Our name change

As a business school, we’ve instigated change across the globe, equipping our students for the world they face today.

We are always evolving in our drive to constantly improve. One example of this is our new name.

Why we changed our name

In 2001, we accepted a large donation to fund our new building and agreed to adopt Sir John Cass’s name. We researched the Sir John Cass Foundation, which funds educational opportunities for underprivileged communities in East London. We regretfully did not look at the man who was the source of the Foundation’s wealth, and what taking his name might imply.

Why we believe this was important

Our name signals who we value and whose voice we judge as worthy of being heard. Sir John Cass worked directly for The Royal African Company, which was set up to organise and profit from the Atlantic slave trade.

Neither Cass’s philanthropy nor the passage of time will erase the suffering he caused and the persisting inequality that slavery has contributed to creating in the UK and across the world.

The exploitation of others through seemingly legitimate business practices remains a source of wealth for many individuals and corporations. As a Business School, we have a role to play in addressing this. Rejecting the name of a slave trader is a first step in that direction.

The name change process

We invited the City community to suggest names through an online platform, receiving over 500 submissions and more than 150 unique names. Over 8,000 members of staff, current and prospective students and alumni gave us feedback on the shortlist. Bayes Business School emerged as the clear favourite. Read about the outcomes of the consultation.

Why we chose Bayes

Thomas Bayes (1702-1761) was a theologian and mathematician – his final resting place is in Bunhill Fields, just across from the School. Bayes’ theorem suggests that we get closer to the truth by constantly updating our beliefs in proportion to the weight of new evidence. This aligns neatly with our core principles – that we should always be open to new information and act on it responsibly.
Bayes’ ideas are also central to the core disciplines of the Business School

What we are doing further to support diversity and inclusion

The Business School will launch a significant scholarship programme for Black UK-domiciled undergraduate students to improve underrepresentation within the School.

We have established a Diversity and Inclusion Council to cover all aspects of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion work. We have also formed a Racial Equity and Inclusion Advisory Group, comprising students, faculty, professional staff and alumni from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME*) backgrounds.

*At City we currently use the term BAME. It reflects the way we collect and store staff and student data and it aligns with our reporting obligations and the majority of other Higher Education institutions. We are aware that the term can be problematic and are reviewing our use of language around race and ethnicity.