COLUMBIA, Mo. • A suspended University of Missouri assistant professor who drew national attention for her run-ins with student journalists during race-related protests at the university last year…is facing a new round of criticism after The Columbia Missourian posted a second video on Saturday from a homecoming protest last fall at Mizzou.
In it, she can be seen yelling an obscenity at a police officer attempting to move protesters, including Click, off of a street where they were blocking a car carrying then-University of Missouri System President Timothy M. Wolfe
The new footage prompted a statement Sunday from Interim Chancellor Hank Foley that said:
“Last night, like many in our community, I watched newly released footage of Dr. Melissa Click directing a verbal assault against members of the Columbia Police Department during the homecoming parade in October 2015. Her conduct and behavior are appalling, and I am not only disappointed, I am angry, that a member of our faculty acted this way. Her actions caught on camera last October, are just another example of a pattern of misconduct by Dr. Click—most notably, her assault on one of our students while seeking ‘muscle’ during a highly volatile situation on Carnahan Quadrangle in November. We must have high expectations of members of our community, and I will address these new revelations with the Board of Curators as they work to complete their own review of the matter.”
In a series of recent interviews, the assistant communications professor has expressed contrition and said she wants to stay at Missouri.
“My mistake is just one part of who I am,” she told The Columbia Missourian. “I want to stay at MU. I deserve to be heard and I deserve to be treated fairly, and I’m going to fight to be treated fairly.”
Melissa Click just cannot catch a break. That’s the downside of the internet age I guess…get caught on tape berating and assaulting a student reporter calling “muscle” over to whoop his ass for doing his job and covering your protest that you’re holding in a public campus quad…have it replayed over and over again on Youtube for the rest of time. Have everybody know your name…so when somebody just happens to unearth a video from last year’s Homecoming of you screaming and cursing at police officers, they know they have viral gold on their hands.
I think this is actually the best part though:
Melissa Click…has been working with a public relations firm to try to repair her image and says she hopes to keep her job.
Click’s effort to modify her image is being handled by Status Labs, a Texas-based online reputation management firm. Status Labs contacted Click in January after she was suspended and is helping “get her side of the story out there efficiently,” senior media director Lacy Rushin said in an email.
The company has provided black and white portraits of her, which contrast with the widely circulated photo of an angry Click pulled from Schierbecker’s video. After the interviews, the company plans to try to create a “new media cycle” for Click by feeding new content to the first page of her Google search results. The company also plans to target students, faculty and administrators on social media to promote its message, Rushin said.
Ahhh yes, that will do it. Money well spent. Black and white photos. As opposed to the “widely circulated” one…which one do you think they’re talking about? Oh, this one?
Just a shame that this expensive PR company was focused on taking new headshots instead of scrubbing public Youtube videos of Melissa Click cursing out police officers.
I like Click’s point though. She “deserves to be heard, and treated fairly” and “her mistake is just one part of who she is.”
What reflects a person’s true character better – two videos of them acting naturally without knowing they’re being filmed, or the researched and manufactured image that comes from a high priced professional Public Relations company?