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Resigned University President Takes Space Research Post

March 11, 1991

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Richard Berendzen, who resigned as president of American University after his arrest for making obscene telephone calls, has a new job - researching the benefits to society of sending astronauts to the moon and Mars.

Berendzen, who holds doctorates in astronomy and education from Harvard University, has gone to work for Booz-Allen & Hamilton, a Bethesda, Md., firm that has various contracts with NASA’s exploration office.

″He’s looking into the societal benefits of the Space Exploration Initiative,″ said Vera Hirschberg, a NASA spokeswoman. The initiative is the goal announced by President Bush for colonizing the moon and sending a manned expedition to Mars.

The industry newspaper, Space News, published an account of Berendzen’s new job today and said NASA asked the support contractor to add the professor to its staff. Ms. Hirschberg said he already is at work but the terms of his employment are still being worked out.

Berendzen pleaded guilty last year to making obscene telephone calls from the university president’s office to a woman in Fairfax County, Va. He agreed to seek treatment to avoid serving prison time. He is on leave of absence from the university and will return in the fall of 1992 as a tenured professor.

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