The University of Missouri Board of Curators terminated Melissa Click. They have done the right thing. Time will tell if they did it the right way. At any university due process is a critical issue. We don’t know much about exactly how this happened but it will come out. Here is what faculty leaders have said so far:
The Columbia campus faculty council chairman Ben Trachtenberg denounced the dismissal in a statement as “terrible,” saying Ms. Click was entitled to “a fair process.” Faculty council member Angela Speck told the Missourian newspaper that it was “ridiculous” that Ms. Click could be fired “without due process.” Both said at a Thursday meeting that the decision violated Ms. Click’s First Amendment rights, according to the Missourian.
It looks to be another disappointing display for faculty leadership but all the data is not yet in. We hope that the Board of Curators have acted appropriately and that we can just be disappointed in the two faculty members above.
We were involved as a reviewer in a situation where a faculty member was terminated. We found process problems and the termination was reversed and the faculty member was eventually tenured. It was the right decision but with the wrong process and that almost always loses at the university. We take no position on the process as of yet but support the decision. Professor Click deserved to be terminated for her actions. We hope the faculty will investigate the process and, if appropriate, support the decision.
If Professor Click’s termination holds up we will have an interesting quasi experiment. What will be Professor Click’s marketability post-termination? Will her next job be up or down the food chain? That will tell us about universities at this point in time.