COLUMBIA, Mo. – University of Missouri Chancellor Hank Foley held a press conference Monday afternoon to address Professor Melissa Click’s assault charge, saying that termination is not in the question until her tenure is decided.
Tenure for Click is said to be decided on Aug. 1. In the meantime, a task force of “legal and constitutional scholars” will attempt to clarify the events of Nov. 9, where Click called for “muscle” to remove photographers attempting to cover racially-motivated protests on the campus.
If tenure is denied, Click will have one year to leave the university, according to Provost Garnett Stokes.
Foley said tenure is based on “scholarship, teaching, and service,” and that this additional layer is not usual in consideration. Foley later called Click “a model citizen in other ways,” citing the Class C misdemeanor as her first and only offense.
Foley did not comment when another reporter questioned if the charge was appropriate, however, Foley did say the University will “protect the learning environment of our students.”
Foley believes Click is not dangerous to students.
“Dr. Click is frankly aggrieved by this situation,” said Foley, explaining she acted in a moment of anger. “There is the risk that (Click’s classroom) could become an awkward, odd learning environment.”
Foley said that Click has not returned to the classroom, but that the dean and department chair decided she should work from home.
The assault has been a topic among legislators, many of which who signed a letter calling for her resignation in light of the incident.