AAUP condemns lack of academic freedom at Mizzou
The University of Missouri (Mizzou) has been censured for the firing of former communications professor Melissa Click.
The American Association of University Professors (AAUP) voted unanimously Saturday to place Mizzou on its censure list, a warning to potential faculty members that the AAUP cannot guarantee academic freedom or due process at an institution.
This comes after an investigation launched by the AAUP in March found that Melissa Click was fired because of political pressure, largely because of the state legislature.
Click was seen on video calling for muscle to remove a student journalist from a protest camp set up by members of Concerned Student 1950 last fall. She also grabbed the student’s camera and mocked him while escorting him out of the camp.
A report issued by the AAUP claims undue political interference was responsible for Click’s ousting, and “most would assume that [political pressure] had a significant, if not decisive, impact on the decision to terminate Professor Click’s appointment.”
The AAUP also alleges that “the threat of such interference continuing and even worsening is genuine.”
Video later surfaced of her berating members of the Columbia Police Department after joining Concerned Student in a protest by blocking the Mizzou homecoming parade. In response, over 100 Missouri lawmakers issued a letter to the University’s Board of Curators demanding Click’s removal in January.
Click also faced legal trouble stemming from the confrontation with the student journalist. She was suspended from her position at the university after Columbia Prosecutor Josh Richey filed an assault charge against her, though charges were later dropped after Click agreed to a deferred prosecution deal involving community service.
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