A University of Missouri assistant professor who served in the department of communications has resigned her post after video captured her calling for “some muscle” to get rid of a reporter trying to cover the campus chaos.
Melissa Click had been given a “courtesy appointment” at the School of Journalism, which allowed her to serve on student thesis review panels, the New York Times reported. But her appointment was called into question after she was seen amid the bevy of student protesters calling for the removal of journalists on campus trying to cover the scene.
“Journalism school faculty members are taking immediate action to review that appointment,” said David Kurpius, the dean of the school, in a statement reported by the newspaper.
Kurpius also said Click didn’t teach at the school, but rather only served in a lesser advisory and assistant role.
Click said in a statement on Facebook: “I regret the language and strategies I used and sincerely apologize to the M.U. campus community and journalists at large for my behavior, and also for the way my actions have shifted attention away from the students’ campaign for justice.”
The New York Times said she had called the journalists she screamed at personally to apologize.
The protesters, including Click, had called for a “safe space” at the site of campus protests that was free of media. A widely seen video showed one photographer, Tim Tai, surrounded by shoving protesters. When the cameraman, who identified himself as a member of the media, refused Click’s demands to leave, she was captured on tape shouting: “Who wants to help me get this reporter out of here? I need some muscle over here.”
The newspaper reported Tai had accepted Click’s apology.
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The university, meanwhile, stood by Tai, as well as the rights of other journalists to cover the rallies.
“The Missouri School of Journalism is proud of photojournalism senior Tim Tai for how he handled himself during a protest on Carhahan Quad on the University of Missouri campus,” Kurpius wrote in his statement. “For clarification, assistant professor Melissa Click, featured in several videos confronting journalists, is not a faculty member in the Missouri School of Journalism. She is a member of the MU Department of Communications in the College of Arts and Science.”