Black Lives Matter: Cass Business School to change name

The provider will no longer be named after Sir John Cass, who had links to the slave trade

City, University of London has announced its business school will no longer be known as Cass Business School.

The business school was renamed the Sir John Cass Business School 18 years ago, following a donation from the Sir John Cass Foundation.

On Friday 3 July, City’s governing body voted unanimously to drop the Cass name following a consultation about the historic links of Sir John Cass to 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. This is incompatible with our values of diversity and inclusivity – Julia Palca, City, University of London

“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,” said Julia Palca, chair of City’s council.

“Any continued use of Sir John Cass’ name would be seen as condoning someone whose wealth in part derived from the exploitation of slavery. This is incompatible with our values of diversity and inclusivity. We have therefore taken the decision to remove the name”.

Professor Sir Paul Curran, President, City, University of London, added:

“The announcement of our decision to change the name of City’s Business School by no means marks the end of the issue.  The work we are doing to address racial inequality and to ensure City is an inclusive place to work and study will continue.  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”.

City is currently conducting a review of all historic sources of funding to determine if there are any other links with slavery. Chaired by council member Hunada Nouss, it is expected to report in August.

The business school will be known as City’s Business School until a new name is chosen.


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