Weekly Market Update
NC STATE ESG ENDOWMENT FUND SHOWS PROMISING RETURNS
Thursday, June 7, 2018
North Carolina State University reported that a separate endowment fund, invested exclusively with environmental, social, and governance ("ESG") strategies, outperformed NCSU's conventionally invested endowment in the first half of 2017. The parallel fund was established after the University received a $50 million gift from the Park Foundation, with the stipulation that it be invested in a "socially responsible fashion." NC State is among several schools that have been reevaluating their endowment practices. Some schools have implemented filters in stock funds to avoid investing in companies that don't meet certain ethical, environmental, or diversity standards. Additionally, some money managers have provided alternative outlets for endowments by creating funds that meet ESG standards.
In Other News
- Sonoma State University has partnered with the College of Marin to provide business students the opportunity to complete a four-year business degree at Marin's community college campus.
- In a recent opinion piece, Scott Cowen, former president of Tulane University, highlighted how many small colleges are transforming higher education through innovative programs aimed at increasing accessibility for low-income, minority, and first-generation students.
- A new study has found that investors demand higher yields from local government bonds in metropolitan areas where newspapers have shut down. The study argues that newspapers cause governments to be more responsible and efficient, resulting in lower yields.
- Yale University has followed in the recent footsteps of Harvard University and Dartmouth College in dropping the requirement for applicants to provide SAT or ACT essay scores.
- The National University System, a network of nonprofit education institutions, received a $100 million gift to fund social emotional learning programs.
- Boston University launched a five-year translational research alliance with Johnson & Johnson Innovation LLC. The partnership will establish a new lung cancer center at the Boston University Medical Campus.
- The cryptocurrency start-up Ripple has announced a $50 million donation to 17 universities for research and development in blockchain, cryptocurrency, and digital payments.
Rating Agency Update
- Moody's affirmed St. Vincent College's Baa1 rating. The outlook is stable.
- Moody's downgraded the University of Northern Colorado's rating from A2 to A3. The outlook is stable.
- Moody's assigned Aa1 to North Carolina State University's Series 2018 Refunding Bonds. The outlook is stable.
- S&P assigned AA to North Carolina State University's Series 2018 Refunding Bonds. The outlook is stable.
- Moody's assigned Aa2 to Auburn University's Series 2018-A Revenue Bonds. The outlook is stable.
- S&P assigned AA to Wake Forest University's Series 2018 Revenue Bonds. The outlook is stable.
- S&P affirmed St. John's College's BBB rating. The outlook is stable.
- S&P affirmed Lebanese American University's AA- rating. The outlook is revised from negative to stable.
- S&P affirmed Jacksonville State University's A rating. The outlook is revised from stable to negative.
- S&P affirmed Doane University's A rating. The outlook is stable.
- S&P affirmed Florida International University's AA- rating. The outlook is stable.