Despite what University of Utah President Chase Peterson may have said, retiring NASA Administrator James C. Fletcher has not agreed to head the U.'s fusion program.

NASA issued a statement Friday saying Fletcher has been asked by the U. to help "in an ad hoc capacity with its fusion work. He also said he may do other things at the University of Utah, but the details are unclear at this time."The NASA statement also said that Fletcher - who was president of the U. from 1964 to 1971 and is a well-known physicist - has made "no plans to move to Utah at this time."

However, earlier in the week, Peterson told the press that Fletcher was coming and would head the fusion program. Both the offices of Peterson and Fletcher directed press inquiries for more information Friday to James Brophy, U. vice president for research.

"I don't have a lot to add," Brophy said.

"On Tuesday, President Peterson called and asked Dr. Fletcher if he was interested in participating in the potential fusion program here, and he said yes. I gather there has been at least one subsequent conversation, but there's been no detailed agreement on what the arrangements may be."

So whether Fletcher would

be here part-time and elsewhere part-time, and whether he would be here as an advisor, participant or director is not known at the moment."