspaper, “The Maneater” and recorded Click’s assault towards fellow student Timothy Tai and himself.
Click avoided prosecution in exchange for community service and a year probation.
The video of her assault – which you can see below – has nearly three million views today.
“I don’t know which is more incredible — that a Missouri professor with an appointment in the journalism school was urging mob violence against a photojournalist,” commented Miami Herald columnist Glenn Garvin, “or that a Missouri professor was urging mob violence against a student.”
University of Missouri’s journalism school quickly attempted to disown the Professor, whose biography at the time called her a member of the J-School, just like they attempted to disown hypocritical stand that Melissa Click took hoping to abrogate the First Amendment.
Doesn’t seem to have worked.
Losses have reached $11 per view of the video on YouTube.
The university is preparing a 5 percent across the board budget cut to handle the shortfall.
“Melissa Click has been a stain on this university’s reputation since November. The damage she has done will be affecting everyone she’s left behind,” said Schierbecker, “The university is facing its biggest budget shortfall in recent memory: at least $32 million so far.”
Click was rapidly suspended with pay by the University of Missouri.
Then, she was fired late last month.
“Mizzou” is the birthplace of journalism education in the english speaking world.
But, the University of Missouri’s journalism school never imagined the disaster that would unfold when they gave Mass Media professor Melissa Click a “courtesy appointment” to counsel student newspapers and work with it’s graduate students.
PINAC News’ Alexandra Gatereaux spoke with all of the parties from the Dean of Missouri’s famed J-School down the line, though Click declined her request for interview.
We titled that long form investigative report, “New Media Lesson for Old Media Institution.”
Thirty two million dollars?
That is one outrageously expensive lesson.
Click’s studies and teaching focused on topics such as the “Twilight Series”, the book and movie “50 Shades of Gray” and the performer Lady Gaga.
She wrote a Doctoral dissertation about Martha Stewart at University of Massachusetts, Amherst in 2009, all of which can still be found on the University’s website today.
The former professor originally told University investigators that she assaulted Schierbecker because she was in fear for her life thinking that his small Cannon 110 camera was actually a gun.
Ironically, she told this to University of Missouri’s Board of Curators while fighting for her job:
In her March 4 appeal to the Board of Curators, Click had listed the reasons she disagreed with the board’s decision to fire her.
“I steadfastly believe it would be a violation of my First Amendment rights and my rights to academic freedom to suggest that my interactions on either day provide grounds for the termination of my employment,” Click wrote.
Click sadly still doesn’t understand the difference between First Amendment protected free speech, and conduct by an actor of the state (like a public university professor) which aims actively to curtail the free speech of others.
That is censorship.
Schierbecker had invited Click to exercise her free speech rights after the video went viral, and to publicly apologize to him shortly after the incident, as a part of a broader discussion which would’ve been live broadcast onto the University’s radio station.
But there would be no apology or discussion then, leaving the aggrieved student to wait for the criminal justice system to work, and to lament in our interview today that, “A lot of this could have been prevented had she resigned in November.”