One day after the resignations of Timothy M. Wolfe, president of the University of Missouri System, and R. Bowen Loftin, chancellor of the system’s flagship campus in Columbia, I realized one more academic affiliated with the state’s largest university should resign or be fired immediately. Her name is Dr. Melissa Click.
An assistant professor of mass media who earned her doctorate at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst in 2009, Dr. Click is living out her “15 minutes of fame” in large part thanks to the video (above).
Throughout most of the video’s six and one-half minutes, Dr. Click doesn’t appear in the frame, but her voice can be heard clearly over others in the vicinity of Tim Tai, a Mizzou student and freelance journalist working for ESPN. Repeatedly, Dr. Click demands Tai leave the area student protesters (a.k.a., “Concerned Students 1950”) had designated as a so-called “safe zone” for the purpose of waging protests, sans journalists, against alleged racial inequalities on campus.
Only during the final 20 seconds of the video does Dr. Click finally appear, seeming almost apoplectic. A bespectacled redhead dressed in black, she again demands Tai leave the area. When he refuses, she turns away from him and shouts toward a crowd of students a short distance away: “Hey, who wants to help me get this reporter out of here. I need some muscle over here.”
Clearly, the actions of Dr. Click show she has failed to “click” — pun intended — with important elements of our freedom, such as the First Amendment of the Constitution. Likewise, this academic loose cannon’s actions — aimed at preventing a journalist from doing his job — reflect poorly upon the UM School of Journalism — one of the top journalism schools in the country, by the way — where she is listed as a faculty member. See update below!
As a result, I hope she takes my advice and resigns before returning to Amherst where, perhaps, she can work on furthering her education. According to her curriculum vitae on this page, her first doctoral dissertation was titled, “It’s ‘a good thing’: The commodification of femininity, affluence and whiteness in the Martha Stewart phenomenon.”
I will not, however, hold my breath in anticipation of either her resignation or firing, because I doubt either will happen as “higher education” seems an oxymoron at Mizzou (a.k.a., “Ferguson West”).
UPDATE 11/10/2015 at 2:22 p.m. Central: It appears as if the folks at Mizzou might be listening to me. Sort of. According to a new article in the Columbia Missourian, Missouri School of Journalism faculty were voting today to revoke a courtesy appointment for Dr. Click that allows her to serve on the graduate committees of students from the School of Journalism while she teaches mass media in the Department of Communications, part of MU’s College of Arts & Science. Kind of confusing, but it’s a start. The fact she’s not a faculty member of the J-School restores my confidence in that school just a tiny bit.