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City University of London Drops Cass' Name from B-School Over Links with Slave Trade

Cass Business School, London renamed.

Cass Business School, London renamed.

With an aim to be more inclusive, the Business School will also launch a scholarship programme for Black UK-domiciled undergraduate students among other initiatives.

The Cass Business School of City, University of London is dropping off the name Sir John Cass from its title because of his links with the slave trade. From September 2021, the School will be known as ‘Bayes Business School’.  “It is this idea – not only the person – that is the motivation behind adopting this name," said the university in an official statement.

“Sir John Cass’s wealth was obtained through his links to the slave trade", and having his name linked to the varsity would mean “honouring someone whose wealth was augmented from the exploitation of slavery, which is wholly incompatible with our values of diversity and inclusion," said  Julia Palca, Chair of City’s Council.

The decision to select Bayes Business School was based on what the School claims as “a comprehensive and transparent consultation process with relevant stakeholders".  Thomas Bayes (1702-1761) was a nonconformist theologian and mathematician best known for his foundational work on conditional probability.

The new name will formally launch on September 6, 2021 – the beginning of the 2021-22 academic year.

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Professor Sir Paul Curran, President, City, University of London, said, “The renaming of the Business School marks the start of a new chapter in City’s history, but certainly not the end of our work to address racial inequality.

With an aim to be more inclusive, the Business School will also launch a scholarship programme for Black UK-domiciled undergraduate students to improve underrepresentation within the School. This programme will run for 10 years from 2022-23 and offer 10 scholarships per year, covering all tuition fees and an annual stipend.

The B-School has established a Diversity and Inclusion Council to cover all aspects of Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion work. It has also formed a Racial Equity and Inclusion Advisory Group, comprising students, faculty, professional staff and alumni from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME*) backgrounds, who are working to improve student and staff progression and experience.

“Significant work is also underway at the Business School to further embed ethical and socially responsible values into the curriculum. The School’s aim is to develop responsible business leaders who will build a thriving, equitable, and sustainable future," the official statement read.

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first published:April 22, 2021, 12:07 IST