May 9, 2018

Panhandle State Communications

Moody’s Investor Service Downgrades Issuer Credit Rating

Goodwell, Okla. — Oklahoma Panhandle State University’s President, Dr. Tim Faltyn, is disappointed in Moody’s decision to downgrade the university.

Moody’s Investor Service downgraded the issuer credit rating to Baa1 from A3 in a release on May 8th. While still rated as investment level, Moody’s also reported that the forecasted outlook was negative due to overall weakening revenue and debt service resulting from state budget pressure and declining enrollment since the last rating in 2012.

“I am disappointed by this news, as we have so many good things going on at our University,” said Faltyn. “This past fall we admitted our largest freshman class in the University’s history, and this spring, we will have a 25% increase in graduates.”

“Not to mention, in the past year we have secured an unprecedented amount of private and external support for our university,” added Faltyn. “Our community and students obviously recognize the great value we provide to our region.”

Moody’s noted that substantial growth in flexible reserves, improved state credit quality, and increased state appropriations could lead to an upgrade of the rating.

The report also recognized the strong fiscal oversight from the Board of Regents, and that the university’s financial reserves are in a solid position relative to debt and operations.

“We are doing our part to increase revenue, particularly recruiting new students, increasing retention, and securing external support for our university,” said Faltyn. “I am pleased that it appears we will not see another reduction in state appropriations for the next fiscal year, but without stable support from the state, it will be difficult to continue to move our University to a completely sustainable position.”

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