The suspended University of Missouri assistant professor who was charged with misdemeanor assault stemming from a confrontation with two student journalists during November’s campus protests reached a deal Friday with prosecutors, getting community service but no jail time or fines if she stays out of trouble for a year.
Columbia city prosecutor Steve Richey said he decided to forego pursuing the misdemeanor assault case against assistant communications professor Melissa Click, who has pledged no further illegal behavior for a year and to complete 20 hours of community service, he said in a statement.
If Click fails to comply, “prosecution of the case will resume at that point,” Richey said, adding that he believes “this disposition to be appropriate.” Click was charged Monday, and could have faced up to 15 days in jail.
Click, who seeking tenure with the university, did not respond to an email seeking comment Friday. Her university voicemail was full, and her home number was disconnected.
The university system’s governing board of curators suspended Click on Wednesday and ordered an investigation by its general counsel to determine whether additional discipline “is appropriate,” board chairwoman Pam Henrickson said in a statement.
A message regarding whether Friday’s action would affect the suspension was left with Hendrickson’s law office.
Click had a confrontation with a student photographer and a student videographer during the Nov. 9 protests at the Columbia campus over what some saw as university leadership’s indifference to racial issues. Click called out to recruit “some muscle” from protesters to help remove the videographer, Mark Schierbecker.
That same day, the president of the four-campus University of Missouri system and the Columbia campus’ chancellor resigned over the unrest.
Click later said publicly she regretted her actions. She also apologized to Schierbecker, all journalists and the university community for detracting from the students’ efforts to improve the racial climate on the Columbia campus.
A message left Friday on Schierbecker’s cellphone was not immediately returned.