LaTourette to address Palmer issue

By Susie Snyder

NIU President John LaTourette will meet with the President’s Commission on the Status of Minorities today at 3:30 p.m. in room 201 of Lowden Hall to outline goals for the commission for the next two semesters.

Walt Owens, commission chairman and assistant professor of physical education, said LaTourette also will open the floor to questions of the commission.

“Our first question will be about the president’s position on the Martha Palmer issue,” Owens said. The commission is interested in LaTourette’s opinion of the firing of Palmer, a CHANCE counselor, and the several protests which have arisen from the issue.

Owens said the commission has not addressed the Palmer issue and does not have an opinion about it. He said the commission members have been asked to formulate their own opinions about the issue.

The commission also will ask LaTourette what the mission is of NIU’s department of Affirmative Action because commission members do not believe the department reacted promptly when Palmer contacted them after she learned of her firing, Owens said.

Palmer, who is chairman of the commission’s program committee, said she has not had time to look over the agenda of today’s meeting or to think of any specific questions for LaTourette. However, she said, “I do have some major concerns that pertain to Mr. LaTourette.”

Owens said the entire meeting will be devoted to LaTourette’s goal outline and questions directed to him. He said the commission has about 13 specific questions to ask, but additional questions will be accepted from the floor.