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MU Faculty Council discusses Click’s firing

Hours after the University of Missouri Board of Curators fires Melissa Click, the MU Faculty Council met at Memorial Union on campus.

Thursday’s meeting was dominated by the topic of Click’s termination.

ABC 17 NEWS has been on the story since Dr. Click’s first known encounter with the media during the November protests that were seen in a video that received national attention.

Interim Chancellor Hank Foley maintained a cool tone as he was peppered by terse questions and comments from faculty members, most of whom disagree with the Board of Curators decision to fire Dr. Click.

Some people in attendance seemed audibly stunned that Chancellor Foley agrees with the decision to fire Dr. Click.

Faculty members raised issues ranging from violation of Constitutional rights to what they call legislative bullying, referencing some members of Missouri lawmaker’s threats to withhold money from the UM System over the Click issue.

Dr. Ben Trachtenberg is the chairman of the MU Faculty Council. He says he understands the council’s anger.

Trachtenberg says, “The issue is not whether you approve of Melissa Click’s conduct. You can be very much against Melissa Click’s conduct and think she ought to have had a fair hearing.” He says the faculty has a huge diversity of opinion on what they thought of Click’s behavior. Trachtenberg says, “Some people were very, very angry with her and thought she deserved to be fired. Some people think she did a great thing and protected students that were at great risk. That’s not the question today. The question is, did she get her fair process. And, in my mind, the answer is no.

Click has defended herself since the very beginning, even employing a reputation management firm to deal with her personnel, legal and media battles. That firm told us Thursday night that Dr. Click is not doing any interviews and has no comment on her termination.

During Thursday’s meeting, some faculty members called the Curators’ decision to terminate Click precipitous and say it’s another black-eye for the university.

According to the letter to Dr. Click from the Board of Curators, Click has until March 4th to submit her response to the 7-page dismissal letter.

Based on that response, the Board says it has the right to reverse its decision to terminate Click.

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