Friday, June 7, 2013

Developments in Controversy Surrounding American Academy of Arts and Sciences Chief

Following up on two previous posts this week, I see that the Boston Globe reports that Leslie Berlowitz, President of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, will be taking some time off by her own choosing (whether or not without pay is not publicly known) while the Boston law firm of Choate Hall & Stewart looks into her administration.  The story says that Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley approves of this development:

The announcement was made a day after Massachusetts Attorney General Martha ­Coakley's office contacted the board to find out how it was handling questions about ­Berlowitz's ­resume, compensation, and other issues.

On Monday, the Globe ­reported that Berlowitz earned total compensation of more than $598,000 in fiscal 2012, four times the median salary for the directors of all US nonprofits that size, according to a GuideStar USA survey.

Coakley's office, which oversees charitable organizations in Massachusetts, also planned to ask whether the board fully disclosed Berlowitz's executive perks, such as first-class air travel, on its tax forms.

"We are pleased that the ­executive board has retained ­independent counsel to conduct a full investigation into the questions and concerns that have been raised," said Coakley spokesman Brad Puffer. "Our office will continue to actively monitor this investigation and further action by the board to ensure it carries out its fiduciary responsibility."  

The Globe appears to be using this story to air out more than just the facts raising questions about Berlowitz’s presentation of her credentials and her compensation.  The report also details rather bizarre accounts of how she allegedly has mistreated employees.  Those interested in the specifics can find them in the story.


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