Leslie Cohen Berlowitz, president of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, has requested time away from her day-to-day responsibilities while a law firm retained by the scholarly society conducts an inquiry into allegations that she falsely claimed on grant applications and other documents to hold a doctoral degree, The New York Times reported. Ms. Berlowitz will remain president of the academy during the inquiry.
The documents containing the false statements included several grant applications that were submitted to the National Endowment for the Humanities over the past 10 years. The endowment has said it will investigate.
The state attorney general in Massachusetts, where the academy is located, reportedly is also interested in the case. Brad Puffer, director of communications for the attorney general, said in a statement quoted by the Times that the office was pleased that the academy had arranged for an independent inquiry. “Our office will continue to actively monitor this investigation and further action by the board to ensure it carries out its fiduciary responsibility,” he said.
The scholarly group has attributed the false statements about Ms. Berlowitz’s credentials to an unspecified staff member.