LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 10, 2021) — University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto updated the campus community on the university's credit rating in a message sent this morning (Wednesday, Nov. 10).
I write to you often to tout the remarkable accomplishments of this place and our people.
Others across the country also are taking notice of your work and our community’s efforts.
Earlier this week, one of the country’s leading credit rating agencies — Standard & Poor’s (S&P) — announced an upgrade of UK’s bond rating outlook: AA+ on general receipt bonds, up from AA. Other ratings within our bond portfolio were upgraded as well. It’s the second such upgrade of our credit rating since 2015 — remarkable in a time when many universities have struggled to maintain stable financial outlooks.
Credit rating reports might otherwise be dry reading. But whether buying a house or securing debt for long-term construction of facilities, strong credit ratings positively impact your ability to make continued progress in securing financial support for necessary investments.
They are also noted by our partner policymakers at the state level — as well as donors here and throughout the country— who understand that an investment in the University of Kentucky is a good one for the future of the state.
In an important sense, the ratings reflect a vote of confidence in our operations and future outlook for our institution.
As S&P said in its report about our ratings outlook:
“The rating reflects our view of UK's very strong enterprise and extremely strong financial profile characterized by a healthy market position and trend of positive year of year full-time equivalent enrollment increases with relatively favorable retention and graduation rates, very strong financial operating surpluses, good revenue diversity largely due to UKHC, excellent financial resources, and modest debt and contingent liabilities with a low debt burden. In addition, in our view UK's management and governance is an example of best in class and as Kentucky's flagship higher educational institution, the university enjoys the commonwealth's support for its operations and for limited capital needs while these needs are also met, in part, by very strong philanthropic support.”
It’s strong language that reflects the tireless and exemplary work of people throughout this institution — from staff who support and faculty who teach our students to a nationally regarded health care system that is not only growing financially, but increasing in size to meet the needs of our Commonwealth.
And, of course, there is the hard work of unsung heroes in every corner of the campus, in our finance and administration areas, who so effectively manage UK’s budget and operations. That work — and sound stewardship — has enabled us over the past decade to continue to make progress on the critical infrastructure needs we have across our campus and support our commitment to the Commonwealth's future as the University for Kentucky.
On days like this and so many others, I am reminded — constantly and compellingly — that there is nothing we can’t do as a community. I am gratified to be at a place, and part of a community, that embraces the power of we in so many ways.