Yesterday, The Business School (formerly Cass), which used to be—yes, you guessed it—Cass Business School, and that also used to be City University Business School, became Bayes Business School.
You may recall that, in the wake of the killing of George Floyd, it was revealed that Sir John Cass had been actively involved in slave trading back in his time (1661-1718). I don’t think that was a super-hidden secret; I mean, of course I didn’t know about it, but I didn’t know a single thing about the guy. Yet it is difficult to imagine that when the School decided to adopt this name (2004 or so) they did not encounter this information. Those were different times—the early 2000s I mean—but I think slavery was already considered immoral.
Anyway. As a result, we (and by we, I mean the University and the Business School) decided to change our name. After almost a year, we chose Bayes Business School. Our links with Thomas Bayes, who first formulated the Bayes’ Theorem, are “extremely strong”: the dude is buried in front of the Business School, in Bunhill Fields. And that would be it. I mean, the Bayes’ Theorem is very important in finance, but I guess that applies to any finance department.
How do I feel about the name, you asked? Well, I think it is a fantastic name. It is better than Cass Business School even if John Cass had been an exemplary man. In fact, it is a name that is better than the business school, at least in its current state. But I guess this is what you want, right? I name that points to where you want to reach, what you want to achieve. It is easier to revert a frankly negative trend with a name that is inspiring. Although it is still difficult, so let’s see how it goes!