Mizzou Communications Professor Resigns From Appointment After Threatening Reporter

Kerry Picket Political Reporter
Font Size:

University of Missouri faculty member Melissa Click apologized Tuesday night and resigned her courtesy appointment with the Missouri School of Journalism. David Kurpius, dean of the journalism school at MU, posted the news to Twitter just before 9 p.m.

Click’s resignation came one day after she joined protesting students in the school’s quadrangle who were angered over two incendiary on campus incidents, which led to the resignation of both the president of the school and later the chancellor.

A courtesy appointment permits members of one academic department to serve on graduate committees for students from other academic departments. Click teaches mass media in the Communication Department. The School of Journalism is separate from the Communications Department.

Click and Assistant Director of Greek Life Jana Basler were both captured on video verbally intimidating student photographer Tim Tai, who was on a freelance assignment to cover the protests. Towards the tail end of the video, Click asks for “muscle” to deal with the video maker MU junior Mark Schierbecker. The video was later uploaded to YouTube.

“Yesterday was an historic day at MU — full of emotion and confusion. I have reviewed and reflected upon the video of me that is circulating, and have written this statement to offer both apology and context for my actions,” Click said in a statement released to the Columbia Missourian Tuesday afternoon by the College of Arts and Science.

“I have reached out to the journalists involved to offer my sincere apologies and to express regret over my actions. I regret the language and strategies I used, and sincerely apologize to the MU 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,”she said in the statement.

Tai told The Huffington Post that Click had apologized to him, and said she was “very gracious.”

“I don’t have — and never had — bad feelings against her and feel bad that she’s been receiving threats and other nasty messages,” Tai told HuffPost. “I wish she had handled the situation differently, but as a journalist it really just became part of the scene I was presented with and I never took her or anyone else’s actions personally.”