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CMU Responds to Moody’s Annual Rating

University receives confirmation of financial strength

The noteworthy growth achieved by Colorado Mesa University during the last two decades is a contrarian story. CMU has sustained a credit quality position in the face of a national decline in the higher education sector.

While maintaining a high standard of financial strength is something to applaud, doing so in the face of the corona virus pandemic, and cuts to state funding, adds validation to the rating. The tenacity of CMU’s culture and its continual striving for financial sustainability is significant.

The report also points out the rare and important strategic support provided to CMU from local governments. The relational reciprocity that exists between the City and County of Montrose, the City of Grand Junction, Mesa County and CMU results in financial support to the university from local municipalities while CMU provides significant, stable economic development and workforce training. No credit quality rating is forever. Enrollment varies throughout time, and local and regional economies face cyclical variation, however, when institutional investors asses the credit worthiness of CMU now and in the near future they can do so knowing that CMU has a strong financial position that has been sustained throughout time.

Moody’s remains one of the world’s most recognized rating agencies and achieving a consistent high mark from their organization is a cornerstone to keeping good standing with the investment community that supports the growth of higher education.

National trends point to downgrades for other institutions, but the financial strength of CMU says more about what the university is doing well and less about what others are doing poorly.

Despite challenges, CMU continues to invest in expanded academic offerings and strives to continually improve academic performance standards. CMU’s geographic location also is a built-in tailwind that many other institutions are not able to match. The natural beauty and landscape promise to sustain CMU as a destination campus.

Moody’s reaffirmation of CMU’s solid financial standing is not unexpected based on past performance.

The relatively strong operating performance at CMU is a result of a proven record of growth, conservative spending and disciplined investment in facilities and infrastructure. This combination keeps the university in a strong position within an increasingly completive higher education landscape.

Read Moody's rating outlook summary.


Written by Tim Foster