Weekly Market Update

BOSTON UNIVERSITY AND WHEELOCK COLLEGE TO DISCUSS MERGER

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Boston University and Wheelock College have begun formal discussions to merge the two institutions, which are located about a mile apart. Wheelock, which has about 1000 students and an endowment of approximately $50 million, would merge into BU, which has over 30,000 students and an endowment greater than $1 billion. Wheelock, known for its education and social work schools, has struggled in recent years to attract enough students given its limitations as a small private college. Over the past year, Wheelock went through a formal request for proposals process that resulted in six responses from financially strong universities. Eventually, BU prevailed based on its ability to maintain Wheelock's traditional focus, while trimming overhead costs with operational synergies. The merger has drawn some criticism on social media from students and alumni of both schools who see the new affiliation as a threat to institutional identity.

In Other News

Rating Agency Update

  • Moody's assigned Aa2 to University of South Carolina's Series 2017A Higher Education Refunding Revenue Bonds and Aa3 to Series 2017B Athletic Facilities Revenue Refunding Bonds. The outlook is stable for both Series of Bonds.
  • Moody's affirmed West Virginia State University's B1 rating. The outlook is negative.
  • Moody's assigned Aa3 to Colorado State University System's Series 2017A&B Revenue Refunding Bonds and an enhanced Aa2 rating to the Series 2017A Bonds. The outlook is stable.
  • Moody's affirmed West Virginia University Foundation's Aa2 rating. The outlook is stable.
  • Moody's affirmed West Virginia University's Aa3 rating. The outlook is stable.
  • Moody's assigned Aaa to University of Texas System's Series 2017A&B Revenue Bonds. The outlook is stable.
  • Moody's assigned Aa1 to University of Minnesota's Series 2017 General Obligation Bonds. The outlook is stable.
  • Moody's assigned A3 to Louisiana State University's Series 2017 Lease Revenue Bonds. The outlook is stable.
  • S&P downgraded La Salle University's rating to BBB- from BBB. The outlook is stable.
  • S&P affirmed George Washington University's A+ rating. The outlook is stable.
  • S&P affirmed Wofford College's A- rating. The outlook is stable.
  • S&P affirmed Transylvania University's A- rating. The outlook is stable.
  • S&P assigned AA to University of Minnesota's Series 2017 General Obligation Bonds. The outlook is stable.
  • S&P assigned AAA to University of Texas System's Series 2017A&B Revenue Bonds. The outlook is stable.
  • S&P affirmed Wesleyan University's AA rating. The outlook is stable.
  • S&P affirmed MCPHS University's AA rating. The outlook is stable.
  • S&P assigned AA to Iowa State University's Series 2017 Revenue Bonds. The outlook is stable.
  • S&P affirmed University System of New Hampshire's AA- rating. The outlook is stable.