The Latest: Missouri students taking down encampment

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) The latest on the protests and turmoil over racially charged incidents at the University of Missouri (all times local):

6:30 p.m.

Student protesters at the University of Missouri are removing an encampment in the center of campus that they've called home for more than a week.

Group members and their supporters began breaking down tents, folding up blankets and removing their belongings Tuesday evening as forecasters predicted possible severe weather for Wednesday.

The severe weather threat includes the possibility of tornadoes.

Participants weren't sure whether the tents would return after the severe weather passes.

Students have been protesting the schools' handling of racial issues on campus.

6 p.m.

An assistant professor of communications at the University of Missouri is apologizing for confronting a student who was videotaping during protests on university's campus.

Melissa Click says in the statement released Tuesday that she regrets her actions a day earlier. She is seen in the video challenging student Mark Schierbecker and calling for ''muscle'' to help remove him from the protest area.

Schierbecker was filming a confrontation between a student photographer and protesters, who were preventing him from taking pictures. The confrontation drew national attention and criticism.

Click says she has apologized to Schierbecker and he accepted her apology. She also apologized to all journalists and the university community for detracting from the students' efforts to improve the racial climate on the Columbia campus.


4:30 p.m.

The dean of the Missouri School of Journalism is praising a student photographer who was confronted by protesters trying to block him from recording their demonstration.

Dean David Kurpius said in a statement Tuesday the school was proud of senior Tim Tai, who was trying to take pictures Monday of protesters celebrating after hearing that President Tim Wolfe had resigned. A video of the confrontation has gotten a lot of attention online.

Kurpius said the news media have First Amendment rights to cover public events, and Tai handled himself professionally and with poise.

The statement stresses that Melissa Click, an assistant professor who called for someone to help her physically remove a videographer from the scene, has only a courtesy appointment to the School of Journalism, which was reviewing that appointment Tuesday.


1:30 p.m.

About 200 people have gathered on the University of Missouri campus to hear graduate students decry the school administration's handling of racial issues on campus.

Timothy Love, a black graduate fellow in the English department, called for the school to require courses that address racial issues. He told those at the rally that students have ''a long fight ahead of us.''

Other speakers called for shared governance and urged graduate students to unionize.

The graduate student organization believes that unionization would help all minority student groups on campus and address some equity issues.

Protesters on Monday helped force the resignation of the University of Missouri System's president and the chancellor of its flagship campus, which is in Columbia.


11:35 a.m.

The University of Missouri has named its first-ever interim vice chancellor for inclusion, diversity and equity.

University of Missouri Provost Garnett Stokes said Tuesday that Chuck Henson will fill the role. Henson is associate dean for academic affairs and trial practice at the School of Law.

His appointment comes a day after the University of Missouri System's president and Columbia campus' chancellor announced their resignations amid student anger over their handling of racial issues.

The university has said it also plans a review of all policies related to staff and student conduct and to provide more support to those subjected to discrimination. It also pledges to work toward employing a more diverse faculty and staff.

Task forces addressing inclusion will be required on all four of its campuses.

11:15 a.m.

Members of the Missouri Legislative Black Caucus are scheduled to meet with University of Missouri protesters after the ouster of the university's top two campus leaders.

State Rep. Brandon Ellington, a Democrat from Kansas City, says the caucus also plans to meet with university officials later Tuesday after they meet with the students on the Columbia campus. Ellington says he expects about a dozen of the 19 members of the Black Caucus to participate in the meetings.

Complaints about racism had been brewing for months at the flagship University of Missouri campus. Students took action, which led to the announcement Monday that the university system's president and the campus chancellor would resign.

1:30 a.m.

Some University of Missouri students say protests over the killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown last year in Ferguson inspired the push for reforms at their college.

Among them is Reuben Faloughi, a third-year doctoral student, who said Monday that his experience with activism after Brown's shooting death by a police officer ''planted the seeds that students can challenge things.''

Complaints about racism had been brewing for months at the flagship University of Missouri campus in Columbia. Students took action, which led to the announcement Monday that the university system's president and the campus chancellor would resign – as well as the promise of even more changes.

Mike Sickels, another doctoral student, also credited protests in Ferguson, a St. Louis suburb about a two-hour drive from Columbia, as inspiration.