Moody’s Upgrades University of Akron’s Outlook

By Robert Barrett, Jr., Copy Editor

On Tuesday, March 20, Moody’s Investors Service revised The University of Akron’s outlook from “negative” to “stable” and they affirmed the debt rating as A1.

An A1 rating signifies that an institution has a stable financial backing and ample cash reserves, according to

Nathan Mortimer, vice president of finance and chief financial officer of UA, said in a press release that maintaining the University’s rating and improving its outlook to stable is an affirmation that UA has managed their finances very well these past few years, while still navigating challenges.

“Revision of the outlook to stable from negative reflects Akron’s demonstrated ability to strengthen fiscal operations by cutting expenses, contributing to improving cash flow margins and debt service coverage,” the Moody’s report said, regarding the stable outlook.

That report went on and said, “The stable outlook reflects our expectations that the university will continue to produce double-digit cash flow driven by an increase in tuition for incoming students beginning in fall 2018 and ongoing expense management. It also incorporates our expectation for relatively flat state support and limited material debt issuance over the next year.”

The University’s outlook was lowered to “negative” in May 2016, current UA President Matthew Wilson was appointed interim president two months later in July. Three months after that, in October 2016, President Wilson was named the new UA president. Throughout Wilson’s time as president, he has placed an emphasis on fixing UA’s financial problems.

When contacted on Wednesday, the day after UA’s press release, the Office of the President had no further comment on the report. A day later, on Thursday, March 22, the University’s Board of Trustees announced President Wilson will be stepping down from his position in July 2018.

When asked about the Moody’s report, fourth-year business student Tyler Green said “I’ve been here for four years, good financial news about the University has been incredibly rare. So, I guess this can be seen as a step in the right direction, but I think there is still a lot of work to do.”

The complete Moody’s report can be found here. Moody’s Investors Service is a leading provider of credit ratings, research, and risk analysis.