By Lois G. Russell/ASU
On Wednesday, September 10, Moody's Investors Service released its latest report regarding Alabama State University. The credit rating service upgraded the University’s outlook to stable and affirmed the Ba2 ratings for Alabama State University’s (ASU) general tuition and fee revenue bonds and affirmed the Ba3 rating on the Series 2005 lease revenue bonds.
Moody’s official news release cited several “key drivers” for the improved outlook.
Among the key drivers Moody’s referenced was the ongoing, stable state operating support and a leadership team focused on fiscal strategies; combined with the federal funding that will provide fiscal flexibility to manage through a period of weak operating performance stemming from an underlying competitive market and impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic.
ASU’s interim vice president for Business and Finance, William Hopper, said the upgrade in Moody’s outlook for the University is a welcome and encouraging change that is the result of a laser focus on improving the University’s financial position.
“The reason that we’re improving is that we’re being good financial stewards of the University’s resources,” Hopper said. “We’re funding the necessities, and we’re doing everything possible to improve the financial position of the University. We take our fiduciary responsibilities very seriously. The bottom line is we’re being very cautious with all our resources, and we’re looking for every opportunity to maximize those resources, develop new relationships, strengthen old relationships and save on operational costs where appropriate, while continuing to improve the educational environment and the services we provide to our students.”
University President, Dr. Quinton T. Ross, Jr., said having the “stable outlook” from Moody’s shows that ASU is continuing to move in the right direction.
“We are excited about the upgrade in our ratings outlook. ASU’s leadership is committed to ensuring that the University is fiscally sound as we work to move this institution 150 years forward. I want to thank the members of my cabinet, as well as ASU's Board of Trustees, faculty and staff for their hard work and dedication to supporting our strategic fiscal initiatives that included new systems, processes and belt-tightening measures. We will remain focused on improving the University’s financial health even as we deal with the impact of a global pandemic,” Ross said.