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“Jay” Levi changes to “Jerome” on online documentation, students question timing

As students prepared to enroll in Fall 2019 courses, campus activists publicized the change of Professor Levi’s name―from “Jay” to “Jerome”―displayed on the Hub, Enroll and the Sociology/Anthropology (SOAN) faculty page. Levi’s name change follows multiple Title IX allegations against the professor.

In February, leaflets with information about the Title IX case involving Levi were distributed to every student’s mailbox. The leaflets―which referred to him as “Jay”― aimed to ensure people were making fully informed decisions when they were choosing courses and potentially considering Levi’s. Online Internet archive The Wayback Machine places Levi’s name change sometime between February 14 and March 14.

According to the campus directory page, updates and corrections to faculty information can be made through the Dean of the College’s Office. Both Dean of the College Bev Nagel and Registrar Emy Farley stated that they were not aware of the change. No administrator contacted by the Carletonian claimed neither responsibility nor even knowledge that it had happened.

When asked for further explanation, Nagel said over email, “That is his legal name and the name he uses professionally on all his publications (and has used for decades). So if there has been any change in the HUB listing, I presume it’s to make the way his name is listed consistent across our records.”

While the College has claimed the name change was made for pragmatic reasons, students have questioned what truly prompted the change since “Jay” has been displayed on the Hub and SOAN faculty page for years.

“It is no coincidence that after 25 years at Carleton, Levi suddenly starts getting serious about his name the very term that every student on campus received information about ‘Jay Levi’s’ alleged misconduct,” said Kate Hoeting ’19, a student who does survivor advocacy on campus and worked on the Title IX demands of CarlsTalkBack.

When asked about the change, Levi said over email, “It is the name used when I started at Carleton and the name I still use on my Carleton email signature, and always has been. Jerome is my professional name and how I have been listed in Carleton materials for many years. I don’t know how my nickname ‘Jay’ began to appear in some Carleton documents, but now the listing has been made consistent.” Levi did not respond to whether he requested the change or why it was made now.

In past correspondence with multiple Carletonian reporters, he had referred to himself and signed off emails as “Jay” in April 2017.

Department Chair of SOAN Liz Raleigh shared the same sentiments as Nagel and said, “I would echo what Bev said, that Jay publishes under his legal name (Jerome), so using his full name would make things more consistent.”

Not all students, however, have interpreted the change as an effort to streamline professors’ contact information.

“He insisted on being ‘Jerome’ the moment that ‘Jay’ became infamous,” said Hoeting.

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