The International Communication Agency, America's propaganda voice overseas, is recommending that Fulbright scholarships and other exchange programs for scholars be halved this year to meet budget cuts.
In an impact statement released yesterday, ICA said "important diplomatic relationships and good will built up over three decades will be damaged" by the $44.4 million in cuts.
But the statement, which referred to ICA as the "most vital weapon in the arsenal of ideas," said it would be easier to defer the grant programs than to make a general cutback of already weakened programs.
Jack Pelpason, president of the American Council on Education, an umbrella group for colleges and universities, said last night that he is shocked by the proposals. "I thought it would even be apparent to these cold warriors that in the long run the kind of influence these programs build are important."
It was unclear last night what reaction Congress would have to the proposals. Even Republican leaders have said recently that President Reagan probably will not get the newest cuts he has requested, 12 percent below his March figures.
Jurisdiction over the scholarly exchange programs was moved from the State Department to ICA, the former the U.S. Information Agency, during the Carter administration.