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US Academy President Caught Embellishing Resume, Will Resign

timothy posted about a year ago | from the motivational-psychology dept.

Education 124

An anonymous reader writes "The 233-year old American Academy of Arts and Sciences has announced that its longtime President and Chief Executive, Leslie Cohen Berlowitz, has agreed to resign effective at the end of this month following an investigation of charges of resume embellishment and other misconduct. Berlowitz falsely claimed to have received a doctorate from New York University, and has also been criticized for her behavior towards scholars and subordinates, and for her compensation package ($598,000 for 2012) relative to the size of the non-profit organization she led. The Academy, based in Cambridge MA, was founded during the American Revolutionary War and is one of the most prestigious honorary societies for the American intellectual elite, extending across math and science, arts and letters, business, law and public affairs. The active membership rolls contain people you've heard of; the incoming class list provides a more manageable glimpse of the society's breadth."

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124 comments

A JEW! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44401715)

Leslie COHEN Berlowitz. A stinking, rat-faced JEW. What a surprise.

I expect he will immediately cry 'anti-semitism' and claim that he was gassed four, no five times, and escaped 'the Holocaust' (TM)...

Re:A JEW! (-1, Flamebait)

Calydor (739835) | about a year ago | (#44401831)

Leslie COHEN Berlowitz. A stinking, rat-faced JEW. What a surprise.

I expect he will immediately cry 'anti-semitism' and claim that he was gassed four, no five times, and escaped 'the Holocaust' (TM)...

Berlowitz falsely claimed to have received a doctorate from New York University, and has also been criticized for her behavior towards scholars and subordinates, and for her compensation package ($598,000 for 2012) relative to the size of the non-profit organization she led.

Next time you want to make people angry with anti-Jew posts at least get the gender right, you silly troll you.

Re:A JEW! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44402475)

Troll? Please, I've seen more thought and effort put into a John Romero game.

Patriarchy (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44401753)

She is clearly a victim of the patriarchy's obsession with facts and evidence.

She FEELS she deserves the post.. so therefore she does.

Re:Patriarchy (1)

Austerity Empowers (669817) | about a year ago | (#44401809)

Well she fooled the intellectual elite for 17 years. Chances are that doctorate was just ornamentation anyway.

Re:Patriarchy (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44401871)

Chances are that doctorate was just ornamentation anyway.

Most of what people look for in life nowadays is just ornamentation. And a significant element of that ornamentation's value is the price you are supposed to have paid for it.

Shortcuts threaten the fabric of society.

Re:Patriarchy (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about a year ago | (#44403209)

Threaten the fabric of society; turn into a Senate seat for Elizabeth Warren: what difference, at this point, does it make?

Re:Patriarchy (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44402665)

>>> Well she fooled the intellectual elite for 17 years.

All the more reason to stop shaking in the boots and question the general intelligence of its members when you hear silly things such as:

"The nnn-year old ...", "one of the most prestigious honorary societies for the ... intellectual elite" etc.

When I apply for a lowly programming job the effing HR goes all the way to my Elementary school to verify the records and since it was long closed I have to "explain" but a claim of PhD from NYU for a position of President with .5M has no verification? I will try that kind of job next time.

Re:Patriarchy (1)

ohnocitizen (1951674) | about a year ago | (#44402921)

Shorter Anonymous Coward: "Hahaha, women think with feelings, but men think with hard facts." You are quite the budding comic.

Re:Patriarchy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44402951)

Well I can say, as a man, my feelings about certain women can generate some pretty hard... facts.

Re:Patriarchy (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44404401)

Patriarchy is one of those feminist buzz words. Are you another of those morons who think feminism = women?

I think you are.

MOD PARENT DOWN (0)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | about a year ago | (#44405123)

This had nothing to do with patriarchy or feminism. This has to do with the amoral standards of "elites" and other ascendancies in western society. Cynical fraud has become an accepted standard across our institutions, public and private.

Dear God (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44401759)

She is so fucked. It doesn't matter so much that she lied for the Academy. But she lied on grant proposals. This could lead to a MASSIVE criminal penalty.

Ref:
18 USC Section 1001
http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/1001 [cornell.edu]
18 USC Section 1031
http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/1031 [cornell.edu]

She is so fucked it isn't even funny. She might want to head to Russia and ask for asylum.

Re:Dear God (5, Insightful)

djmurdoch (306849) | about a year ago | (#44401821)

Didn't you read the summary? Her salary was $598,000 last year. Nobody with a salary that large gets any criminal penalty. (Actually, Jeffrey Skilling is a counterexample, but there are very few others.)

Re:Dear God (1)

dk20 (914954) | about a year ago | (#44402239)

Man, you beat me to it (was just going to post something similar). A lot of people might disagree, but there seems to be a lot of truth to this recently.

Re:Dear God (2)

ATMAvatar (648864) | about a year ago | (#44402257)

Innocent until proven broke.

Re:Dear God (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44402465)

There are plenty of people that make way more than that that went to prison. Just ask Micheal Vick, Martha Stewart, Lil Kim, Wesley Snipes, Bernard Madoff, etc...

Re:Dear God (1)

rhizome (115711) | about a year ago | (#44402713)

Black people in the US can never transcend abuse, due to what Paul Mooney termed "the nigger wake up call," which is the observation that no matter what an African American achieves in America, they can still be treated "like a nigger," if the system wants to do so.

Martha Stewart was convicted of bullshit charges and Bernie Madoff only got busted because he ripped off people richer than him.

Re:Dear God (2)

phantomfive (622387) | about a year ago | (#44404375)

Your post is a fascinating example of cognitive bias. You have your pre-conceived idea, and when presented with evidence that contradicts it, you come up with an excuse that somehow 'it doesn't count'. You don't like rich people, and there's nothing things like 'evidence' can do to change that.

Re:Dear God (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44402943)

Bernie Madoff?

Re:Dear God (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44404909)

Yeah, but Madoff stole from even richer people, which is totally unacceptable. Had he limited himself to stealing from average folk, he'd be okay.

Re:Dear God (1)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about a year ago | (#44404661)

(Actually, Jeffrey Skilling is a counterexample)

Skilling was a fool. Against his lawyer's advice, he went in front of a congressional panel, the representatives of the people, and answered their questions in plain English. He paid a heavy price for that, which will serve as a valuable lesson for anyone else that thinks that honesty is rewarded in our society.

Re:Dear God (1)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | about a year ago | (#44405129)

Skilling's Enron sentence was cut from 23 to 14 years recently. It'll probably be reduced further before he serves his remaing 8 years. I estimate he'll be out on parole in 10 years.

When you think of the sheer amounts of money he could have been skimming off during Enron's "golden years", I'd consider 10 years a pretty good deal.

Re:Dear God (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44401967)

That's not so bad. Lie on a home loan or a credit application and you can get 30 years [cornell.edu] (which I'm betting that she probably also did if she was willing to lie on grants). This is the charge that federal prosecutors go after if they can, since the 30 year penalty ensures a plea agreement (this was famously used to oust Baltimore police chief Ed Norris [davidsimon.com] when he took a loan from his father and listed that money as an asset for a home loan). And since Carmen Ortiz will be in charge of this case, you can almost guarantee this will be employed. And if there is one thing we've learned about Carmen Ortiz (other than the Aaron Swartz case) it is that she does not tolerate anyone defrauding banks--except other banks or bankers.

Re:Dear God (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44402023)

She's a Jew. They are all liars. When they get caught, they go to Israel.

Re: Dear God (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44402501)

Short memory? Those that rub shoulders with the elite get away Scott free ... Corporate bankers anyone?

There are two sets of rules... One for the elites, and the other for the proles...

Re:Dear God (1)

couchslug (175151) | about a year ago | (#44403433)

No one is going to press charges on a female for lying on a grant proposal.

She'll leave, that will end it.

mnbv h ghgu (-1, Troll)

Helder Andre (2999081) | about a year ago | (#44401771)

hvhvhjjbmn

Irony: (5, Funny)

Hartree (191324) | about a year ago | (#44401781)

One of her publications is titled: Restoring Trust in American Business

We're not off to a good start on that.

What's the hubbub? (2)

Opportunist (166417) | about a year ago | (#44401783)

As long as companies lie in the job description and promises of packages and benefits, I'll lie in my CV and my skills.

Turnabout is only fair!

Re:What's the hubbub? (1)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | about a year ago | (#44401823)

As long as companies lie in the job description and promises of packages and benefits, I'll lie in my CV and my skills.

Turnabout is only fair!

The difference is if they lie, there's not much you as an employee can do about it. However, if you lie, they can fire you.

Re:What's the hubbub? (2)

sribe (304414) | about a year ago | (#44401851)

The difference is if they lie, there's not much you as an employee can do about it. However, if you lie, they can fire you.

Uhm, you can "fire" them any day you decide to do so.

Re:What's the hubbub? (1)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | about a year ago | (#44401901)

The difference is if they lie, there's not much you as an employee can do about it. However, if you lie, they can fire you.

Uhm, you can "fire" them any day you decide to do so.

I assume you mean quit instead of fire. They are not the same. Quit means you left voluntarily. It may not be wise to quit, but usually somebody else will pick you up. OTOH, if you are fired, your future prospects in your field diminish dramatically.

Re:What's the hubbub? (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | about a year ago | (#44402013)

Quitting is 'firing your boss'. Duh.

The reputation hit isn't so bad for employers. Nobody looks up people who quit, but still; there are employers that I would recommend a friend flee from.

Employers do take a hit. Turnover is a popular metric when evaluating a business. Which says nothing of the knowledge that walks out and what that costs.

Re:What's the hubbub? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44402127)

Quitting is not the same as firing your boss. While the "I no longer have to deal with X/Y/Z" result is the same in either case, quitting means you're the one without a job. Quitting also means (at least in the US; not sure about other countries) you're generally rejected if applying for unemployment, since you chose to leave on your own free will. The only positive to quitting or resigning is that future employers tend to look less critically upon those who do when compared to those who were fired. That's it, nothing more; you save a bit of face.

You also take the standpoint so many people do -- a natural assumption that somehow the person quitting has some kind of key role of the utmost importance which the company cannot live without. In most cases (not all but easily most) this is borderline narcissistic behaviour, but definitively egocentric -- a form of self-pep talk used to make oneself feel more important than one actually is (example: "Yeah man, if I quit, they'll suffer, they'll hurt, the company will collapse!"); it's akin to breaking up with a partner and telling yourself "it's {his,her} loss!" I've never understood why people do this (lie to themselves).

I've only seen one case to date of an employee quitting who had such key importance that they effectively could not be replaced: Terry Childs [wikipedia.org] . And we all know how that turned out...

Re:What's the hubbub? (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | about a year ago | (#44402279)

Damn, you are a doormat. Jump up and down until your balls drop.

Your employer is not a surrogate parent, much as they would like to act like they are. People like you are part of the problem. If you act like an infant you will be treated like one.

If the employer didn't find value in having you there they would have fired you. Quitting does hurt them, often more then it hurts you. If often gets you a big fat raise. Devil is in the details. I didn't say: 'fire your boss and worry about finding work later.'

Re:What's the hubbub? (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about a year ago | (#44404135)

Depends on why you get "fired". Actually, I was once fired for a reason that actually improved my chances with my next employer. Basically I was fired for daring to tell my boss that his idea is maybe not the smartest one possible, something that my next employer was actually looking for (in his words, he had enough yes-men and didn't want to suffer from having one in security).

But I admit, such occasions are rare.

Re:What's the hubbub? (1)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | about a year ago | (#44405279)

You've brought back memories. I was once selected for cutbacks for what I thought were very good reasons. I was already quite senior and had trained the junior members, and had documented my work, and family medical issues had cut my oncall availability. This was back when telephone modems were how you telecommuted, which were not as effective as modern roving laptops.

2 months later, i found out why I was _really_ let go just then. Another employee and I were closing in on the inventory of unused hardware to return it to service or get it off the books. The other employee was doing maps and lists of the hardware in the racks, very useful for finding and allocating space. I was surveying the monitoring systems and collecting MAC addresses and serial numbers remotely, with an eye towards reporting failures of similar types of hardware and planning scheduled replacements of obsolete hardware.

The manager who took the old VP's role contacted us both and made absolutely sure we were both in good new roles, and they're still a good reference many years later. I've since worked with them on several projects, and feel that company profited not only in getting rid of a dishonest employee but in getting an excellent leader out of it.

Internal politicing (5, Interesting)

EmperorOfCanada (1332175) | about a year ago | (#44401793)

Many of the people who rise to the tops of large organizations are backstabbing, loudmouthed, blowhards. They scheme and calculate their way to the top. This applies to almost all large organizations. A simple way around this is to add randomization. The idea is that for any promotion you have many many qualified candidates and then pick one at random. I very much doubt that there was only one qualified candidate for her job. Obviously the system they used picked one of the worst.

This random system then prevents people from spending all their time scheming to set up the ideal circumstances where all the other candidates have been pushed under a bus. Also then they don't owe any favors for their job.

Re:Internal politicing (2)

kye4u (2686257) | about a year ago | (#44401849)

This random system then prevents people from spending all their time scheming to set up the ideal circumstances where all the other candidates have been pushed under a bus. Also then they don't owe any favors for their job.

Even with that method....you would have the same problem. This is because of how a "qualified" candidate will most likely be defined. The "qualified" candidates will be the ones that are the most adept at politicking (i.e. backstabbing) and marketing (i.e. look at all the amazing things I do for company Z) themselves.

So you'd have a random pool of people who were all scheming and calculating there way to the top.

Re:Internal politicing (4, Insightful)

Em Adespoton (792954) | about a year ago | (#44401853)

I very much doubt that there was only one qualified candidate for her job. Obviously the system they used picked one of the worst.

I don't know about that... her position was "President of the US Academy." A presidential position in a large nonprofit is all about image, motivation and being able to bring in the money. My guess is that mo matter what her academic credentials were, she wouldn't have been able to keep that position for 17 years without excelling at the mentioned criteria. Most eggheads in any specialty who were really interested in the pursuit of knowledge would be dismal failures as presidents of such an organization. They require someone who inspires confidence (who we usually call a con artist).

Re:Internal politicing (1)

EmperorOfCanada (1332175) | about a year ago | (#44402247)

There is never just one cockroach. The key is to thwart people who connive their way into a job. I watched one woman spend years undermining her boss all the while setting herself up to replace him. Just as she was succeeding a friend of the big big boss came in out of nowhere and took over. His first assignment to her was to send her into the bowels of a lost project. In a drunken conversation he implied that prior to starting he had been given a copy of everybody's emails including all her conniving.

This might seem like a win but he was a Grade-A D-Bag who zero idea how to run anything. This was a medium sized tech company and he had been running a used-record store.

As I say it would be better to line up a series of the best candidates and then just roll the dice. This way the benefits of conniving lose much of their allure. If you are in an organization where you only have one good candidate there are only three possibilities. One is that your organization is populated with incompetents. Two is that a conniving backstabber has eliminated the competition. Three is that the conniving backstabber has made the other qualified candidates look unqualified.

I don't know how many places I have been where there were 3 or more people vieing for a senior position with the result that either some other completely unqualified candidate came along or the least qualified got the position. Either way random chance(among the possibles) would have worked better.

I am not suggesting that for the next HP CEO they just pick randomly from the entire employee pool but from the at least 10-20 people who might qualify. The only problem is that this is not a short term solution as many people near the top are also conniving backstabbing frauds. So this would take a while of using this quazi random system for promotion.

Re:Internal politicing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44401929)

Shit floats. you skim off the top, it doesn't matter which shit you pick....random or not, it's still going to be a smelly turd.

Re:Internal politicing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44403365)

Many of the people who rise to the tops of large organizations are backstabbing, loudmouthed, blowhards. They scheme and calculate their way to the top.

Or... as we call them: "women"

Seriously, women in power are some of the most sadistic cruel people I have ever known.

Re:Internal politicing (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about a year ago | (#44404385)

Many of the people who rise to the tops of large organizations are backstabbing, loudmouthed, blowhards.

FWIW several studies have shown that it's exactly the opposite, people rise to the top then become backstabbing, loudmouthed blowhards. People who start out that way don't rise too much because no one likes them.

But power corrupts.

Re:Internal politicing (1)

Coppit (2441) | about a year ago | (#44405521)

Interesting idea, but it sounds a lot like affirmative action, with the same problems.

Compare this to Germany (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44401803)

There a number of politicians have been given the shaft because their Phds were based on theses that were mostly copy&paste from unattributed sources.

Of course, not having received a doctorate in the first place (rather than based on insufficiently independent work) is a bit more audacious.

Doesn't anybody check that? And in this kind of position?

Re:Compare this to Germany (2)

Em Adespoton (792954) | about a year ago | (#44401863)

There a number of politicians have been given the shaft because their Phds were based on theses that were mostly copy&paste from unattributed sources.

Of course, not having received a doctorate in the first place (rather than based on insufficiently independent work) is a bit more audacious.

Doesn't anybody check that? And in this kind of position?

In most areas of life, if you talk the talk and deliver on promises, nobody checks to see if you walked the walk, other than in a most superficial manner.

Re:Compare this to Germany (1)

gweihir (88907) | about a year ago | (#44404487)

We regularly try to locate Ph.D.s from customers to get an idea about their expertise. So far, zero (!) luck in about 5 cases. For all of these we did not even find a single published paper or a single mentioning of their Ph.D. in any academic content. I am beginning to think that there are many people with fake or really, really bad Ph.D.s out there. As a counterexample, my own Ph.D. thesis, the one of my boss and one of a fiend are easy to find.

$475k for application fraud? (1)

martok (7123) | about a year ago | (#44401827)

She should forfeit her compensation package as a consequence of her falsifying her application.

Re:$475k for application fraud? (1)

Pharoah_69 (2866937) | about a year ago | (#44401907)

and chip her nails weekly as a severe punishment; she'll never do it again.

In crowd (-1)

girlintraining (1395911) | about a year ago | (#44401841)

Let's be honest... if you've been doing the job for many years, it's clear a college education isn't necessary to keep doing your job. People lie on their resumes to break the glass ceiling (both men and women hit them... that's not just a feminist thing) -- and with the prohibitively expensive cost of education, and employers demanding it anyway... people in the job market today face some unpalatable options: You can either forego the degree and slam into the glass ceiling in a mid-level position as HR passes over you repeatedly, or get it and wind up a bit farther ahead in your career but be financially worse off than your subordinates who aren't paying back hundreds to thousands of dollars a month to some corporation who will just keep jacking the rates up year after year so you're paying off mostly just the interest and doing very little to hit the principal of your student loan... or you can swallow your pride and ethics, lie on your resume, and hope to save up enough money before you're caught to buy yourself an education outright down the road -- without a loan, at a community college somewhere and then backfill, move into a new position with your new diploma, and call it a day.

This is the reality of the wealth inequity in America. The conservatives have hated public education since it was first introduced in the 1800s... and they've finally managed to find a way to destroy the American dream: Without higher education, there's no upward mobility. Without that, there's no middle class. It's game over.

Re:In crowd (2, Interesting)

girlintraining (1395911) | about a year ago | (#44401859)

I should probably put in a footnote: Elitist colleges like this don't like having the truth rubbed in their faces. That's why she's getting dismissed -- she just proved their demands of needing a college degree are hollow and stupid. It's an embarassment of epic proportions. Not that I should have to say this if you can read between the lines, but increasingly, I have my doubts about the average slashdotter's ability to even read the lines, let alone between them... hence this post.

Re:In crowd (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44401885)

* That's why she's getting dismissed

Bullshit ... but hey... let's play "make up excuses for the lying woman".

Never mind that if it was a man... you wouldn't have a fucking word to say.

* I have my doubts about the average slashdotter's ability to even read the lines, let alone between them... hence this post.

And then... let's use shaming language to try to shut everyone up. That girl training is coming along nicely. Keep practising.

Re:In crowd (4, Insightful)

jma05 (897351) | about a year ago | (#44402387)

I don’t get your rant on student loans. She lied about having a doctoral degree. No one should be doing a doctoral degree on a student loan. Bachelors and Masters – sure. But, not for a doctoral degree. Not having money is not a reason for not having a doctorate.

> as HR passes over you repeatedly

This has nothing to do with glass ceiling at HR. In fact, HR does not handle doctorates well. They don't understand them for most part. They almost seem to count it as a liability. The only people who respect it are other people with doctorates since they know what it takes to get one and about how to put such candidates to use. This lady was NOT going through a HR filter. Few who make close to $600K do. She did not betray a faceless HR. She betrayed people who would most likely know her by name, for grants that cost millions of tax payer dollars.

Most of these studies in humanities don't get verifications. You trust the people who have done them because they have been trained for a decade in a culture of academic honesty. Now, all the studies she would have done in the past would need to be called into question since she might have faked data. Your defense of her is quite bizarre. This isn't a put-food-on-table, livelihood position.

> The conservatives have hated public education since it was first introduced

How did you manage to turn this into a partisan issue?

> she just proved their demands of needing a college degree are hollow and stupid.

She has college degrees alright, from good institutions too - a bachelors from NYU and a masters from Columbia. She did not have a doctoral degree from NYU that she claimed she had.

You clearly have not been in academia and you have no idea what you are talking about. Forgetting to cite things in a paper can get you into a world of trouble. Faking a doctorate, in grant applications no less, is pretty much an academic death sentence - in any country, at any level - not just US elite institutions.

> I have my doubts about the average slashdotter's ability to even read the lines, let alone between them... hence this post.

You clearly consider yourself far above this average that you seem to have computed. Why hang around here if we are not your intellectual equals? For the benefit of gracing us with your insights from above, oh elite mind?

The average slashdotter is fine. It is you who is seeing imaginary lines and projecting.

Re:In crowd (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44402401)

I agree with you on one point: the optics of the situation were very important. This was an honorary academy which doesn't produce goods and services (well they do, but that's a fairly irrelevant sidelight; they are primarily a "you've made it!" type organization). It would not do for that kind of organization to have a CEO who lied on her resume for the same kind of thing that led the Yahoo board to kick out their CEO (the guy before Marissa Mayer) for example.

Another factor was apparently that members were pissed off at her compensation. Not just at her, but also at the board for authorizing it (the Times story says that the chairman is leaving too).

And what about Yahoo? The guy they fired actually had a good track record from his previous jobs, and wasn't reported as being a jerk to subordinates. But a lot of Yahoo's branding is about having the best and the brightest, so a CEO who lied about his college degree couldn't stay. If it had been some SVP who hardly anybody knew outside the company, that might be different.

college education need change in IT as well (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about a year ago | (#44402269)

First off CS Is not IT

There is to much theory and skill gaps in college education for tech / IT

The college system is some what stuck in the past as well.

also have the AA vs AS / BA vs BS (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about a year ago | (#44402287)

Where you may have to say you have an AS / BS when you have an AA / BA to get past HR or just drop the Arts or Science part.

Re:In crowd (1)

the gnat (153162) | about a year ago | (#44402873)

people in the job market today face some unpalatable options: You can either forego the degree and slam into the glass ceiling in a mid-level position as HR passes over you repeatedly, or get it and wind up a bit farther ahead in your career but be financially worse off than your subordinates who aren't paying back hundreds to thousands of dollars a month to some corporation who will just keep jacking the rates up year after year so you're paying off mostly just the interest and doing very little to hit the principal of your student loan

As someone pointed out below, PhD programs don't usually require student loans. (Most actually pay you - not a ton, but if you're in your 20s and don't have children or family members to support, it is enough to lead a reasonably comfortable lifestyle and still have a little bit left at the end of the month, even in high-cost areas. Subsidized housing is often available too.) And every time I've read about someone lying on their resume about academic credentials, it's a false claim to have earned a PhD. People who reach the level where that matters usually don't have any problem getting jobs anyway, and they're rarely in debt.

Re:In crowd (1)

khallow (566160) | about a year ago | (#44403619)

Let's be honest... if you've been doing the job for many years, it's clear a college education isn't necessary to keep doing your job.

If we're going to be "honest", then I need to point out that she was fired because she lied about something material to her employment at AAAS.

This is the reality of the wealth inequity in America. The conservatives have hated public education since it was first introduced in the 1800s... and they've finally managed to find a way to destroy the American dream: Without higher education, there's no upward mobility. Without that, there's no middle class. It's game over.

So conservatives are responsible for federal subsidized student loans - which are the driver for higher education inflation in the US of the past few decades? Do tell.

Re:In crowd (1)

khallow (566160) | about a year ago | (#44403683)

I read below that there's a name collision [slashdot.org] with the acronym "AAAS".

I wonder... (1)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | about a year ago | (#44401843)

The active membership rolls contain people you've heard of; the incoming class list provides a more manageable glimpse of the society's breadth."

I wonder how many of them have embellished their accomplishments, too? Seems pretty common in academia these days.

Re:I wonder... (1)

starless (60879) | about a year ago | (#44401979)

I wonder how many of them have embellished their accomplishments, too? Seems pretty common in academia these days.

Citation needed...

Re:I wonder... (1)

the gnat (153162) | about a year ago | (#44402945)

I wonder how many of them have embellished their accomplishments, too? Seems pretty common in academia these days.

It's actually exceptionally rare. Anil Potti, the Duke cancer researcher who falsely claimed to have been a Rhodes scholar, was an unusually notorious case simply because it was so unusual. (Also because he may have been committing outright fraud in his research.) It's very rare to come across someone in the academic community falsely claiming a degree, simply because it's such a stupid idea: most of us aren't paid enough for it to be worth the risk. More often, the people getting caught are the ones who aren't happy with a merely middle-class lifestyle and want a managerial position that will propel them into at least the upper-middle class. Or they want a more elite teaching post than they might otherwise merit.

I do suspect there are a significant number of people in primary education who have done this. My favorite story was about a public school superintendent: in the course of writing an article about the school district, a local newspaper reporter interviewed one of the superintendent's underlings. At one point during the interview, the reporter referred to the superintendent as "Mr. Smith", and was quickly corrected by the minion: "it's Dr. Smith". If the reporter was like most people, (s)he probably thought, "what a pompous asshat." (Even most people with PhDs think that insistence on titles is the sign of a self-important douche; when I'm asked for a title I just give "Mr.".) In any case, the reporter was motivated to dig a little deeper into the background of the superintendent, which pretty quickly turned up evidence that a) he hadn't actually received a PhD, and b) he'd already lost a previous job because he lied.

Re:I wonder... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44402983)

Strangely enough, school superintendents, for some reason, are one group where the Ph.D. (or Ed.D.) holders actually use their "Doctor" title frequently. Even in college, calling my Professors "Dr. Whatever" was exceptionally rare and I went to an Ivy League school where you'd think they'd insist on their proper titles. Lord knows many of them had egos big enough otherwise (albeit probably deserved at that level).

On the other hand, I recall my parents always referring to their instructors by that title, so maybe it is a generational thing.

Re:I wonder... (1)

the gnat (153162) | about a year ago | (#44402997)

Even in college, calling my Professors "Dr. Whatever" was exceptionally rare and I went to an Ivy League school where you'd think they'd insist on their proper titles.

Weird, I always used their titles in class, also at an Ivy, and it wasn't that long ago (less than 15 years). Of course once I started doing research, I figured out after a couple of days that it was okay for a lowly undergrad to address the professor as "Mark". Since I work with mostly PhDs, usually the only time we're addressed as "Dr. So-and-so" is when someone is being sarcastic; I actually get uncomfortable when someone uses the title seriously.

Re:I wonder... (1)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | about a year ago | (#44405307)

> It's actually exceptionally rare.

Not in my experience. A bit of digging into the background of some computer science and engineering colleagues I've met, applying for work, or reviewing their resumes as port of planning for a shared project, shows a strong degree of fraud.

All jews are frauds (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44401867)

Even Einstein.

Some punishment (5, Insightful)

therealkevinkretz (1585825) | about a year ago | (#44401971)

"She will receive a one-time payment of $475,000 for retirement and other benefits, according to an academy statement, but no severance payment"

*That* should teach her a lesson and send a strong signal.

Re:Some punishment (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44402463)

Payment for crime.......fantastic...where can I sign up?!

Re:Some punishment (3, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#44402483)

It's important that important people be shielded from consequences. Without exception, the Important People, and their talking heads, that I see on TV assure me that this is so.

Re:Some punishment (1)

therealkevinkretz (1585825) | about a year ago | (#44402679)

It goes a bit downhill too ... I read recently about a local cop who, when accused of theft of evidence (proceeds of burglary not yet returned to victim) he was offered to be allowed to retire with pension rather than face a departmental hearing and embarrass the PD. Turns out that's business as usual in my state.

Re:Some punishment (1)

the gnat (153162) | about a year ago | (#44402973)

*That* should teach her a lesson and send a strong signal.

It's still not as bad as Carly Fiorina driving HP's stock price down 50% and firing 7000 people, and getting let go with a $20M severance package, and still being considered a serious candidate for California senator. That's the biggest difference between the rest of us and the 0.01%: when we fuck up, we get fired with cause and are economic roadkill, and seriously risk being impoverished. When they fuck up, they lose access to the corporate jet and may have to postpone buying the third home in Pebble Beach. I honestly wouldn't have any problem with income inequality if we could occasionally see failed CEOs like Dick Fuld reduced to standing in line at soup kitchens like all of the other "takers".

Re:Some punishment (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44403079)

I honestly wouldn't have any problem with income inequality if we could occasionally see failed CEOs like Dick Fuld reduced to standing in line at soup kitchens like all of the other "takers".

Well, those people get their huge payments because of their large responsibility. When they screw up, they impoverish thousands of people. So it's important to ensure that they are not impoverished along with them. Otherwise they might worry and get headaches.

Re:Some punishment (1)

DaveGod (703167) | about a year ago | (#44405065)

That'll be a benefit built up over the course of the employment, something that was always owed, just not yet due. They would not have any right to not pay it, it would be similar to saying they had decided to reduce the basic salary for the duration of the employment, and asking for a cheque.

Re:Some punishment (1)

therealkevinkretz (1585825) | about a year ago | (#44405697)

Many jobs include forfeiting benefits, even pension, if terminated for certain causes. Lying about qualifications for employment seems like it would be near the top of the list. It's true that we don't know the details of her employment contract - but hat they convinced her to resign and that the article includes a quote from the chairman indicating that the deal "is in the Academy's best interest" suggests to me that they pursued the legal path of least resistance rather than fought to keep more from her.

AAAS not AAAS (3, Informative)

methano (519830) | about a year ago | (#44401999)

It's easy to get these guys, The American Academy of Arts and Sciences, mixed up with with these guys, The American Association for the Advancement of Science. They're not the same. The latter are the ones that publish Science, the prestigious scientific journal. The former, I'm not sure who those guys are. Seems like I've heard controversy about this woman before.

Re:AAAS not AAAS (2)

starless (60879) | about a year ago | (#44402043)

It's easy to get these guys, The American Academy of Arts and Sciences, mixed up with with these guys, The American Association for the Advancement of Science. They're not the same. The latter are the ones that publish Science, the prestigious scientific journal. The former, I'm not sure who those guys are.

Aren't they the people who award the Oscars or something...?

Re:AAAS not AAAS (2)

Black Parrot (19622) | about a year ago | (#44402589)

Also not the same as the prestigious and perhaps more familiar National Academies [nas.edu] , which consists of The National Academy of Science, The National Academy of Engineering, The Institute of Medicine, and The National Research Council.

Re:AAAS not AAAS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44403571)

no matter what it is, that us academy president is an AAAShole

Reality: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44402055)

Ah, Academia and the political arena. Two places where "resume embellishment" is not simply called "lying".

Just on the applications? (1)

quantaman (517394) | about a year ago | (#44402157)

Berlowitz falsely claimed to have received a doctorate from New York University

I'm assuming she only lied on the grant applications since she was also the Vice President for Institutional Advancement [nyu.edu] at New York University. Presumably they would have noticed if she falsely claimed to have a doctorate from them.

Re:Just on the applications? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44402297)

Having been a grad student is not the same as being a Ph.D and yes, there is a big difference.

Re:Just on the applications? (1)

quantaman (517394) | about a year ago | (#44402687)

Having been a grad student is not the same as being a Ph.D and yes, there is a big difference.

No doubt. I'm just trying to figure out the scope of her lying. She had a high profile academic career so her credentials should have been quite widely known. Lying on the grant application is still illegal, but I don't think it would have been feasible for her to claim a PhD on a regular basis.

Why the fuck do people even try? (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#44402481)

Back when 'verification' might have required pulling out your good quill and sealing wax, I can see how pulling a blatant con of this flavor might have made some sense, however unethical it is. Now, though, when it is trivial for just about anybody, never mind the people considering you for the job, to take a look at your CV and start asking annoying questions like "How did you get a degree in XYZ in 1994 at a university that didn't offer that degree until 2001?" and "Why does the registrar at Foo University have no idea who you are, when you got a PhD there?".

Honestly, I'm surprised that it still works at all, not that people get caught at it. I'm half surprised that some school (or Google, in collaboration with some school trying to buff it's "We aren't a plodding dinosaur doomed to extinction!" cred) hasn't introduced an API that would allow HR to programmatically parse your resume/CV and verify the truth or falsity of educational claims made concerning that school with a few properly formed HTTP requests... (An alternate implementation, more student-focused, would be having a service provided by the office of the registrar where the student could request a cryptographically signed 'pull' of their record, to present to anybody who they wish to prove it to.)

Time and money (2)

dutchwhizzman (817898) | about a year ago | (#44402749)

People get away with this because verification of all these facts costs time and money. Even companies that are actually hired to do background checks are often slacking and don't actually verify the copies of diplomas you send them.

Also, universities and such have a good reason to not make an API for 3rd parties to query their databases. First, they'd have to settle on an API with all educational facilities, at least nationwide, probably even globally. Second of all, they can charge for a nice sum of money for every request now. Making an API will make it cost more and return less per request, since then things will be standardized and fees will most likely be regulated to be cheap to use.

Re:Time and money (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44403001)

Also, universities and such have a good reason to not make an API for 3rd parties to query their databases

It's also been illegal in the US since FERPA [psu.edu] passed in 1974.

Re:Why the fuck do people even try? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44402827)

It works because after having been in the business so long, no one bothers. They always check your previous employers and get recommendations, which to be honest, is really the best indicator if you can functionally succeed at a job or not. At her age, or even about five years out of school, if you have been doing the work well, your degree means fuck-all.

I should point out, however, finding out if your candidate is a liar is often a good idea too, and if they faked credentials like a degree, it is probably the easiest way to find that out.

Still, at the level of Ph.D. actually having that degree may be important, but let's face it, if you managed to fake your way into research, you've successfully published and run studies, you're respected in your field... unless it is some sort of automatic process, who will believe that you don't actually have the degree? At that high a level, nothing about the process is standardized. They don't go through the HR department, they have search committees made up of board directors and such.

Now, speaking as a director on a board myself, I know there are varying levels of conscientiousness. Frequently, board members have a short list of candidates already and they just select the best of them. Sounds sort of old boy's club and all of that, but people on boards are there because they're often the only people qualified to be able to figure out who is qualified for a top job. How the fuck is some HR assistant going to be able to tell you who your CEO candidates are? The flip side of that is, unfortunately, the process is not as well defined or managed as it would be in a normal HR department. And that can be their downfall in these instances.

At a certain level, people just trust you. And that level of trust may seem absurd. I remember my last time in the BMW dealership. The salesperson actually said to me:

"We were going to check your credit, but this is your fourth new BMW in a row, I think you're good for it."

Whether he actually did check it or not, I was a little astounded to hear that to say the least, even though, yes I am good for it. Still... wow. So yeah, sometimes the paperwork doesn't actually happen.

Wrong President position (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44402599)

Too bad she wasn't the US President instead of just a US Academy President. If she were the US President then she could have just sealed her college records and no one would have known any better. Funny that the US Academy President position is better vetted than POTUS.

Re:Wrong President position (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44402721)

Too bad she wasn't the US President instead of just a US Academy President. If she were the US President then she could have just sealed her college records and no one would have known any better. Funny that the US Academy President position is better vetted than POTUS.

Truer words have never been posted on Slashdot...

I just thought I would comment before you get modded down to oblivion! The people here are either still in thrall or don't want to be reminded they were suckers! Either way... -1 here you come...

Re:Wrong President position (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44402759)

LOL... I was just reading your comment and then I did a refresh... You were right, while I was reading the parent got modded down to -1... How funny!!!

Re:Wrong President position (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44402879)

Some people relentlessly hammered on a birth certificate, of all things, even after it was certified by the state government. There's no way they'd let a degree get away from them if there was even the slightest chance it was faked.

You might be able to seal things when you're president, but you have no power to do so as a candidate.
 

I'm just guessing but... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44402701)

Her area of expertise was probably Climate "Science"!

233 Year Old (1)

ohnocitizen (1951674) | about a year ago | (#44402907)

For a split second I thought the Academy President was quite old indeed.

Bruce Springsteen (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44403385)

I just noticed his name on the incoming class list (!) Maybe he'll write a song about this.

Equal Opportunity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44403487)

In Obama' Americum Wezes all have da opportunity to do usezes wha usezes wanteni'ts no matterizes if'n usezes needses it.

Asked to resign???? (1)

blanchae (965013) | about a year ago | (#44403557)

WTF is with that? If you lie on your resume, you are terminated immediately and walked out the door. What a bunch of two faced hypocrites. When's the last time that any of you were asked to resign because you screwed up? There are rules for the 99% and then the 1% get politely wrist slapped - don't do that again and here's your pension package. This is what's wrong with business today. The top 1% can do anything they want without repercussions while the 99% pay.

Why then end of the month? (2)

houghi (78078) | about a year ago | (#44404743)

Why not immediately? And resign?

I live in Socialist Europe where people are protected by all kinds of laws. If you would be caught that you lied about a doctorate, that would mean immediate termination of your job. No compensation and no right on unemployment benefits.

I am very much interested as to why she lied about that doctorate. For many jobs on that level they would ask 'doctorate or similar through experience'. As it is very unlikely that they hire a person at the age that has no experience, there would be no reason to lie about it.

If a job actually requires a doctorate, it will be checked before you begin. Not 100% foolproof, but if you then get caught, immediate termination and possible lawsuits (depending on the case) will follow. Or: Go directly to jail; do not pass go, do not collect $200.

I'd say Academia was a nest of vipers... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44405293)

...except vipers actually do something.

Not just AAAS but academia in general is so top heavy with do-nothing administrators and professors who abuse the tenure gravy train.
Just look up salaries at your local state university. UC schools for example: https://ucannualwage.ucop.edu/wage/
If you earn less than $250k/year in academia then you are not even in the top 10% and are likely a peon supporting a master.
The pension plans at these places are frankly disgusting, often paying 75% of these massive salaries post-retirement until death.

But then it all comes down on the shoulders of graduate students, postdocs and technicians who are doing the real work. Besides, the ideas coming from the professors shouldn't bring compensation of this scale becasue the vast majority of this money is hard money support which is derived from tax dollars and student tuition not grant money (which is actually what is earned by professors' ideas).

Re:I'd say Academia was a nest of vipers... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44405313)

That not in the top 10% of full-time faculty and administrators (so not counting the normal human pay for students, postdocs and laboring staff).

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