City University Reveals New Business School Name After Ditching Cass Over Slavery Links

After a decision to drop the name of Sir John Cass, whose wealth was considerably linked to slave trade, City, University of London is set to rename its business school in honour of Thomas Bayes, an 18th-century theologist and mathematician who was known for his unorthodox beliefs. The move to drop Cass’s name occurred last year following the Black Lives Matter protests that occurred after the murder of George Floyd in Minnesota by a police officer. Sir Paul Curran, who is City’s president, commented that “Renaming 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.”

City University, which is located in Islington in London, has announced that it will launch a scholarship fund for black undergraduate students who are domiciled in the UK aimed at addressing underrepresentation within the school. Recent data has shown that between 2015 and 2019, only 2% of undergraduates at the business school were black. The scholarship program will last for ten years from 2022-23 and will offer ten scholarships a year covering all tuition fees along with an annual stipend of £6,000. Additionally, City will fund five PhD scholarships every year for black British students.

The name Bayes Business School would be officially adopted on September 6th, marking the beginning of a new era for the institution. Until then, it will retain its former name Business School (formerly Cass).

City University had initially renamed the business school in tribute to Sir John Cass in 2002 after receiving a £5m donation from the foundation. Sir John Cass’s Foundation has since been renamed the Portal Trust, established in 1748 to offer support to disadvantaged young persons in London.

Bayes, who died in 1761 and was recognised for his foundational work on conditional probability, is the inspiration behind the new name of the school. His grave is located in Bunhill Fields, and the Bayes theorem stresses the importance of updating one’s beliefs constantly in line with the volume of new evidence presented. The institution clarified that "It is this idea, not only the person, that is the motivation behind adopting this name."


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