Russian officials are soaking in facts and figures of the economies and budgets for the states of Kansas and Oklahoma.
It's back-to-school time for a 10-member delegation of Russian budget officials visiting Kansas University.
"I was in Russia for about two years working with their parliament and this is kind of a follow-up to that visit," said Mohamed A. El-Hodiri, a KU professor of economics and Russian and European studies.
"I was working as what they call a resident adviser on tax and revenue and expenditures," he said.
The Russian delegation is taking part in a budget training program sponsored by the U.S. Agency for International Development through the Academy of Education Development.
The Transition Studies Program at KU's Institute for Public Policy and Business Research was chosen to conduct the program.
Members of the Russian delegation include President Boris Yeltsin's budget director, the minister of finance for the Adygeya Republic and the speaker for the Duma of Ust-Ordynsk Buriat.
The Russian delegation has been attending classes in the Anschutz Room of Summerfield Hall at KU since Aug. 26 and will return Sept. 13 to Russia.
"What they are doing here is learning about the budget process of the state of Kansas and the state of Oklahoma," El-Hodiri said. "They have been talking to legislators in Topeka, and a legislator from Oklahoma came here to talk about Oklahoma's budgeting."
The Russians are doing some teaching of their own, El-Hodiri said.
"I'm teaching a class ... and some of the visitors have volunteered to speak to my economics class," El-Hodiri said.
El-Hodiri said he hopes another delegation can come to KU soon.
"I am impressed with the amount of high-level delegates and I hope we have a lot of success with them," El-Hodiri said. "I hope they will come back."