Bayes Business School: Changing More Than A Name

From September 2021, the Business School (formerly Cass) will be known as Bayes Business School.


Choosing a new name


The name was chosen following a comprehensive consultation process involving all stakeholder groups, and will be formally launched in September.


Back in July 2020, the Business School committed to changing its name after finding out that its namesake Sir John Cass was actively involved in the Trans-Atlantic Slave trade through the Royal African Company.


Taking such a significant decision was never going to be a straightforward process, and would require the input of stakeholders, many of whom had enthusiastic opinions on which direction a new name should take. It was therefore decided that students, alumni, staff and partners of the Business School would all be involved in the consultation, and a Naming Steering Committee was established to guide the process at various stages and establish criteria for a new name.


In December 2020, stakeholders were invited to submit their suggestions for names via a dedicated crowdsourcing portal, where they were also able to express their reactions to other suggested names – much like the reaction buttons on LinkedIn. Additional names were suggested by brand agencies Radley Yeldar and Nucleus.


The portal remained open for submissions until mid-January and attracted more than 150 unique name suggestions. Submissions were then evaluated and tested for trademark availability, translation compatibility with key markets and, in the case of names derived from historical people, extensive background checks were undertaken.


Based on this information, a longlist of 13 names was drawn up. Following deliberation by the Naming Steering Committee, a shortlist of four names was finalised: Mais Business School, Quaro Business School, City of London School of Management and Bayes Business School.


These four names were once again presented to 40,000 members of the Business School community, who were invited to participate in a survey to provide their reactions to each name and associated brand story. More than 8,000 alumni, students, prospective students, staff and employers gave their thoughts across a two-week period.


On Friday 19 April, City’s Council approved the clear favourite among stakeholders at every stage of the process: Bayes Business School.

Why Bayes Business School?


Thomas Bayes was an 18th century statistician, who is globally renowned for his foundational work on conditional probability. Bayes’ theorem suggests that we get closer to the truth by constantly updating our beliefs in light of new evidence being presented to us.


Bayes is buried in Bunhill Fields, opposite the Business School. It is his theory – and not only the person – that is the motivation behind the choice of name. His ideas remain central to finance, actuarial science and many branches of management which form the core disciplines of the Business School.

At Bayes, we believe that the best leaders orient to values but are always open to new evidence shaping their decisions. When they uncover relevant new information, they update their views and act with determination. We prepare our students to become highly skilled and versatile professionals capable of excelling in uncertain environments. We educate for responsibility and expect agility.


This is why we nurture a diverse community of people who bring new perspectives and champion those who are willing to learn from others but have the courage to do things differently. It is why we encourage innovative teaching that is rooted in the most up-to-date theory and practice and challenges how we think. And it is why we undertake ground-breaking research that has a positive impact on business, society, and the environment.


Bayes Business School. Always learning.

Bayes Business School

Changing more than a name


A new name represents only a small part of the process in building and sustaining a culture of diversity and inclusion at City. At the same time as a decision was taken to remove the Cass name from the Business School, City carried out a Historic Sources of Funding Review to determine links with slavery. In addition, the Business School formed a Diversity and Inclusion Council and a Racial Equity and Inclusion Advisory Group, comprising students, faculty, professional staff and alumni working to improve student and staff progression.


A Black, Asian, and Ethnic Minorities Staff Network has also been in place since December, which is the second affinity staff network in the School and helps in building an understanding of the steps needed to achieve sustainable and meaningful changes.


Significant work is also underway at the Business School to further embed ethical and socially responsible values into the curriculum. A new Black Student Scholarship for Business School undergraduates will be launched later this year, which is a step towards tackling a lack of diversity as well as widening participation. The scholarship will cover fees and a stipend, thus targeting students from lower income backgrounds.

“I believe that change is not a threat, but an opportunity”


Anusha Gooda, an MSc Business Analytics student at the Business School, welcomed the changes and the inclusivity of the process towards finding a new name.


“I think a lot of effort went towards giving all stakeholders – students, alumni, staff and other professional members – an opportunity to have a say in the new name. Everyone was allowed to submit their ideas.

Bayes Business School

“Even when the list of options had been finalised, stakeholders were told there would be a survey where we could provide additional thoughts. The Business School also made the effort to inform everyone about the final choice and why exactly it was a good fit, and I found it easy to keep up with the process.


“Initially, there were concerns among students about how the name change could affect the brand value that’s associated with Cass, but I firmly believe the University is addressing the underlying issue and progressing in the right direction.


“The associated initiatives are practical and go hand-in-hand with the name change. I think these changes are important because I believe that change is not a threat, but an opportunity, and to evolve with times, change is not only necessary but also beneficial.


“Belonging to an ethnic minority myself, I feel like the University is making a lot of effort to address inequality and opportunity, particularly around race and ethnicity. A brand name is crucial, but I have come to understand that it is not what makes our Business School what it is. Rather, it is the students, faculty, and alumni and the quality of the teaching and rankings – all of which will remain unchanged.”


The new name will formally launch on Monday 6 September 2021 to be in place for the start of the 2021/22 academic year.