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Soviet Ambassador Georgi Zarubin increased hopes of closer relations between Harvard and the University of Moscow yesterday when he specifically advocated exchange of students between the two institutions.
The proposal was made among others in a 75-minute meeting with William S. B. Lacey, State Department officer in charge of East-West cultural relations.
As both President Pusey and Dean Bundy were touring the Middle West in behalf of the fund drive yesterday, the University made no official statement in answer to Zarubin's proposal.
However, Dean Bundy commented in Detroit last night, "If the Soviet government is really interested in a responsible exchange among universities, we are glad to know it. And we hope it means the Soviet Embassy will now be able to answer its mail on this subject."
Several faculty members also expressed strong hope that the plan could be effected, although they admitted that practical problems could prove a stumbling block.
One immediate area of possible disagreement is that Zarubin mentioned only the exchange of students, while the University has been particularly interested in securing Russian scholars, especially ones who could lecture on recent archeological excavations in Central Asia.
In fact, William L. Langer, Director of the Russian Research Center, said last night that concrete proposals had already been made with State Department approval, but that the Soviet Embassy in Washington had not answered recent inquiries.
While Richard N. Frye, associate professor of Middle Eastern Studies, was in Moscow this summer, definite arrangements were supposedly made for Soviet archaeologist Serge Tolstov to come to the University.
Tolstov was scheduled to come this fall and then decided to wait until spring. He was to give six lectures here. In the meantime, however, the Soviet Embassy failed to answer Langer's efforts to complete arrangements.
At present, therefore, it is highly uncertain that Tolstov will come, although Zarubin's proposal yesterday apparently opened the door for further negotiations.
Fellowships for Professors
Frye said last night that three Russian professors had expressed their desire to come to the University, as did several students if they could secure fellowships. Frye suggested that the U.S. could test Zarubin's sincerity by actually making a number of fellowships avail- able.
Langer also pointed out that there were a number of professors here who would like to spend more time in the Soviet Union than the present 30-day limit on visas allowed. He estimated that approximately 20 persons from the University had taken advantage of the limited visa during the past two years.
The significance of Zarubin's statement yesterday was that this is the first time that both the U. S. and the Russians have been in agreement on the principle of exchange. Until late last winter, the State Department had not been disposed to encourage universities' attempts to secure visiting Russian scholars.
Lincoln White, State Department press secretary, emphasized last night that Zarubin's meeting with Lacey was only an "opening session." He said that the two would confer again next Monday and begin consideration of practical problems.
Anatoli Gorshenev, second secretary of the Soviet Embassy, also underscored the "practical" difficulties last night. These are taken to mean such things as salaries, housing, the language barrier, and family considerations
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