Officials at the University of Missouri’s flagship campus in Columbia have finally rid themselves of the administrator and the professor who physically and verbally attacked student journalists during the eruption of Black Lives Matter protests that rocked the school’s campus in November 2015.
The firing of both taxpayer-funded employees — mass communication professor Melissa Click and senior associate director for Greek life Janna Basler — took 20 months.
Basler, the Greek life director, shoved up against a lone student photographer Tim Tai as he attempted to capture images for a local newspaper.
Scuttlebutt about Basler’s employment status began earlier this month when Mizzou officials announced approximately 400 layoffs in the face of massive state budget cuts and a huge plunge in student enrollment.
Basler’s name — Dr. Janna Basler — was quietly removed from a list of staff members in the student life section of the public school’s website during the reorganization.
Then, on Monday, school officials confirmed to local ABC affiliate KMIZ that Basler had, in fact, finally received walking papers.
Basler’s firing comes some 17 months after Mizzou’s board of curators voted 4-2 to dismiss Click, the taxpayer-funded professor, for threatening student journalist Mark Schierbecker with mob violence because he was attempting to cover on-campus protests.
YouTube video of Click famously shows her calling for “muscle” from an angry mob to help remove Schierbecker.
The protests by a group of radical student activists calling themselves Concerned Student 1950 centered largely on Jonathan Butler, the son of a millionaire railroad executive. Butler went on a hunger strike and convinced 32 black Mizzou football players to boycott all team activities.
There was a poop swastika.
There were false reports of people wearing Ku Klux Klan hoods.
The protests featured lots of camping out on an occupied campus quad, which served as a hub for fomenting unrest.
Basler was loitering among the mob of student protesters when she yelled at and shoved Tai, a Mizzou student and a photographer working for the Missourian.
The taxpayer-funded administrator refused to identify herself when Tai asked her if she worked for the school’s Greek Life office.
Tai was surrounded by a student mob. Basler shoved up against him.
Basler’s star turn begins just before the three-minute mark in the video below.
“Sir, sir, I am sorry. These are people too. You have to back off! You know, back off from my personal space. Back off! Leave these students alone,” Basler said, as she shoved Tai with her body.
“Don’t push me!” Tai responded.
The crowd grew. The students among them began to heckle Tai.
Basler yelled some more at Tai and then shoved at him.
Again, Tai asked Basler not to push him, but Basler accused Tai of pushing her.
“You’re with the office of Greek Life?” Tai asked her incredulously.
“My name is 1950,” Basler responded.
Tai asked again.
“No, my name is Concerned Student 1950,” Basler said.
The students continued to heckle Tai asking why he had to take their photos.
“Because I have a job to do,” Tai said.
Basler interrupted Tai.
“They have a life to live,” the taxpayer-funded school official said. “They have an education and a life to live. They have an education to get and a life to live. Please leave!”
“Hey, I’m a student too,” Tai informed Basler.
Basler dismissed Tai’s student status.
“But, sir, there are more students that are asking you to leave,” Basler said.
Click, the professor who threatens a student cameraman with mob violence in the video above, is the more famous of the two now-departed, taxpayer-funded employees.
Schierbecker, the person behind the camera, asked Click if he could interview her in the midst of a protest on a campus quad.
“No, you need to get out,” the $50,000-a-year, taxpayer-funded professor responded.
When Schierbecker declined to leave, Click grabbed his camera and shook it. “Hey, who wants to help me get this reporter out of here?” Click shouted to the crowd. “I need some muscle over here.” (RELATED: Meet The Sick Mizzou Media Professor Who Threatened A Reporter With MOB VIOLENCE)
Click was an associate professor at Mizzou with an eclectic set of interests that she studied at taxpayer expense included “Twilight,” Martha Stewart, and more — so much more. (RELATED: The 9 Most Preposterous Parts Of Melissa Click’s Absurd Résumé)
Examples of her work include “‘More drinkin’, less thinkin’, fewer teeth, and beer’: Representations of class in CMT’s My Big Redneck Wedding” and “Fifty Shades of postfeminism: Contextualizing readers’ reflections on the erotic romance series.”
Click eventually apologized for her altercation with the Mizzou student journalist, but her stunt made her a major liability. Over 100 lawmakers had signed a petition demanding that she be fired. A state budget proposal included a provision to defund Click’s salary specifically.
School officials finally suspended Click in January 2016 after she was prosecuted on a minor assault charge related to the incident with the student journalist. Click made a plea deal to perform 20 hours of community service and avoid jail time.
Concerned Student 1950, the group that led MU’s campus protests, has defended Click as a martyr for the cause of civil rights.
Click took a job at Gonzaga University after she was canned. In a lengthy and sympathetic profile in The Chronicle of Higher Education, Click claimed that sinister forces took away her job to send a warning to black people. “This is all about racial politics,” she asserted. “I’m a white lady. I’m an easy target.”
“I was the one held accountable,” the taxpayer-funded professor who called for “muscle” to descend upon a student whined.
Prior to her time in the limelight, Click seemed to enjoy confrontation — a lot. Video from still another altercation later surfaced showing Click yelling and cussing at cops during Mizzou’s homecoming parade.
Emails from the University of Missouri’s computer network obtained by HeatStreet show that the activists who led the protests on Mizzou’s campus demanded generators and a fire pit to keep themselves warm and cozy as they camped out in tents on the campus quad during chilly November nights. School officials helpfully provided additional electricity.
Mizzou has been reeling financially — and losing students — since the protests.
Applications to Mizzou applications for this academic year were way, way down. The school lost a staggering 23 percent of its freshman class. To contain costs and to reflect its shrinking population, school officials shuttered several dormitories.
The taxpayer-funded school also announced it was facing the prospect of a gigantic $32 million budget shortfall.
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