Although MIT officials said last week that there are no Harvard-MIT negotiations over the Reserved Officers Training Corps (ROTC), a spokesperson for President Neil L. Rudenstine said Harvard is in the midst of "substantive discussions."
"We have been pursuing the possibility of a modified arrangement with MIT that would both affirm our policy of nondiscrimination and maintain ROTC as an option for students attending Harvard," said Jonathan New, associate director for news and public information.
"Substantive discussions along those lines remain in progress between Harvard and MIT," he said.
New's letter said his words represented the official position of Rudenstine, who has recently refused interviews with the campus press.
But New failed to provide any details of the discussion and was unable to specify who at MIT is participating in the negotiations.
Last February, Rudenstine told the Faculty that he would delay ending payments to MIT for Harvard students' participation in MIT's ROTC program. A report approved by the Faculty last year recommended that the University end those payments because of the military's policy against gays.
According to Rudenstine and several faculty members, the President delayed a decision on ROTC to allow more time to negotiate an agreement with MIT that would permit Harvard students to continue in the ROTC program without the $120,000 compensation Harvard now pays each year.
Still, Sarah E. Gallop, assistant for government relations, said interview last week that there are no ngeotiations between the two schools. Gallop is the staff member on MIT's ROTC committee and said she would be familiar with any formal contacts between the two administrations.
"I'm not aware of the Harvard administration negotiating any kind of agreement with the MIT administration," she said. "We've never been formally asked by anybody at Harvard to consider that kind of that kind of arrangement."
"I would know," Gallop added. "It took place in an informal manner if it took place at all."
And MIT officials reiterated yesterday that Gallop would be in the position to know about any discussions between Harvard and it east
"She would be the person in the position ofanswering that question," said Robert C. DiIorioof the MIT news office.
The office of MIT President Charles M. Vestalso directed all ROTC inquiries to Gallop.
Gallop did not return phone calls yesterday.
In an interview yesterday, New said he couldnot explain Gallop's statements.