Fired Mizzou Professor Melissa Click Joins Gonzaga Faculty

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Blake Neff Reporter
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Melissa Click, the disgraced University of Missouri (MU) professor who was fired for attacking a student journalist, is back in action after being hired as a lecturer by Gonzaga University.

Click won infamy nationwide for her behavior during race-related protests at MU in November 2015. When a student journalist tried to cover the public protests, Click physically confronted him, saying he had no right to be there and needed to “get out.” When the journalist resisted, Click called for “some muscle” to try forcing him back.

The student’s video of Click quickly went viral, and attracted the attention of Missouri lawmakers, more than 100 of whom signed a petition demanding Click’s termination. Click herself was eventually hit with misdemeanor assault charges, which were dropped after she agreed to perform community service. Initially, the school said Click’s fate would be decided during her tenure hearing in August, but in February the school’s board gave in to outside pressure and fired her.

Since her firing, Click has been defended by American Association of University Professors, which complained she was improperly fired without receiving due process. Click, for her part, claimed she was fired because she is a white woman and was an “easy target.”

In the end, Click’s departure from academia lasted a mere four months. The Gonzaga Bulletin reported Friday that Click has been hired on a one-year contract to work as a lecturer in the communications department. The hire was apparently made in late June, and Click will be teaching four sections of an introductory class this fall. Unlike Click’s previous post, the job is not tenure-track.

Communications department chair Jonathan Rossing told the Bulletin that Click was simply the best person for the job.

“She was very transparent and clear about some of the events at Missouri, so there was no surprise or anything,” Rossing said. “After the national search and the screens took place, she emerged as the top candidate based on her record of teaching [and] scholarship.”

Some may question the value of Click’s scholarship, which has delved deeply into subjects such as the Twilight series, Fifty Shades of Grey,  and “the commodification of femininity, affluence and whiteness” by Martha Stewart. (RELATED: The 9 Silliest Parts Of Melissa Click’s Absurd Résumé)

Elisabeth Mermann-Jozwiak, Gonzaga’s Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, also said Click was the best person for the job, and added that she was “confident she has learned much from her experiences at the University of Missouri.”

Click herself told the Bulletin she wasn’t surprised to find herself back in the academy.

“I believe that I have a strong career,” she said. “I’ve proven myself in many areas of academia and, yeah, I was confident that I would find myself in another position.”

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