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Cass Business School Drops Name Due To Slave Trade Links

Cass Business School will be temporarily named City’s Business School while a new name is decided

Tue Jul 7 2020

BusinessBecause
City, University of London has announced that its Business School will no longer be known as Cass Business School. The announcement comes after consultations about the historic links of Sir John Cass—after whom the school was named—to the slave trade.  

The decision was taken by City’s Council on July 3rd, after a broad consultation about the fact that some of Sir John Cass’ wealth was obtained through his links to the slave trade. The unanimous decision was taken on the grounds that to continue to use the Cass name went against City’s values of diversity and inclusion.

The Business School was renamed Cass Business School in 2002 after a $6.24 million donation from the Sir John Cass Foundation. The foundation was established in 1748, and is named after Sir John Cass, an English merchant who was also a major figure in the early development of the slave trade. 

The London school, which is located in the heart of one of the world’s leading financial centers, will be temporarily referred to as City’s Business School while consultations about a new name are set in motion. 

Julia Palca, chair of City’s Council, said:“We acknowledge the great pain and hurt caused to members of our City and Business School community and to many Black people by the association of the School’s name with the slave trade. 

“Any continued use of Sir John Cass’ name would be seen as condoning someone whose wealth in part derived from the exploitation of slavery […] We have therefore taken the decision to remove the name”.

Professor Sir Paul Curran, president of City, University of London, acknowledged that the name change is simply the first step in a wider movement to address racial inequality. It comes as global Black Lives Matter protests—sparked at the end of May by the unlawful killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer—have forced institutions to reckon with their place in the history of systemic racism. 


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Photo courtesy: Cass Business School Facebook Page / a social media post reflecting on the legacy of Sir John Cass, from February 2020.


“The work we are doing to address racial inequality and to ensure City is an inclusive place to work and study will continue,” Paul said. “We have listened to the concerns of the City community about the naming of the Business School and we have also heard about their individual experiences of racism and inequality in today’s world.”

Professor Paolo Volpin, the interim dean of City’s Business School, echoed Paul’s commitment to look at the wider issues of racial inequality on campus. He pushed the importance for City to follow the name change with clear and measurable actions that demonstrate a commitment to racial equality and inclusion. 

“The School’s BAME community is leading a consultation to explore how we can increase inclusion across our School community in practical and measurable ways, to ensure we celebrate uniqueness and work harder to enhance our vibrant sense of belonging,” he said.    

On June 10th, City initiated a review of all historic sources of funding to determine if there are any other links with slavery. The review is chaired by Ms Hunada Nouss, a member of City’s Council.  The composition is drawn from a diverse group of City staff and external independent expertise. The review is expected to report in August.


Read more about how business schools are responding to racial inequality on campus:

Black MBAs: Improving African American Representation In Business Schools

Business Schools Respond To Black Lives Matter Protests


The lead image for this article was reused under this license. No changes were made. 

Student Reviews

Bayes Business School

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Best Journalism school in Europe

When I first stepped onto the campus of City, University of London, I knew I was in for a ride - and not just on the Tube! With its vibrant energy and an impressive repertoire of programs, City U became my home away from home. The Journalism program was kind of a big deal. Rumour was that we were the best in Europe! The lecturers were not just experts in their field; they’re practically journalistic royalty. They were invested, passionate, and had a knack for turning the most flat press release into a riveting news story. With their guidance, I’ve learned to navigate the chaotic world of media like a pro. The campus was a melting pot of every culture, being that we had such a diverse international crowd. Being in the heart of London, I had the world at my fingertips - there was always a new corner to explore, a hidden gem of a cafe to discover, or a street performer! City, University of London wasn't just a university; it was a chapter in my life story that I’ll never forget.

Lydia

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The teacher-learner ration is manageable, giving each learner a chance to gain personal attention. It is also easier following up on the progress of a student, as the numbers per class is not large. the conducive environment for learning includes clean classes, standard desks, world class instructional facilities and the opportunity to engage lecturers even after their sessions. The team spirit at City is above board, with learners getting chance to learn both from instructors and colleagues. This is the university of choice; the place to be.

Nathaniel

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I liked that each class had a manageable number of learners, making the professor-learner ratio favor knowledge acquisition. I also liked that study schedules were manageable, and not overwhelming. The focus on talents and gifts even within the learning environment makes it possible for learners to achieve the best of their potential, and this has worked to the advantage of those that have schooled at City, University of London

Muhammad

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24/01/2023

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The diversity at City University facilitates interactions and is a direction toward the unity of the world. The classes are well built to match the number and needs of all students regardless of the elements of diversity that set people apart. The use of technology in delivery makes learning even more interesting and achievable. At City University there is no distinction pegged on the issues that make people unique.

Dorah

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professors

The team of lecturers at the Uiversity are well experienced. Their level of insight and the methodologies of delivery works for the interes of the leaeners. My learning experience was largely boosted by the level of knowledge of the professors at the institution, and their passion to transfer the same to learners. I appreciate every class I attended because of the level of insight I was able to gather

Nora

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The best university I’ve been to

The campus and the people I've met have made it a wonderful experience. I was reared in a small town with a graduating class of only 88 individuals, so moving to City University was a huge adjustment for me. My dorm has more residents than my whole high school combined! I enjoy the atmosphere here, and everyone is so friendly. Outstanding academic options and a stunning campus. Really great from beginning to end. The educators genuinely love what they do, and the students are ready to learn. On or around college, there is always something to do with friends, and the social scene is particularly warm.

Antonia

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As a student at City university attending Bayes Business School I would totally recommend choosing this university as the experience is exceptional with great social networking opportunities . Professors are significantly helpful, delivering with excellence and professionalism. Everyone is happy to help and make you feel welcomed in such an esteem university as City, offering exceptional development and guidance through out the course.

Muhammad

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15/11/2022

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Incredibly amazing university, the way they polish students and help them boost their morale and think intellectually is worthwhile. Many universities have international partnerships to allow exchanges between their students. The most obvious subjects for these opportunities would be those that involve languages, and the study of people and places.

Navya

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11/11/2022

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I really like it it’s perfect for me with not too many people and not too few either. All the modules are amazing. I love the toy bar. I love all the societies that I’ma part of. Especially the colour Bollywood society

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