More than 100 faculty members at the University of Missouri have released a letter defending Melissa A. Click, the assistant professor of communication who infamously was caught on video asking for “some muscle” to prevent student journalists from covering protests over racism, The Kansas City Star reports.
The letter, which the professors originally sent last month to administrators on the Columbia campus, was released after more than 100 Republican state lawmakers demanded that the university fire Ms. Click and Janna Basler, the campus’s assistant director of Greek life.
“We wish to state in no uncertain terms our support for Click as a member of the University of Missouri faculty who has earned her position through an outstanding record of teaching and research,” the professors’ letter reads, according to the Star. They went on to call the video incident “at most a regrettable mistake.”
Ms. Click previously apologized, and resigned a courtesy appointment in the university’s journalism school.
In their December 18 letter, the lawmakers demanded that the university “take immediate action to address the inappropriate and criminal actions” of Ms. Click. They went on: “As an academic professional, her first goal should have been to promote a safe and stable learning environment for all students, and to represent the university to the public in a way that strengthens the image of our flagship state institution of higher education. Instead, Professor Click’s comments served to inflame an already caustic situation that was clearly out of line.”
A university representative told the Star that the university would not comment because it is a personnel matter.