By Jeff Murphy, August 17, 2023
The University of Central Missouri's strong ability to meet financial commitments over the years has made it possible to construct facilities such as The Crossing: South and Holden, a retail-student housing facility which connects UCM to Warrensburg's downtown area from the northwest side of campus.
WARRENSBURG, MO – The University of Central Missouri has received a long-term rating of “A+” by Standard & Poor’s (S&P) Global Ratings for the sixth consecutive year regarding its Missouri Health & Educational Facilities Authority’s (MoHEFA) series 3013C, 2018A and 2018B educational facilities bonds. In addition, as a result of UCM’s dedication to sound financial operations, the rating continues to include a stable outlook.
In its rating action, S&P Global noted, “The stable outlook reflects our favorable view of the university’s continued operating success, which is fueled by the rebound and continued growth in graduate enrollment and management's conservative approach to financial management. Furthermore, the outlook reflects the university's healthy financial resources, which, despite market volatility, increased in fiscal 2022 and continue to provide ample support to the university. Finally, the outlook reflects UCM’s manageable debt burden, which, absent any additional debt, will materially decline over the next few years and the university continues to amortize debt.”
S&P Global Ratings provide a forward-looking opinion about a borrower’s credit worthiness and ability to repay debt using a letter-grade system. “AAA” is the very best rating that can be given for a borrower’s ability to replay long-term bonds. A long-term credit issue rating of “A” means that the organization being rated is more susceptible to adverse effects of changes in circumstances and economic conditions than obligations in higher-rated categories, but the borrower’s ability to meet its financial commitments is still strong.
At the end of Fiscal Year 2022, UCM’s total debt outstanding equaled approximately $83.6 million, including $42.7 million of revenue bonds for projects that include construction of The Crossing – South at Holden, $8.6 million of direct-placement bonds, and $30.6 million of leases.
"To maintain an "A+" rating for a sixth consecutive year, with a stable outlook, demonstrates the university’s commitment to good stewardship of our limited financial resources," said Bill Hawley, vice president for finance and operations at UCM.
Sondra Savage-Moore, associate vice president for finance and administration, added, in order to focus on student success and academic excellence, it is vital that the institution remains financially sustainable. This rating reflects this sustainability.”