Gonzaga has built a well-deserved basketball reputation over the last 20 years, and that has raised the academic prominence of the Spokane-based Jesuit school as well. However, the administration just put the university on the national stage for an unnecessary and less-than-desirable reason with classes starting back up this fall.
Evidently of all the potential college-level communications lecturers that might be available across the country, Gonzaga decided to hire one who is best known – and fired – for being anti-communications.
The Spokesman Review broke the story last week, and followed up yesterday, on the hiring of former University of Missouri professor Melissa Click. If you click on your favorite internet search engine, you’ll find out why a foul has been called on Gonzaga administrators for this hiring.
Professor Click earned her 15 minutes of fame for being caught on video trying to intimidate journalists. As the Spokesman described it:
“Click was fired in February after a video of her trying to remove a student journalist from a protest rally on campus in November went viral. The video showed her calling for “muscle” to remove the journalist, who was trying to cover the protest. The rally had been organized in response to racial incidents on campus.”
Now Gonzaga is trying to weather the storm of her hiring, amid threats from alumni to stop donating to the university, among other things. The University released a very vanilla statement as it tries to buy time and hope the controversy subsides, putting out the following:
“We are well aware of the discussion prompted by our hiring of Dr. Melissa Click…We are logging phone calls and emails, and listening closely and carefully to what folks have to say, paying particular attention to members of the Gonzaga University family. We sincerely appreciate that students, alumni and other members of the Gonzaga family care about this University.”
It will be interesting to see how Professor Click appreciates how much Gonzaga alumni care, given they don’t seem to care much for her. Now is the time she could really use some of that “muscle” she called for in her last job.