It’s time for Leslie Cohen Berlowitz, the president of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, to step down. The mission of the Cambridge honorary society is to elevate scholarship by recognizing and fostering top talent across academia. As a Globe investigation has revealed, however, Berlowitz has repeatedly inflated her education and employment credentials on grant applications that yielded more than $1 million for the institution. In doing so, Berlowitz flagrantly disregarded her duties to the 233-year-old academy, and the penalty should be severe.
Berlowitz has taken a leave of absence, and the academy’s governing council has hired a prominent law firm to investigate any wrongdoing. That’s an important first step. Nonetheless, recent revelations have raised a number of questions and concerns about both Berlowitz and the nonprofit’s board.