Pam Henrickson, chair of the University of Missouri Board of Curators, released the following statement today:
The Board of Curators continues to stand behind our actions, which were in the best interests of the University, regarding Dr. Melissa Click’s misconduct. As the AAUP’s report acknowledges, this case did not involve a denial of Dr. Click’s academic freedom. But the AAUP’s report disregards the seriousness of her misconduct and reaches inconsistent and unsupported conclusions. The facts of this case could not be more clear and the Board’s full response to the final AAUP report will provide detailed facts that support our actions.
Fact: Dr. Click assaulted a student and encouraged others to physically intimidate him; excluded people from a public space where they had a right to be present; and interfered with freedom of the press at the University that is home to the world’s oldest journalism school.
Fact: The Board provided Dr. Click due process throughout the review, including multiple opportunities to respond on her own behalf, suggest favorable witnesses for interviews and provided her with advanced reports for her comments.
Fact: The Board’s decision to consider the case came after existing faculty processes failed to address her misconduct. After initiating and reviewing an objective fact investigation, which exonerated Dr. Click on some allegations, the Board acted in the best interests of the University. We have stated repeatedly that this case is not setting a precedent for future actions related to faculty discipline.
The Board respectfully disagrees with the AAUP’s conclusion that academic freedom is threatened. The University will continue to hold our faculty in high regard and to respect the policies and procedures in place to ensure academic freedom and due process.
To access the Board’s full response to AAUP’s report, please go to https://umsystem.edu/ums/news/news_releases/051916_response.