Utah Jazz owner Larry H. Miller plans to meet this month with students, faculty and staff at the University of Utah who have expressed concerns about his upcoming speech on the campus.

Some people at the university had questioned why Miller was selected as the kick-off speaker for "Discover U Days," given his decision to pull the gay-romance movie "Brokeback Mountain" from his theaters.

"We're just hoping we can have a really good dialogue between the university community and Larry Miller," said Charles Milne, program coordinator for the U. Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Resource Center.

"I personally hope this will be an opportunity for us to start a conversation about respecting others and their differences," Milne said.

Miller is scheduled to discuss "The Rewards of Investing in Higher Education" at noon April 21 in the Union Ballroom. The speech will kick off the two-day Discover U Days event, which is planned to showcase the university through free events such as a "Red & White" spring football game, presentations by researchers, and a health and science fair.

"We want to remind the community that the U. is 'Utah's University,' " said Fred Esplin, U. vice president for institutional advancement.

Milne said Thursday that the discussion with Miller is scheduled before his speech but declined to discuss the time or location for the invitation-only meeting to take place behind closed doors.

Some on campus saw Miller's decision to pull the movie from his theaters as censorship, while others saw it as bigoted after Miller recently told KTVX-TV that he did so because he was worried about the breakup of the traditional American family.

"There are quite a few concerns," Milne said.

Students are continuing with plans to participate in a silent protest at Miller's speech, Milne said. An assistant to Miller declined to comment Thursday, saying Miller was unavailable.

For details on Discover U. Days, visit: www.ucomm.utah. edu/udays or call 801-581-7100.


E-mail: dbulkeley@desnews.com