Weekly Market Update
US DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION CONSIDERS REORGANIZATION
Thursday, February 22, 2018
The U.S. Department of Education has proposed broad administrative changes in response to President Trump's 2017 executive order instructing federal departments to consolidate or eliminate non-essential agencies and programs. The proposal, whose implementation would be overseen by Betsy DeVos, the Education Secretary, would combine multiple department units and eliminate a number of executive positions. Among the changes, the Office of the Under Secretary, which has been instrumental in past higher education policy, would be eliminated. Vickie Schray, a former deputy assistant secretary for the DOE, noted that consolidation would bolster higher education alternatives, in keeping with the current administration's stated objectives.
In Other News
- Oklahoma University Medicine bought out HCA Healthcare's ownership stake of OU's hospital facilities. OU Medicine, which recently started construction on a 450,000-square-foot patient bed tower, will take over all healthcare operations.
- Higher education leaders are worried about the negative impact of President Trump's immigration stance on international enrollment, according to University of Southern California President, Max Nikias.
- Purdue University is facing internal backlash from its faculty regarding its purchase of Kaplan University, a for-profit university system. Some faculty members argue that the value of a Purdue degree will be diminished by the Kaplan acquisition.
- The U.S. government sold record amounts of three-month and six-month treasury bills this week. The government's borrowing cost for this sale was the highest since September 2008.
- The College of William & Mary has announced that Katherine A. Rowe will become the university's first female president since its founding in 1693.
- Grand Canyon University, the only for-profit school with a Division I college basketball program, will complete construction on its tenth athletic facility since 2016, part of a $200 million development project.
- A group of 100 public universities will join together to focus on increasing graduation rates for underrepresented student groups.
- Yale University is facing backlash from students and activists for its investments in Puerto Rican debt. A coalition of students, citizens, and local politicians has demanded that Yale cancel its Puerto Rico debt holdings.
Rating Agency Update
- Moody's assigned Aa3 to University of Alabama in Huntsville's Series 2018A Revenue Bonds. The outlook is stable.
- S&P affirmed the University of Pennsylvania's AA+ rating. The outlook is stable.
- S&P downgraded Chatham University to BBB- from BBB. The outlook is stable.
- S&P affirmed Centre College of Kentucky's A rating. The outlook is stable.
- S&P assigned BBB to the University of New Haven's Series K Revenue Bonds. The outlook is stable.
- S&P affirmed Texas Woman's University's A+ rating. The outlook is stable.
- S&P assigned A- to Fairfield University's Series S Revenue Bonds. The outlook is stable.
- S&P affirmed Western Kentucky University's A- rating. The outlook is stable.
- S&P affirmed The Julliard School's AA rating. The outlook is stable.
- S&P affirmed Guilford College's BBB rating. The outlook is stable.