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Committee Grills N.E.H. Nominee

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Washington--Senate confirmation of Edward A. Curran as chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities was cast in some doubt last week, as members of the Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee grilled the nominee intensively on his political and educational views.

Mr. Curran, a former head of the National Institute of Education, had urged in a 1983 letter to President Reagan that the agency be eliminated. He was subsequently fired by former Secretary of Education Terrel H. Bell.

At the nomination hearings, panel members criticized Mr. Curran's call for abolishing the nie and questioned his ability to head the $140-million humanities endowment, which was chaired until last February by Secretary of Education William J. Bennett.

Mr. Curran is now the deputy director of the Peace Corps. Prior to joining the Administration, he was headmaster of the National Cathe-dral School, a private preparatory school here.

There was no indication last week of when a Senate vote on Mr. Curran's nomination, which has been pending for months, might come.

--jh

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