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A mass media professor who was caught on video trying to block a student journalist from filming activists last fall has been fired, the University of Missouri announced Thursday.
Melissa Click made national headlines when a video of her attempting to kick out a campus reporter during protests at the University of Missouri went viral. In the video, Click can be heard yelling "I need some muscle over here!" as she tries to boot the journalist.
"The board believes that Dr. Click’s conduct was not compatible with university policies and did not meet expectations for a university faculty member," Pam Henrickson, chair of the University of Missouri Board of Curators, said in a statement.
Interfering with members of the media and students exercising their rights, Henrickson added, "demands serious action."
The protest, organized by a group called Concerned Student 1950, came after a series of racist incidents on campus. The student reporter, Mark Schierbecker, told Click he had a right to cover the event — but Click covered his camera with her hand and told him, "I get that argument, but you need to go."
Click was branded a traitor to her profession by some and in January, she was charged with assaulting Schierbecker. She apologized, and cut a deal with prosecutors last month that kept her out of jail.
The university's decision to fire her came after extensive interviews with more than 20 witnesses and Click herself, who was interviewed twice with a lawyer by her side, Henrickson said.
University of Missouri-Columbia Interim Chancellor Hank Foley called the termination process "not typical."
"But these have been extraordinary times in our university’s history, and I am in complete agreement with the board that the termination of Dr. Click is in the best interest of our university," he said in a statement.