MU Communications professor resigns, following fallout from trying to stop a reporter covering campus protest

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COLUMBIA, MO (KTVI)- The MU Dean of Journalism announced Tuesday that the courtesy title for a Communications professor is in the process of being removed.

Video taken Monday shows Assistant Professor Melissa Click confronting journalists, blocking their access to Monday protests on the Columbia, MO campus.

Student protesters were bringing attention to their feelings that that university had not responded adequately to recent reports of racism on campus. The protesters gained the support of the Mizzou football team over the weekend and the actions eventually led to the resignations of Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin and President Tim Wolfe on Monday.

Dean David Kurpius praised photojournalism senior Tim Tai for how he handled himself while trying to gain access to the protest site. He was working as a freelancer for ESPN on Monday when protesters blocked his access to the campsite on the Carnahan Quad as he tried to get reaction to the resignations.

Click is a member of the MU Communications Department, and holds a courtesy appointment in the School of Journalism. Dean Kurpius said that appointment is being reviewed.

Late Tuesday, Melissa Click released the following statement:

Yesterday was an historic day at MU—full of emotion and confusion. I have reviewed and reflected upon the video of me that is circulating, and have written this statement to offer both apology and context for my actions. I have reached out to the journalists involved to offer my sincere apologies and to express regret over my actions. I regret the language and strategies I used, and sincerely apologize to the MU campus community, and journalists at large, for my behavior, and also for the way my actions have shifted attention away from the students’ campaign for justice.

From this experience I have learned about humanity and humility. When I apologized to one of the reporters in a phone call this afternoon, he accepted my apology. I believe he is doing a difficult job, and I am grateful to have had the opportunity to speak with him. His dignity also speaks well to the Journalism program at MU. Again, I wish to express my sincere apology for my actions on Carnahan Quad yesterday.”

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