Weekly Market Update


Thursday, June 28, 2018

On Wednesday at Cuyahoga Community College, nine Ohio public universities and colleges signed the Northeast Ohio Regional Higher Education Compact with the aim of satisfying a state mandate and achieving curricular efficiencies and deduplication of program offerings. The Chancellor of the Ohio Department of Higher Education, John Carey, offered the example of one school having a strong German program but very few students enrolled in French partnering with another school to take advantage of a stronger French program and cut costs. The compact's signatories hope that each school can learn from partner schools and find new ways to offer accessible and affordable education. Though the compact wasn't formalized until Wednesday, it extended preexisting joint efforts between its members.

In Other News

  • Howard University's College of Engineering and Architecture and Carnegie Mellon University's College of Engineering have partnered to develop a dual-degree Ph.D. program that enables underrepresented candidates to earn simultaneous degrees from each institution while benefitting from the combined academic resources and support of both universities.
  • Michigan State University's trustees on Friday approved a $500 million settlement with the 332 women and girls who were victims of serial sex abuser Larry Nassar. The trustees simultaneously approved the issuance of general revenue bonds to fund the settlement.
  • In a setback to public-sector unions, the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled 5-to-4 that non-union public employees are exempt from "fair share" fees paid to unions which represent them in collective bargaining.
  • A Facebook fundraiser established to help migrants at the U.S. border has raised millions for RAICES, an organization that provides legal aid to migrant families, giving the non-profit more money than it has ever received. The organization says it will use the funds to reunite families and expand the scope of its services.
  • The U.S. Supreme Court upheld President Trump's travel ban in a 5-to-4 decision released Tuesday, finding that the president did not overstep his authority in issuing broad entry restrictions on citizens of predominately Muslim-majority countries. Universities and higher education groups have largely opposed the ban, claiming that it is discriminatory and that it hinders recruitment of international students, a key argument in legal challenges to the ban.
  • The University of Southern Maine announced Friday that it received a private map collection from Dr. Harold Osher with a monetary value of $100 million along with a new endowment to support an expanded, permanent map collection at USM.
  • Blackstone Real Estate Income Trust Inc. has agreed to purchase the EdR Student Housing Portfolio for $1.2 billion in a joint venture with Greystar Real Estate Partners. The transaction will be completed in conjunction with Greystar's previously announced $4.6 billion acquisition of Education Realty Trust.

Rating Agency Update

  • Moody's affirmed St. Lawrence University's A2 rating. The outlook is revised from stable to negative.
  • Moody's downgraded New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology's rating from A1 to A2. The outlook is revised from negative to stable.
  • Moody's affirmed Henderson State University's A3 rating. The outlook is revised from stable to negative.
  • Moody's downgraded Johnson and Wales University's rating from A3 to Baa1. The outlook is revised from negative to stable.
  • Moody's upgraded Merrimack College's rating from Baa3 to Baa3. The outlook is stable.
  • S&P affirmed Oberlin College's AA rating. The outlook is revised from stable to negative.
  • S&P affirmed University of Central Missouri's A+ rating. The outlook is revised from stable to negative.
  • S&P assessed Teachers College, Columbia University's rating as A+. The outlook is stable.
  • S&P assigned AAA to Swarthmore College's Series 2018 Revenue Bonds. The outlook is stable.
  • S&P assigned AA- to the California State University's Series 2018A&B Systemwide Revenue Bonds. The outlook is stable.