Professor Who Called for 'Muscle' in Missouri University Protests Hired by Gonzaga

PHOTO: Melissa Click, right, an assistant professor in the University of Missouris communications dept. is seen during a run-in with student journalists during protests on the Columbia campus. Top administrators announced they had fired Click.PlayMark Schierbecker via AP Photo
WATCH Threats Put University of Missouri on Alert

A professor who became a center of a controversy around questions of press freedom and campus protests during demonstrations at the University of Missouri earlier this year has been hired by Gonzaga University.

Melissa Click was fired by the University of Missouri in February, after an internal investigation found that she "interfered" with police at a homecoming parade in October and -- a month later -- with students and journalists "who were exercising their rights in a public space."

A profile on Gonzaga's website lists Click as a lecturer in the communications program at the private Catholic university in Spokane, Washington.

Elisabeth Mermann-Jozwiak, dean of Gonzaga's College of Arts and Sciences, said in a statement that officials at the university are "confident she has learned much from her experiences at the University of Missouri," and said Click "has excellent recommendations for both her teaching and scholarship, which includes an extensive record of publication."

In November, Click was recorded calling for "some muscle" to remove a student journalist who was filming in a protest area during demonstrations at the University of Missouri over the treatment of minorities that garnered national attention.

The incident led to police charging her with assault, to which she later pleaded not guilty. She ultimately agreed to community service and pledged good conduct for a year to avoid prosecution.

The recording, which was widely shared on the internet and in the media, followed a run-in with police a month before during the school's homecoming parade, sparked widespread calls for her to be sacked.

Click's conduct became the subject of debates over press freedom and campus protests, including the demonstrations over what some called "institutional racism" at the University of Missouri. Those protests led to the resignation of the university system's president, Tim Wolfe.

In a statement detailing Click's termination in February, the university said that the professor had the right to express her opinions, but that she "was not entitled to interfere with the rights of others, to confront members of law enforcement or to encourage potential physical intimidation against a student."

Click did not immediately respond to ABC News' request for comment for this story.

ABC News' Julia Jacobo, Kelly Stevenson and Meghan Keneally contributed to this report, as did the Associated Press news agency.